USA, 1940, 130 min.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Producer: David O. Selznick (Selznick International Pictures)
Screenplay: Joan Harrison, Robert E. Sherwood
Director of Photography: George Barnes
Music: Franz Waxman
Cast: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce

Alfred Hitchcock’s American debut was originally supposed to be a story based on the sinking of the Titanic. However, the director’s employer, renowned producer David O. Selznick, changed his mind and commissioned Hitchcock to adapt the bestselling novel Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. Selznick and Hitchcock had frequent arguments during the writing of the screenplay as well as during the filming, but an elegant gothic romance emerged from the conflicts, immediately initiating a new Hollywood trend. The fact that the result eventually reflected the producer’s vision is, among other things, illustrated by Selznick receiving the Best Picture award at the Oscar ceremony (his second in a row, as he had triumphed with Gone with the Wind /1939/ a year earlier). Hitchcock got “only” a nomination (and was beaten by John Ford). (Milan Hain)

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