Rebecca is one of my favorite gothic fiction books. Like Frankenstein, I watched the movie first and absolutely adored it. It’s one of my favorite films and one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock films.
I like to kid that Rebecca is Northanger Abbey’s great grandchild as it takes place roughly four generations after Northanger Abbey and has similarities to Austen’s work.
The book starts in the present (1938) with one of the best opening lines: “Last night I dreamed I went to Manderly”. And has our main character, who’s name is unknown, eating with her husband Maxim de Winter.
The fact that we never know the name of our narrator is one of the most fascinating literary mysteries and always makes me wonder, did Du Maurier do that to further have her character be a “shrinking Violet”? To have us mistrust what she says? To help us fully be in the story as how often do you use your own name?
Our main character looks at her husband and while they are pleased in their life they will never be truly happy as so much has been lost. True happiness will never be achieved since Manderly is no more. Like Northanger Abbey, Pemberley, Mansfield Park, etc, Manderly does not just represent a home but also a certain state of who our characters are. And it is no longer. How did that happen…let’s go back…?
We are then taken back to years earlier when our main character was a companion to Mrs. Van Hopper, a wealthy woman who moves around to places the rich and famous go as even though she has money, she is always trying to advance herself somehow by making connections. On one such trip she tries to befriend Maxim de Winter, a wealthy landowner from Cornwall, but he is not interested, he has plans and will be away.
While Mrs. Van Hopper does want to be friends with Maxim de Winter, at the same time she is a little happy he rebuffed her as there are a lot of rumors surrounding him. The number one is that he absolutely loved and adored his wife, still mourning her death.
When Mrs. Van Hopper falls ill our main character (MC) finds herself with time to do whatever she wants, but what does she want to do? Uncertain, our MC goes to lunch early and expects to be alone but spots the handsome Maxim de Winter. She accidentally knocks over her flower vase and spills all the water on the table, with Maxim inviting her over to sit with him.
The two begin spending all their time together, Maxim appreciating her sweetness and innocence; and she absolutely adoring him. Eventually the Main Character is called away to return to America, but Maxim saves her by asking that she marry him. After their honeymoon they go back to his home in Manderly and this is where the gothic drama starts.
When they arrive at Manderly it is a beautiful place but our Main Character feels lost and alone. She has no airs, no country hobbies (shooting, riding, etc), she feels out of place, and everything looks and reminds her of the first wife Rebecca. Not only does the house feel full of Rebecca’s spirit, but the housekeeper Mrs. Danvers loved Rebecca and continues to try and bring down our Main Character’s spirit.
Our Main character tries to find her place but keeps getting emotionally knocked down and around by Mrs. Danvers and others.
But there is more to the story of Rebecca than a beautiful socialite. Rebecca had many secrets and while our Main Character starts to uncover things, she finds the truth that the members of the house might not be able to handle if revealed.
This is a wonderful gothic story that I recommend for Northanger Abbey fans and any gothic fiction lovers.
I have always wondered if Daphne du Maurier wrote this book in response to Northanger Abbey, due to their similarities; such as Northanger Abbey was a response to Don Quixote and the Female Quixote.
Both have a sweet, innocent, gullible, lower income girl who is given a trip to an expensive tourist destination. For Catherine she gets to go with people she likes and care about her to Bath, for the Main Character she is a hired companion to a rude woman and goes to Monte Carlo.
Both ladies meet a very handsome man of which rumors swirl around their family; to them the guy is special and stands out. When they meet this man, they immediately fall for him, being consumed with being with him.
The guy they fall for is older than them and sarcastic.
The scene when the Main Character is being forced to leave and wants to reach Maxim, having incredible anxiety that she will never see him again; is so similar to Catherine’s panic attack when she misses their walking date and is so urgent to apologize and make up with him.
When I first read this book I was in my teens and connected to the main character a lot more, but now being an adult and having been in an abusive marriage, Maxim makes a lot more sense to me and he is the one I relate to. I love how he enjoys the main character’s company as she is so sweet and innocent, how clear he is in what he wants (nothing like his first wife), and even the trauma he’s encountered and how that affects the way he acts.
I love this gothic novel and again recommend it to those who love gothic fiction and Northanger Abbey.
For more Catherine Morland’s Reading List, go to Frankenstein
So it has been a while since I last reviewed one of these chapters from the Choices videogame. Originally I was just playing the game but as I could do that faster than I could review, I ended up deciding to not play another chapter until I finished reviewing what I already had played. Of course things came up and I got distracted by other things on my list to write/review/etc-so now I am getting to Chapter 13 of Book 1, while I think Pixelberry has already created book three or four of this video game.
Anyway, quick backstory since it has been so long. This game is storybook based where you have a story that progresses a certain way, but at times you get to make a choice as to what to do, say, who to fall in love with, etc. Some choices require you to spend diamonds to play, which you can earn every time you play a chapter or purchase from their store. Some “books” have different side quests, like in this one you want to become an accomplished woman and certain choices allow you to gain items.
It’s really fun as you have the power to decide what path the story takes.
This game is set in the Regency time period, and of course is catered toward Jane Austen fans. In this game you are the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Edgewater, something you discovered on your mother’s deathbed. You met your father and he accepted you and has decided to make you his legal heir, as your half-brother passed away.
You also have an evil stepmother and conniving stepbrother, Mr. Marcastle, who has a dim fiancé, Miss Sutton. They are all plotting against you.
And a lot has happened since the beginning of the book: you have held a garden party (which you rocked), you are currently having a London season, you went to Mr. Sinclaire’s house (a suitor I am all about)-who has a sad Rebecca–esque backstory and he gifted you a book, you visited the Opera St. James where your mother used to preform, went to see an Opera and were stuck with the Duke who is a horrible jerk, took a walk in the rain with Mr. Sinclaire, learned to paint, helped your friend refuse a gross geezer, found out the truth about Mr. Sinclaire’s wife and the Duke, and was able to meet up with your father one last time before he died. On his deathbed you receive one last giant twist: it turns out that your parents were married before you were born! You’re not but yet still are illegitimate.
Now here is where the story isn’t tracking true to actual history. In the game your parents were married and then had an annulment making you illegitimate. But I did some research and it turns out that:
“any children of an annulled marriage become bastards (who cannot inherit or be declared legitimate at the whim of the peer) and likewise outcasts of society.”
So this next conflict of this game is to try and inherit the estate is not something that is possible, unless I can prove that the annulment never legally took place and my stepmother’s marriage is invalid. I don’t know if the game’s creator’s did any proper research, but let’s see what happens next in the game at the funeral.
You start this chapter off with your grandmother the two of you consoling each other over the loss of your father and her son. But even though Grandmother is sad, she is also still as conniving and concerned about the estate as ever. She eagerly wants me to harpoon the Duke (who we don’t like since he tried to attack me) in order to have a better hold on the estate. I’d much rather have the Mr. Darcy/Maxim de Winter-esque character, Mr. Sinclaire.
Grandmother also warns me not to make a scene at the funeral, and I’ve played enough of these choices game to know that is 100% what my character will do later on-no matter how much I don’t want to.
You have the option to purchase a black gown to wear to the funeral or wear something else that you already have in your closet, and this kind of option is one I hate. I understand the game wants to make money off, but sometimes it makes no sense to have them purchase an item and not provide one. It’s a funeral! But whatever. I of course know that it would be clearly uncouth of me not to wear black, so I purchased it.
The time of the funeral has come and we go to church to have it. Your stepmother and stepbrother both refuse to allow you to seat with them. This I also don’t understand, why not just sit with your grandmother? Instead you have the two options of making a little scene or making a much larger one.
I of course chose the more respectful of the two options, the smaller scene-but either way a scene is made and I know grandma will not be happy.
Mr. Sinclaire, a good friend of my father’s and his closest neighbor, also comes to the funeral and pays his respects to me. The two of us have grown closer together but is it enough for a proposal? I feel like when I play Marrying Mr. Darcy, just because you are able to get proposed to you still have a final gamble/roll to take.
The service is beautiful, and Mr. Sinclaire is happy to hear that my father approved of him asking for my hand in marriage. (Things are looking good).
At the end of the service we all say our final goodbyes and the writers wrote this chapter so prettily. These words are so sad and full of emotions, you can feel the pain and sorrow there.
Afterwards is a reception in which you see Mr. Harper the horseman. He wants to pay his respects but you stepmother is a cruel woman and won’t allow him to. You also speak to the other guests and your stepbrother, realizing that your stepbrother had deep feelings for your father. Could Mr. Marcastle actually have a heart?
Even though I try not to Mr. Marcastle and I make a scene. Oops! It looks like one of thede writers just wants all the drama!
You also run into your best friend Miss Parson, your new friend Miss Sutton (fiancé to Mr. Marcastle but she values your friendship more), and Prince Hamid. All are here for you to support and encourage you during this rough time. Each offers you a diamond choice to do something with them.
You also into Mr. Sinclaire again and he offers to show you his home, Ledford Park, if you are in need of a respite. Now I know this isn’t what one should do in Regency Times (Marianne Dashwood had taught me that), but I’m really curious about his home and I have enough diamonds to purchase the option that I agree.
You go to his home and it is beautiful, very much like Pemberley. The two of you walk the grounds and talk. As Mr. Sinclaire also lost his father, he understands the pain you are going through. Mr. Sinclaire shares about his father and all he says makes him sound even more like Mr. Darcy.
He shares with you a cute story about how his mother would have him throw a coin in a fountain and make a wish when he was sad, this always giving him hope. You decide to try it out, being all cute and romantic together. Aw!
The two of you just sit for a while and Mr. Sinclaire promises to help you in any way he can. Not a proposal, but his friendship is very important and you are a step closer.
The next day you discover that your stepmother is trying to keep you from gaining your inheritance by saying you are not your father’s child and that your father was mentally incompetent. But you have letters to prove it, your grandmother knows that it is true, and it doesn’t matter if he was mentally incompetent. I’m not an expert in Regency law but trying to get him to be declared incompetent seems like a weird route to take. Plus we already know that one wouldn’t want to have their family branded as crazy.
Plus Henrietta is all “I’m the widow” people will feel sorry for me-but that doesn’t means nothing. History is full of women who were given the shaft. Taking a cue from Sense and Sensibility, the only thing that is important is to who will get the money. And as of right now that is my character.
We end the chapter with me being trapped in my room. (Someone watched Cinderella.) Again, this is a pretty dumb move as the Dowager Countess, my grandma, is there and will know something is up. She’s very smart and not about to let her son’s last wishes go unhonored. She will be gunning for the Countess I’m sure.
So it has been almost a year since I last reviewed one of these chapters from the Choices videogame. Originally I was just playing the game but as I could do that faster than I could review, I ended up deciding to not play another chapter until I finished reviewing what I already had played. Of course things came up and I got distracted by other things on my list to write/review/etc-so now I am getting to Chapter 12 of Book 1, while I think Pixelberry has already created book three or four of this video game.
Anyway, quick backstory since it has been so long. This game is storybook based where you have a story that progresses, but at times you get to make a choice as to what to do, say, who to fall in love with, etc. Some choices require you to spend diamonds to play, which you can earn every time you play a chapter or purchase from their store. Some “books” have different side quests, like in this one you want to become an accomplished woman and certain choices allow you to gain items.
It’s really fun as you have the power to decide what path the story takes.
This game is set in the Regency time period, and of course is catered toward Jane Austen fans. In this game you are the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Edgewater, something you discovered on your mother’s deathbed. You met your father and he accepts you and wants to make you his legal heir, as your half-brother passed away.
You have an evil stepmother and conniving stepbrother, Mr. Marcastle, who has a dim fiancé, Miss Sutton. They are all plotting against you.
And a lot has happened since the beginning of the book: you have held a garden party (which you rocked), you are currently having a London season, you go to Mr. Sinclaire’s house (a suitor I am all about)-who has a sad Rebecca–esque backstory and he gifts you a book, you visited the Opera St. James where your mother used to preform, went to see an Opera and were stuck with the Duke who is a horrible jerk, took a walk in the rain with Mr. Sinclaire, learned to paint, helped your friend refuse a gross geezer, and have just learned that your father has fallen ill, found out the truth about Mr. Sinclaire’s wife and the Duke, and are trying to reach your father in time before his last breath.
Whew! That’s a lot. Now onto the next chapter!
So this chapter’s title In Sickness and In Health, and reading thatjust reaffirmed for me thah my father did going to die.
So I had an option earlier in the game to buy a horse and I did. Sometimes these purchases turn out to be a waste as then they never resurface in the game, but I’m glad I did as I am using her to race to my dad. It did turn out to be a useful purchase.
So Mr. Harper and I race to my father’s home as quickly as we can. There is an option for you to stop and rest with Mr. Harper and hear him tell a story-and if Mr. Harper is the romantic route you want to take, if you do so it will bring you closer together. But as for me, not only did I not want to wait I also was low on diamonds, and didn’t want to spend what little I had in case something came up in later on in the chapter. The previous chapter turned out to be really expensive.
So I make it to the house and who should stand in my way? My wicked stepmother.
She won’t let me see my dying father and claims that she will find a way to keep me from my inheritance, as she believes she should have it over me. From a historical side I do feel bad for her as women had very little rights but in this game she is a horrible witch so I don’t feel bad if she will loses everything.
While tbe Countess may think she has outwitted me, I outmaneuver her and go upstairs where I run into the Bishop Monroe, a new character who allows me to visit with my father. I go to my father and there I discover the big twist. I am not illegitimate, but my father and mother were married!
Never mind, it turns out I am illegitimate as my mother and father were forced into an annulment just before I was born.
Wait, what? That doesn’t sound right to me but let’s see how the game plays out and then I’ll do the research later.
So it turns out that my grandfather didn’t want my parents together and forced the annulment. My father shared that he wrote letters to my mother and I let him know that I saw them as it turned out she saved them and I had the opportunity to read them in the previous chapter (which I did).
Only a few people knew about the marriage, but I’m thinking there must be some documentation that will help strengthen my claim.
My father tells me he wanted to tell me more but thought it would be too confusing and kept it to himself. He wants to share his story with me and you have the option to pay to play as him and find out the truth. I declined as I had no money and didn’t want to spend anymore on this game.
My father warns me that my claim will be weak without a strong man to back me. He wants me to get with the Duke but after the last chapter, NO WAY!
I do share that I am interested in someone, and let him know that someone is Mr. Sinclair.
I can’t resist, Mr. Sinclaire is just too much like a mix between Mr. Darcy and Maxim de Winter from Rebecca. He’s unlocked the Laurence Olivier achievement.
My father approves as he has always been close to the Sinclaires. He gives me my mother’s ring and a copy of his Will so that it can strengthen my claim.
My father asks me to share my childhood stories with him and I do to comfort him and relieve his guilt. I stay by his side until his last breath.
I know that this isn’t real, but it seriously touched my heart when I read that scene. Poor Earl of Edgewater.
That’s the sad end of this chapter, in the next one we will have to deal with my father’s funeral. I’m sure there will be plenty of intrigue and conflict.
First of all, this chapter starts off with a warning:
This chapter contains scenes of implied sexual violence that may be upsetting to some players. Discretion is advised.
What does that mean? This sounds bad…
In the last part, I found out that my father is dying, and instead of keeping it from my arch-enemy, my stepbrother Mr. Marcastle, I told him. He has been trying to destroy me, but it is his father too. Family, right?
While I am commiserating, my maid Briar gives me a stack of love letters. Of course I want to read them-maybe something sweet about my parents or even useful information that can help me is in them?
I discovered that my grandfather is the one that tore my parents apart. Shortly after my stepbrother’s fiance warns me that I need to hurry home as my stepbrother and stepmother are plotting against me. As I was about to leave, I ran into the Duke Richards who is not interested in me saying no to him, he threatens me and now I have the option to strike back. You know what I am going to do.
I verbally filet him and make it clear-I’m not interested in him at all!
Unfortunately, being told no, just set the Duke “afire”. He then tries to attack me, but I evade him and kick him in the balls.
As he writhes in pain he continues to insult me, and laughs at my interest in Mr. Sinclaire and calling him a gentleman. For those of you who may have forgotten, Mr. Sinclaire is a gentleman who was very good friends with my father, gives off the Mr. Darcy vibes, and one of your possible love interests (the one I’m leaning toward). I mean how can I not-he’s so Mr. Darcy.
That was defintely worth the diamonds I spent.
But its not over, unfortunately-the Duke gets up and grabs me, he’s not letting me go easily. In fact, I’m sure he has very unsavory plans for me. I’m surprised though, I know I’m lower than him, but I am an Earl’s daughter, not just a maid or serving girl. I mean, there would be repercussions. But before anything could happen who should come marching in?
Yay! Aw yeah, Mr. Sinclaire, and with a sword!
The Duke tries to shrug off Mr. Sinclaire but Mr. Sinclaire knows him too well and takes a firm stand, edging his sword closer to the Duke. Yeah, show him!
Th Duke gets scared off…for now. But we will worry about him later, I have a dying dad and a handsome hero. I was sure relived when he came and he admits he was too, and that he has feelings for me.
But why is he here? Mr. Sinclaire saw the Duke coming over and found that his feet were bringing him my way. Aw! He wanted to make sure I was safe as he knows something about the Duke and doesn’t trust him. But what is the secret?!
He admits he can’t stop thinking of me and that he doesn’t know what he would do without me. I know I should be worried that my father is dying, but I can’t help feeling a bit mission accomplished. I mean this is the guy I want and I need to get engaged to ensure I inherit everything, right? Wait-I shouldn’t be like Marianne Dashwood, I need to be like Elinor and temper myself. He may not propose and my grandma still wants me to get with the Duke.
It turns out that Mr. Sinclaire has decided that it is time he stops keeping things hidden. Ohhh! Story time! So who do you think he will be more like? Mr. Darcy?
Maxim de Winter from Rebecca?
It turns out that Mr. Sinclaire’s wife betrayed him with the Duke and they were lovers!
Mr. Sinclaire offers to share his story and I’m like yes please! I want to get to know Mr. Sinclaire more and get the dirt on the Duke, I might need it to make sure my grandma doesn’t set me up with him.
I didn’t have enough diamonds so I said forget it and ended up buying some as I just had to know!
So Mr. Sinclaire was married before and his wife passed away five years ago. They used to be very close to Duke Richards, Mr. Sinclaire would even invite him over for an annual London dinner and other events.
Six years ago they were having a dinner party-the Duke was there as always, and Mr. Sinclaire’s wife Roselyn (which you will recognize from the book Bloodbound) everything seemed well and normal BUT, that night Mrs. Sinclaire disappeared from her hostess duties, and Mr. Sinclair went looking for her and found her and the Duke together.
The Duke didn’t even care that he was caught! What a jerk!! He reminds of that jerk in Poldark, Monk Adderley-thank goodness Ross killed him (in a duel).
Poor Mr. Sinclaire-he describes it as a dagger in his heart. Ohh-such a romantic hero! I LOVE it. Pixelberry can write some characters so well.
Mr. Sinclaire found out that not only was Roslyn cheating on him, but she never loved him-she just married him for his money.
And that’s not all…
Mr. Sinclaire turned her out, but she became pregnant with the Duke’s child and he ended up taking her in after the Duke refuse to help her. Both she and the child died in childbirth. Ouch, that was really sad-like more than I was expecting.
I wonder of he still loved her, but when I ask-he says he no longer does as someone else has made his heart open again…
No winder Sinclaire hates the Duke. I thoroughly hate him too.
But aw, Mr. Sinclaire admitted he loves me. I should be happy, but playing these books have led me to see that something bad is going to happen.
This tender moment has been sweet, but my father is ill and I need to get back to see him before he passes on. Mr. Sinclaire escorts me to the stables and offers to come with me but I turn him down. Why? I don’t know as most women would not travel alone. What if I was taken upon by gypsies? Thieves? Murderers? Rapists? The Duke?
Such a man!
Mr. Marcastle took the carriage but I might be able to beat him on horseback-good thing I bought my own horse back in Chapter 5.
Luke Harper is coming with me, okay good that makes sense. The two of start off for my father when the chapter ends. Will we make it on time?
So that chapter is finally finished, man I couldn’t believe it took so long. It was an expensive chapter, but for once I feel like it was worth every diamond. Until the next chapter…
So one camping trip I was talking to my cousin who worked at Universal Studios about movies. She promised to send me shirt from The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, as I had liked the other The Mummy movies (which she never did. Still upset about that). We then moved to my favorite director Alfred Hitchcock. She had seen his films too and asked about which was my favorite. At the time, it was The Birds, and she told me hers was Rebecca. I hadn’t seen Rebecca yet, so as soon as I could get my hands on a copy, I watched it.
It has Laurence Olivier in it who I just love, and of course is who I consider the original Mr. Darcy.
It also has Joan Fontaine in it who I had loved in The Women and did great in Suspicion. Not to mention one of the creepiest housekeepers (although she’s on par with Milly from Under Capricorn). And of course it has George Sanders, who has one of the best voices-he oozes sarcasm, sophistication, and meanness, I don’t know how else to put it. Most of you will recognize him from All About Eve and the original Shere Khan from The Jungle Book.
So I have been struggling whether to review the movie or the book first, as both perfect for Catherine Morland. She would be all over this book and film. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to do the film as I saw it first.
I wanted this to be the first movie of Horrorfest VIII, but I couldn’t use it as this year I needed to start it off with a 1950s film. So if I can’t start it, then I will end it with this gothic film-an Alfred Hitchcock film that Catherine Morland would go ape over.
So this film has some interesting “drama” behind the scenes.
This is going to get good…
Laurence Olivier was married to Vivian Leigh at the time and really wanted her to be in the film. I’m sure most of you have heard of his high standards from My Week with Marilyn. He did not like Joan Fotaine, which made her nervous and worried-something Alfred Hitchcock loved to capitalize on. Move aside Stanley Kubrick, this is the original.
The film is based on the book by Daphne du Maurier. Both producer David O. Selznick and director Alfred Hitchcock were control freaks liked to be in control of their films-and when I say control I mean every aspect. So there was some serious issues between them. Selznick barred Hitchock from all writing while he banned Selznick from set.
Fight, fight, fight!
This was also the only film by Alfred Hitchcock that won an Oscar.
ONLY ONE? That’s sad!
So this film is rrreeeeeeeaaaaaallllllllyyyyyyyyy different from his other work as it starts off very slow, a romance, but then stuff gets real!
As it’s not like his other works, it’s not for everybody. All though we all know who’d be fangirling over it, that’s right-Catherine Morland.
So the film starts off bright (O’Selznick), then gets dark, gothic, foreboding woods (Hitchcock)
Oh, my favorite! Anything like that gets me excited, my Catherine Morland heart starts pumping.
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderly, Oh My Goodness-I love this opening with the language, it grabs you right away.
It is sucking me in!!!!!!!!
It grabs you right away-the secret, solemn, gothic, and foreboding Northanger Abbey Manderly.
So we go back in time to the south of France, a handsome man is about to jump off the cliff, but stopped by a woman. Who is this handsome man? Why he is played by Laurence Olivier.
Our heroine, who’s name is never given but played by Joan Fontaine, is a lady’s companion to an annoying woman, Edith Hopper.
The handsome man comes over and it is Maxim de Winter-Hopper treats our heroine like crap, but he is interested in her youthful beauty and kindness. Hopper tries to grill him, but he manages to move the conversation away from him.
Oh my goodness Mrs. Hopper, she’s AWFUL!!!!!!! Our poor heroine. Hopper dresses her down to remember her place, and to not speak to anyone above her.
It turns out that Mr. de Winter is a widower, gossip shared by Miss Hopper-he was madly in love with his wife and has been despondent ever since.
One morning our heroine was going to eat lunch alone, but Mr. de Winter spots her and invites her to his table. She is so young in spirit-clumsy, awkward, unsure, childlike.
Joan Fontaine is so cute and she has a sad back story in this. Mother died when she was young and she lived with father who died last year. Having no money and no place to live, is now a companion to a horrible women. She is just so kind and sweet and adorable-you feel so bad for her.
Maxim de Winter is handsome, charming, and he is captivated by our heroine’s honesty and naiveté. Maxim is a man who carries weariness in his soul. He takes her out where she planned to sketch.
They talk and she shares how she once went to Cornwall and saw this beautiful house on it, called Manderly. That just happens to be Maxim’s house. He talks about it and you can feel the weight if sadness coming on him.
Joan is so cute just talking on and on, Maxim takes her aback.
Going back to her room the heroine overhears her sick client talking bout Maxim de Winter. She goes on and on about how he was crazy about his beautiful wife. She drowned sailing a few years ago.
As our heroine’s boss is still sick she has free time and goes to have a tennis lesson, but gets interrupted by Maxim who takes her out. Soon everyday they are out together. Her client, Edith Van Hopper, is after Mr. de Winter, and has no clue that her companion is falling in love with him. She tries to get our heroine to stay and keep her occupied while she is sick, but…
Our heroine is so adorable-dreaming, wishing, hopeful. Youth and innocence brimming!
But it is all over too soon. After today the nurse is going and she needs her companion by her side day and night. Our heroine is despondent over this as she doesn’t want her time with Maxim to end.
Maxim is handsome and charming, but something about him isn’t quite right. There is a deep wound to him, but what?
One day they are out and our heroine wants to know why he picked her over the other women, he could have anyone-someone older, sophisticated, classy, etc. He tells her he enjoys her company, but as he says it, he says it a little harsh and our heroine becomes upset, but then he kindly tells her to call him by his first name. And later sends her flowers.
Mrs. Van Hopper receives a letter about her daughter becoming engaged and they must leave for America ASAP. But no, what about Maxim!!! Our heroine tries to reach him, but no avail. This is it. Her fairytale is over. She rushes back to her room to reach him one last time, but doesn’t get a chance. Her boss comes and it is goodbye.
She tries one more time but he’s in the shower. NOOOOO!
But our heroine wont give up. She runs up to his room as a last ditch effort. Maxim is surprised, but our heroine tells him she needed to say goodbye.
Maxim “proposes”. He basically asks her “do you prefer New York or Manderly?” Gosh, these classic English dudes need to earn better proposals.
Maxim trying to figure out where it all went wrong.
She thinks he wants a secretary. That always cracks me up. He tells her, I’m asking you to marry me. Well, you can’t blame her-your proposal sucked! A girl wants romance!
Our heroine is so in shock she falls into a chair. She doesn’t think they should marry as she is too far beneath him. He says I guess you don’t love me, and she spills her heart out. So young, so sweet.
He asks her to pour him coffee, and that he takes it with two lumps of sugar in coffee and tea. This scene reminds me of the film The Clock. These two strangers spend the day together, marry, and then he will be shipped out the next day-and at the end she has to ask him all the little details as they realize they know zero about each other.
I love how Maxim reveals how to Mrs. Van Hopper that they are going to be married. But Mrs. Hopper is such a toad and continues to boss our heroine around, trying to keep her on “her place.” She asks to speak to our heroine alone for a few minutes, and as soon as Maxim is gone she berates our heroine and acts like she is a floozy.
She continues to berate her that she can’t be the mistress of Manderly and she’ll fail as she is no lady. She continues going on saying things like Maxim doesn’t love her, he went crazy after his wife died, and it still looks like he is. This lady!
The two marry in a small ceremony at the courthouse and Maxim is a much different person. Lighter, happy, in love-bright and shining just as our heroine.
They are so cute! But Hitchcock fans all know-it won’t last..
They have their honeymoon and go to Manderly, the place from the beginning. As they head in our heroine has a shiver. All seems bright, but that shiver and the rain-are major clues that unhappiness and coldness lie ahead.
They arrive and our heroine meets the household and Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) the housekeeper from Hell. She is such a creep! Our heroine is so nervous and shy and no match for Mrs. Danvers who acts as if she is the wife and our heroine is a servant.
And one is Mrs. Danvers
Maxim had them moved to the East Wing, not the West where he used to live with Rebecca. Our heroine is so nice and tries to work things out with Mrs. Danvers, but she’s a cold stone hearted woman. Ugh.
This house is so beautiful, but so empty, cold and creepy. Our heroine goes to check out the West Wing where he lived with Rebecca but it is locked and forbidden.
Whenever I watch this film it reminds me of The Tomb of Ligeia, with the creepy dead wife, handsome husband who has been all alone in a creepy house. Thinking of that also makes me think of Jane Eyre. Geez-classic English literature is full of handsome rich men with creepy first wives.
The next day our heroine meets Crawley the manager of the estates. Maxim and Crawley leave her to go about their business and casually drops that his sister and husband are coming to visit. With that news our heroine is lost and nervous as what to do-like a child almost. Like DUDE!!!!!
This is how I always imagined Cinderella or other characters that marry someone super wealthy must feel like the next day when they are like this is not at all what I’m used to. I typically am serving others how do I get used to being served?
She’s lost and confused in the house and everyone is looking down on her as she knows nothing while the first Mrs. de Winter was such a lady.
Mrs. Danvers comes to get her approval on lunches, but even though she is asking, the power is all in Mrs. Danvers. She looms over her like she could squash her.
Our heroine is in the morning room to write letters, but she has no one to write to. She looks through Rebecca’s address book and finds addresses for a marquis, a viscount, etc. Another proof of her inadequacy.
She overhears Beatrice, Maxim’s sister, talking about her. Beatrice tells it straight. She lets her know that Mrs. Danvers adored Rebecca too and will probably treat her horrid at first. Ouch, all loved Rebecca.
At dinner the brother-in-law asks lots of questions and is disappointed as our herione doesn’t ride, doesn’t dance, doesn’t sail and isn’t at all like Rebecca. Beatrice makes her feel even more insecure about her hair, her clothes, etc.
Not at all like Rebecca at all. Not sophisticated, not elegant, not fashionable
So everyone hints about what happened to Rebecca, but no one has said the whole thing! My curiosity is going crazy!!
They go out walking with the dog and he wants to go to the cove, but Maxim doesn’t want to. That’s where her boat was held. Maxim doesn’t like to go near her boat. But our heroine follows the dog and finds a cottage with a creepy sailor. The cottage is eerie too, it causes our heroine to go into shock seeing it.
She manages to tie up the dog and tries to look for Maxim who is waiting at the top. He’s upset and angry. But why? What is he upset about?
He doesn’t want her to go in the cottage or go near it. She needs to stay away as it too is forbidden! Maxim regrets coming back to Manderly and he is right, he should have stayed far away.
Our heroine starts to cry and Maxim’s storm passes. He apologizes but it was at this moment I started to think there was more to this story. He doesn’t act like a man who loved his wife and was despondent over her death-in fact he seems angry. But not like despondent over her angry at her death.
Our heroine has so many questions, but Maxim doesn’t want to talk. She helps Crawley with getting some work done and starts probing for answers. Why is the cottage going to squat? Why are Rebecca’s things in there? What happened to her?
Crawley answers that she went sailing and the boat capsized and she drowned. They found her body when it surfaced. Crawley is extremely upset, was he in love with her?
Our heroine apologizes but she needs to know. She needs to know what happened and who she is being constantly compared to.
Crawley tries to reassure her, but no dice. She already was a shy, insecure girl and this has made it much, much worse.
Our heroine tries to be more like Rebecca by buying a black elegant dress and putting her hair up, but Maxim laughs. Seriously! Dude!
They watch their honeymoon film and they were so cute. So happy! But they are interrupted when the Butler addresses Maxim about a household issue. A servant is accused of stealing a china figure that our heroine broke and hid. Maxim is such a man and does not read what the subtext is, and who is the real mistress of the house. He makes her tell Mrs. Danvers. She is so scared of everyone looking down on her. He thinks she should just be mistress if the house, he clearly does not get it.
One of the best scenes is when they are watching the honeymoon film in the dark and the shadows make him see almost crazed and scary-we can only see half of his face.
It reminds me of that whole thing when you only see half a face-one looks evil one looks nice.
But the lights flick on and whatever we saw on his face in the dark is gone. It is just the handsome Maxim. He starts to wonder if they should be together, if he isn’t ruining her life bringing her to Manderly and all its gothic air and soul crushing.
Our poor heroine, she thinks she is at fault, but she doesn’t know where the real trouble lies. There is a dark cloud in Maxim-dark and depressed perfectly contrasted with the bright happy self on the film.
The next day Maxim leaves for London. No you fool don’t leave her alone with Mrs Danvers the maid from hell who hates her!!!!!!!!!
She’s lonely without Maxim, but as she looks out the window she sees a light on the West Wing! But no one uses it…ghost????
She starts to head over there but is interrupted when she hears Mrs. Danvers speaking to a gentleman with a amazing voice- it’s Shere Khan, I mean Mr. Jack Favell (George Sands). Mrs. Danvers is sneaking him in, why?
He is smarmy and sarcastic, making our heroine nervous and skittish. Why is he here? Not for anything good.
He leaves and asks our heroine to not mention him to Maxim. As he leaves he leaves a parting shot that he was Rebecca’s favorite cousin. Why did he come? What are he and Mrs. Danvers planning?
What’s going on?
I just love these camera angles of this giant house dwarfing our heroine. She looks so small and insignificant.
So like Catherine Morland and Belle from Beauty and the Beast she can no longer resist the forbidden wing! She must go in and look at “the room.” It is still in perfect tiptop shape. No dust, nothing out of place as if she stepped away and will be back any moment to take her rightful place. Very Psycho!
Mrs. Danvers interrupts our heroine and is downright cold and cruel showing off how great Rebecca was, her fancy fashionable clothes, her stylish and elegant ways, Lording over our heroine making her feel like crap, like a bug to be squashed. Trying to show how Maxim will never love our heroine.
OUCH, ouch ouch. Some women physically fight, most women fight this way with words and emotions. Every time I see this the scene it is just dreadful to watch, so painful, so hurtful. It’s not like other films-but horrible how each item, each moment in the room cuts our heroine stabbing her psychologically and emotionally. Every word a poisonous arrow full of toxins. Rebecca’s ghost her-soul lives in that house tormenting our heroine.
Mrs. Danvers starts talking about the sea air and I’m totally convinced she’s trying to hypnotize our heroine to kill herself. No doubt.
Our poor heroine is having like a complete breakdown, Rs everywhere, everything Rebecca.
But our heroine has a little but of gumption in her. She orders Mrs. Danvers to get rid of all these things. When Mrs. Danvers questions her, she staunchly tells her I Am Mrs. de Winter–I love it! You go our heroine.
Maxim comes home and she throws herself at him so happy he is home. She wants to throw the annual costume ball to prove to everyone that she can be Mrs. de Winter.
She wants to have a stunning costume to out-Rebecca Rebecca. Mrs. Danvers suggests that she look at her family portraits. Ugh I hate this!!! Why would you trust her???? Mrs. Danvers points out a woman’s portrait and our heroine runs with it. To be honest, I always skip this part as I can’t handle her humiliation. It’s too painful.
I can’t look.
Well things go as expected, it turns out it was a portrait of Rebecca that she copied for her costume.
The night is cut short when a ship runs aground the sand. Everyone wants to help, our heroine getting changed and running out after Maxim
She searches for Maxim and finds Crawley who gives shocking news. A diver going after the ship found another one-Rebecca’s boat! Oh no, any shred of happiness will be lost with the grief that is to come. Or is there to be grief? I’m not convinced.
Our heroine feels drawn to the cottage and finds Maxim hiding there. She thinks Maxim will hate her, but he’s not even thinking about the ball-it feels like years ago since the discovery of the boat.
Our heroine thinks it’s her, that any happiness of marriage is over. He tells her it is too late for them. They have lost their chance of happiness now! The thing he dreaded has happened!
What thing? Rebecca has won? What, what do you mean!!! What are you saying??!!!
Maxim then reveals that he knew the boat was down there. Not only that, but knew that her body was in the boat.
The woman buried in the family crypt was not Rebecca. He identified it but knew it wasn’t Rebecca.
What??? How do you know??
Because he put her there- OMGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD
First time I watched this I was in shock. I suspected not everything was happy, sunshine rainbows between them?!! But he killed her?
Is it wrong that I still like him?
Our heroine tells her that she loves him and it doesn’t matter. She tells him how insecure she was and how she felt every time he compared her to Rebecca and she was always wanting.
But then he drops the biggest bomb ever!!!!
He NEVER LOVEd REBECCA!!!!!!???
I’m sorry, but what????
HE HATED HER! She was beautiful and enchanting. They married-she seemed perfect and accomplished. She had breeding, brains, and beauty. But then after the wedding he discovered she neither loved him, cared about him, wasn’t moral or faithful, etc. On their honeymoon he discovered the beast he married. I know what that is like…that described my own marriage.
She played the part so well, he would look the fool to divorce her-I know how that feels too. Thank goodness I got over that. Poor guy-he should have gotten an annulment.
Rebecca got involved with many people and hurt many, bring them to her flat in London and cottage by the sea. She spent a ton of time with Favell. Those two are “just” cousins?
One night he was done and went to talk to Rebecca. She looked ill, and told him basically that she was pregnant but it wasn’t his child. They were never together and he would never have a child. Her kid with another man would inherit his home and money and grow and continue the de Winter line. She continued to pick at him and he struck her. She smiled, tripped, and fell knocking herself out. She died.
He didn’t kill her but was afraid no one would believe him and then decided to sink the boat with her body.
Soooooooo even though he shares all that I believe him and feel for him. Especially as I know exactly what that is like.
Maxim is out of it-but our heroine has grown up, She takes control of the situation and supports him and encourages him.
Like I know what he did was bad but I really like him and our heroine and I want them to be together. Is that bad? He’s not really a hero.
Events go into motion and they make Maxim ID the body and question about the other one. No one is upset over it, it happens all the time where the grieving mistake especially a body that has been in the water. Unfortunately there will be another inquest-ugh.
No one thinks any foul play really happened, it is just routine.
Now that we have had this ordeal, our heroine has grown-the youth and innocence is gone- and we have a powerful character who looks to have aged in the last scene, and is in command of herself, powerful, not taking gruff or slight from any servant or person.
Our heroine goes to Maxim to try and get him to control his temper and not fly off the handle at the inquest. She knows they can overcome anything together. Aw, they are so cute together!!! Melodramatic, brooding, adoring, etc. I really like Maxim, and this couple.
They kiss in front of the fire, the flame of their love growing stronger.
Everything is going well at the inquest until the first thing to cause trouble is when the boatyard man inspected the boat and discovered the holes that caused the flooding were made from the inside of the boat. The death was no accident! It was suicide…or Murder!
Mr. de Winter is then to be questioned. He answers sarcastically ad angry-not making friends with the court. He gets badgered and starts losing it, when our heroine faints and stops the proceedings. She’s getting to be cunning! I like her more and more.
They head to the car to have lunch. Aw, I love how Maxim cares for her. Ugh lunch is interrupted by Jack Favell. He and Maxim can’t stand each other and the tension is thick. He steals some of their food and tries to blackmail them.
Bad luck is never ending!
I can’t stand him (although I love his voice and how he pronounces words) Favell reveals that he received a note from Rebecca that will tip the balance from suicide to murder. He tells them he will destroy the letter and drop it all for payment.
Maxim leaves to the nearby inn, getting a private room, so they can talk business. He calls Colonel Julian, in charge of the inquest, and asks him to join them as well. He reveals the blackmailing scheme to the Colonel. They read the letter to Favell, that he and Rebecca were to meet, but the note doesn’t really tip it either way.
She mentions going to the doctor and she had an important thing to tell him. That could be bad or good news. Favell insults our heroine and Maxim gives him a great big wallop. YES!!!
The Colonel questions what is the motive for murder? If Maxim killed her? Favell calls Mrs. Danvers to reveal the motive.
She refuses as she wants to protect Rebecca’s reputation, but when she hears that Maxim might have killed her she reveals the doctor’s name. Favell insists that Rebecca was going to have his child, and that Maxim killed her over it.
Favell leaves, not caring what destruction, embarrassment, hurt, or pain he causes in his path. Our heroine returns home, while maxim stays to hear the end. They go to find the Dr, Dr. Baker and question him. So was she pregnant?!!!
There was no Mrs de Winter he met with. It turns out she used an assumed name. Mr. Baker reveals that the problem for Mrs. de Winter was that she had cancer. Nothing could be done for her but death.
She LIED! No pregnancy! She did that on purpose!!!! She wanted to upset Mr. de Winter! She wanted him to kill her. She was a truly horrible person and I’m glad she is dead.
What a horrible, horrid person.
Favell calls Danvers and tells her what happened.
That’s not good.
Crawly and Maxim drive home, with Maxim speeding like a maniac. Something doesn’t feel right! Something is wrong! But what?!!!
Back at the house our heroine is waiting up for Maxim, but eventually succumbs to sleep. Mrs. Danvers skulks around like the demon she is.
That’s not good.
As they drive up they notice the sky is lit! But it is too early-OMG a FIRE!!!!! Manderly is on fire!!!!!!!
But our heroine?!!! What about her? She’s okay.
No need to guess who did it-Mrs. Danvers the housekeeper from Hell.
We then fade out to the embroidered pillow R burning too. Finally the demon is gone. Rebecca has been destroyed, our characters can find happiness. If you really think about it, that’s some Winchester stuff right there.
So that end another Horrorfest!!! I hope you all enjoyed it!
I hope you all have a fantastic and safe Halloween!