Photo cred to Steven Hill.
A shy and fidgety ladies' companion (Joan Fontaine) meets an affluent man (Laurence Olivier) who is still greving over the death of his first wife, Rebecca. The two fall in love, get married, and return to the man's estate, Manderlay, where the young bride is uneasy about Rebecca's former maid (Judith Anderson).
The second Mrs. de Winter and Maxim.
I'm not going to include summaries for the posts anymore because I think that they are virtually useless for those who have seen the film and know what's happening or for those who haven't seen it and don't want to know the details. If you would like to see the plot summary, click here.Crazy Mrs. Danvers and the petrified second Mrs. de Winter.
Alright, I am going to be completely blunt here; I don't think that there could have been a better choice for Mrs. Danvers. Judith Anderson is like a robot in this role. She is also very neurotic about how Rebecca's room is maintained. Mrs. de Winter went in there to see what Rebecca was like, and naturally "Danny" shows up to see that one of her hairbrushes has been moved about an inch, if not. She gives Mrs. de Winter a tour of the room, making the young woman extremely uncomfortable.
Anybody watching can tell that Mrs. de Winter toughens up around halfway through the movie. I was on the edge of my seat when she confronted Mrs. Danvers about her choice of costume for the ball. I was definetely rooting for her for standing up for herself and taking control of the situation rather than complain to Maxim and have him take care of it.
Joan, Laurence, and director Alfred Hitchcock on the set.
I taped this off of TCM as part of The Essentials. I caught some of Rose McGowan's introduction and I liked what she had to say about Mrs. de Winter's employer, Mrs. Edythe Van Hopper:
"She's so obnoxious, you just want to slap her. Every time you have Mrs. Van Hopper in her bed, there are these giant plant shadows that look like monsters coming out of her. It's so humorus to me, and I'm sure that wasn't an accident. It just added so much to her character!"
Couldn't have said it better myself.
All of the photos are from IMDB.