Rebecca (1940) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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For our second IMDB Top 250 Guest Review (you people are so quick!), we have Rob from the delightful MovieRob blog. Rob watches lots of movies. And by “lots”, I mean that he’s seen way more movies than me. And way more movies than you. And, luckily for us, he reviews them all! He’s a lovely guy and always willing to have a chat about movies so please stop by his blog & leave him some comments. And this won’t be the last time you see him as part of this IMDB Top 250 series. šŸ™‚

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list HERE.

Now let’s turn things over to Rob & hear his thoughts on the (genius, in my opinion) Alfred Hitchcock film Rebecca, IMDB rank 123 out of 250

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“I’d like to have your advice on how to live comfortably without hard work.” – Jack Favell

Number of Times Seen ā€“ 1 (11 Feb 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A woman falls in love with a rich man who’s previous wife died mysteriously.

My Take on it ā€“ Here is another Best Picture winner that I had yet to see and thanks to Table9mutant’s challenge, I finally got around to watching it.

This movie is a very interesting psychological thriller/mystery which Hitchcock did quite well.
The acting by Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine is very believable and you can feel the tension building up throughout due to their performances. Hitchcock was known for finding ways to get the most out of his actors and this movie is no exception. It is rumored that Olivier was quite snobbish to Fontaine because he wanted his girlfriend (Vivien Leigh)cast in the role instead of her. Hitchcock heard this and told Fontaine that everyone hated her (not just Olivier) in order to get her to play her character more subdued and closed up.

As always, Hitchcock keeps us on the edge of our seats as he throws twists and turns at us throughout until we finally understand what is going on.

I only had two problems with this movie:

1) The main character played by Fontaine doesn’t have a name and is only referred to as Mrs. de Winter throughout which is quite annoying. Apparently since the book is all in first person, there is no need for her to have a name, but in a movie I found it slightly distracting.

2) This movie doesn’t age well, the psychological tension is still there, but it seems a bit subdued. I’m quite surprised that this won Best Picture, but when you look at it’s competitors, I can’t say I’m too surprised.

Winner of 2 Oscars (out of 11). It won Best Picture and cinematography. It lost Director (Hitchcock – This was his first nomination of 5); Actor (Olivier), Actress (Fontaine), Writing, Art Direction, Film Editing, Special Effects, Music and Supporting Actress (Judith Anderson)

Bottom Line – Interesting psychological thriller when Hitchcock was still warming up. Nice cast and Hitchcockian twists galore. Seems a bit dated now tho.


Rating ā€“ Globe Worthy
Check out Rob’s *updated* movie stats here
To see his reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here

IMDB Top 250 Challenge – Movie #9 – Sleuth

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Sleuth (1972) – IMDB Rank #206

Watched 5/2/13

This movie was on TV recently so I was able to watch it as part of my IMDB challenge. Cool. Hoping to manage to watch a lot this way!

I knew nothing whatsoever about this movie. To be completely honest, I haven’t seen many Michael Caine movies, especially older ones. I think the only one I’d even seen before moving to the UK was Dirty Rotten Scoundrels! Anyway – I’m starting to like him more & more. I should really try to watch some of his older stuff. (Yes, I did watch The Italian Job soon after coming to the UK, at least).

There’s one thing that I got a little obsessed with soon after coming to the UK and that was a show I’d not heard of called Tales Of The Unexpected.

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So… I’m very sorry to compare the two but I’m afraid that Sleuth REALLY felt like a long episode of Tales Of The Unexpected to me (albeit with way better acting). Sorry! But it really does have that sort of look & feel & story. I’m not necessarily saying that’s a bad thing, however – I loved finding out that England had a show that was a lot like my beloved Twilight Zone & Alfred Hitchcock TV shows that I’d grown up on.

I do think this movie is overrated & is 100% that way because of the actors who are in it (Michael Caine & Laurence Olivier). No, I’m not saying it’s “bad” but I really doubt it’s the 206th best movie of all time. It was quite a fun movie and the two of them were great together and who doesn’t like a bit of witty banter and mind games? All that was great. And of course it kept you guessing as to who was lying, who was telling the truth, and what was going to ultimately happen. It was all very good but I just feel like this sort of thing has been done so many times. (Don’t make me think of some examples – I’m too tired…) šŸ˜‰ Anything done by Alfred Hitchcock for one, I suppose…

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Aw, I feel like I’m trashing this movie! I’m not, really. Just think it’s not quite up there with some of the absolute classics in the IMDB Top 250 and of course I’m going to be comparing it in my mind to others on the list as it’s IN the list. I did really enjoy it and especially loved its 70s-ishness (I love the 70s!). And Olivier’s toys and automatons were freaking COOL and creepy. I want some! (but not in my house while I’m trying to sleep because I’d have nightmares)

My Rating: 7/10

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Forgot to add that I got all excited when the line “jumped up pantry boy” was said in this movie and I was like “That’s in a Smiths song!” šŸ˜‰

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“A jumped-up pantry boy
who never knew his place
he said “return the ring”
he knows so much about these things
he knows so much about these things”

This Charming Man – one of their good songs. Because you have to admit that some are annoying!