Maturation over Time in Hitchcock’s Rebecca
Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock’s first film in Hollywood produced by Selznick International Pictures, is about a young woman, played by Joan Fontaine, who undergoes a huge transformation. Rebecca is thought of by many to not necessarily belong in the Hitchcock “genre”. Hitchcock himself even states in an interview that he doesn’t think this film is like any other he has made. Critic’s reasoning behind calling Rebecca un-Hitchcockian is the huge presence of the romantic theme in Rebecca. Hitchcock agrees that this particular film, in Rebecca, doesn’t consist of the same suspense-ridden plots that most all of his other films certainly have. In my opinion, this film is very closely linked to other films through its main theme, maturation over time. This film runs many direct parallels with Notorious.
Joan Fontaine, who is never actually given a name but is typically referred to as the second Mrs. de Winter, starts out in the beginning of the film as a shy, immature, and naive young lady being employed by a stuffy old woman, Mrs. Edyth Van Hopperwho thinks she is rather important. While these two women are staying in Monte Carlo on vacation the naïve Fontaine becomes acquainted with the extremely well-to-do Mr. de Winter, usually called Maxim and owner of the famous Manderlay Estate. They spend nearly every minute of the day enjoying each other’s presence, riding horses, taking drives through the country, and soaking in the beautiful scenery of Monte Carlo. Very soon, while the stuffy Mrs. Edyth Van Hopper is trapped in her bed with an illness, Fontaine falls in love with Mr. de Winter. Just as this occurs Mrs. Van Hopper decides to leave Monte Carlo and travel back to the United States to attend her daughter’s wedding. In response to the news of Fontaine leaving his side for good, Mr. de Winter decides to ask the naïve young lady to marry him and go home to Manderlay together.
They arrive at...