Here is the Barbican introduction to this special screening: We are proud to be screening Hitchcock’s classic gothic melodrama in the haunting surroundings of Grade II listed Leytonstone School. The feature stars Joan Fontaine as the young bride haunted by the memories of her husband’s glamorous first wife. With Laurence Olivier and Judith Anderson.
Built in the early 20th century the location for this screening lies in the heart of Leytonstone’s Conservation Area, a place of rich architectural heritage, too often overlooked. Inspired by the school’s magnificent mock Elizabethan architecture, we invite audiences to draw their own comparisons between the location of our screening and the imposing estate of Manderley, the macabre setting of Rebecca.
This wintry seasonal screening will see the school’s grand timber panelled hall transformed to echo the atmosphere of an ancient English country home. We will also be welcoming Catherine Bray to speak on the themes and cultural significance of this iconic work.
Chicago Reader review:
There are too many conflicting levels of authorship—between Alfred Hitchcock, Daphne du Maurier, and David O. Selznick—for this 1940 film to be a complete success, but through its first two-thirds it is as perfect a myth of adolescence as any of the Disney films, documenting the childlike, nameless heroine's initiation into the adult mysteries of sex, death, and identity, and the impossibility of reconciling these forces with family strictures. As a Hitchcock film, it is, with the closely related Suspicion, one of his rare studies from a female point of view, and it is surprisingly tender and compassionate; the same issues, treated from a male viewpoint, would return in Vertigo and Marnie (Laurence Olivier's Maxim becoming the Sean Connery character of the latter film). With Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson, Nigel Bruce, and Gladys Cooper.
Here and above is the trailer.