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Critic’s Choice: Criterion Collection returns to Manderley with ‘Rebecca’

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Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine in “Rebecca.”
(Criterion Collection)
Film Critic

Alfred Hitchcock’s only movie to win the Academy Award for best picture, “Rebecca” (1940) may not be the first film that leaps to mind when we think of the Master of Suspense’s signature achievements. But this precise and luxuriant rendition of Daphne du Maurier’s masterful gothic romance is still entertainment of a very high order, with a riveting psychological triangle embodied by Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier and the incomparable Judith Anderson, surely the greatest Mrs. Danvers that ever was.

Criterion Collection’s splendid 4k digital restoration is now available, with supplements including a conversation with critic Molly Haskell and scholar Patricia White; the 2016 French documentary “Daphne du Maurier: In the Footsteps of ‘Rebecca’”; and no fewer than three radio adaptations of the novel, including Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre adaptation.

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justin.chang@latimes.com

@JustinCChang


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