14 comments on “Book to Film | Rebecca

  1. Great review. I loved this book. I will probably watch the movie in the near future. They were almost making a Broadway play of it, but funding never came through. So glad to see this review out there. 🙂

    • That’s a shame it fell through; I think the story would work well in a live setting. I believe du Maurier penned a stage version herself which ran in London for a while. I’d love to see that revived one day.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  2. I read ‘Rebecca’ a few years ago and really enjoyed, so I’ll be sure to watch this film sometime! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  3. Spot on, Callum. I loved the movie, but the book RULES. It was fun, though, seeing Manderley, which I thought they did a marvelous job of recreating. And it was well cast, too, even if Danvers was slightly different. Still, Dame Judith Evans earned her Oscar, I think. She oozed evil at every turn. I also love the dark, noir quality of the film. But the book will forever more be my favorite novel of all time, and as you say, it proves the rule that the book is nearly always better. Nice review! 🙂

  4. I had no idea they’d turned this into a movie but I should have guessed, really, with the book being so popular! I’m still yet to read the book but it’s on my TBR 😛

  5. Beautiful Review Callum!! Glad you loved the book AND the movie. I love them both too.
    You know, REBECCA, was my very FIRST Adult book, at the age of 12½/13 (not even a teen yet). Adult book, as in not a children’s book (I was into books like Famous Five, prior to that).
    Speaking of the ‘book is always better’ rule, yes books are always better, but just imagine, if all the information is transferred into celluloid (a medium they don’t use anymore, sadly), what a boring movie that would be. The idea is to capture the essence of the novel, and portray it on screen. And Hitchcock, definitely has done it. Plus I like the fact, that he has manged to make us feel the presence of Rebecca, without ever showing a ghost, or flashback, nothing. BUT we feel the spirit of Rebecca within us. While reading a book, everything is left to the imagination, but in a movie everything is shown, and to able to make us feel the existence (or not) of a person, without showing the character, is a difficult feat, acheived only by a capable director like Alfred Hitchcock.
    And about Mrs Danvers, I don’t remember how old she’s meant to be in the novel (as I read it as a kid), but I agree Judith Anderson does a brilliant role of this creepy character.

    In general, when it comes to Books and Movies, it is best not compare the two. Read the book, as a book; and watch the movie as a movie. If a movie is bad, it’s just ’cause it’s a bad movie, not because it’s based on a book. Rebecca is my favourite Hitchcockian masterpiece.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You definitely started out on a high note by picking Rebecca as your first adult novel! 😊

      I definitely agree that a film shouldn’t be a scene-by-scene recreation of a book, as the pacing would be all wrong and the film itself just far too long! Plus, some elements work well on the page, whilst others simply serve a visual medium better.

      Personally I don’t agree that we shouldn’t compare movies to the books they were based on however, hence why I started this series on my blog 😋 As you said yourself, the whole point of a movie adaptation is for it to capture the essence and feel of the original text and to do that it’s important it honours the core of what was written. After all, however good a job Hitchcock did working on Rebecca, for example, he could never have made it if du Maurier hadn’t written it in the first place, nor would he have been inspired to make it so atmospheric, the setting so grand, Mrs Danvers so sinister, etc. if those hadn’t been important traits of the novel.

      When you love a book, you want to know it’s been handled with care. That’s why I think it’s interesting to compare the two, see what has changed, see which of those changes work and assess how successfully the team behind the movie have managed to capture what was in your imagination as you read and bring it life on the screen 😊

      • Sorry Callum!! I should have been more specific. No, I love the fair comparison you’ve done. I compare and contrast books & movies I love, myself.
        What I meant was, the foolish comparison people do, like blindly stating the Book is better. We all know books are better (’cause a lot of it has to be edited out, when transferring to the screen). But it is unfair to just say that a movie is bad, because the book is better.
        A good movie is good, whether you’ve read the book or not. Similarly, a bad film is bad, whether you’ve read a book or not. So a film shouldn’t be judged alone on it’s source material.
        But I love a good analysis, comparing & contrasting, a book and a film. 🙂

        • Ah, I see! Sorry for the misunderstanding, and in this instance, I definitely agree. A movie should be able to stand on its own merits whether viewers have read the book or not 🙂

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