The choice of Rebecca (1940) as not only the kick off episode but my kick off episode was an easy one. It was my first revival in a movie theatre setting; my first black and white on the big screen. An adult and heady choice for a kid. I felt so special, like I’d been initiated into a club. And truly I had. The combination of Hitchcock, the cast, the score, the setting and the source material created a story I could be enveloped in. This gothic tale was made for me and I’ve never grown tired of it.
What’s evolved for me the most through the years is Joan Fontaine’s central performance (though, what’s really evolved is me). As I’ve aged–and now passed both the age of the character and the actor–I appreciate the expressiveness of Fontaine even more. The growth she earns and the treacherous waters of adulthood and truth she navigates have only become more real for me. I love finding other moments, new in each viewing, but it’s Fontaine as our touchstone that gets me every time.
What you’ll find in this episode: an examination of the themes of the film (less a plot synopsis), lots of spoilers (for a 75 year-old film), some of our favorite moments, what we would name our estate, plus the definitive meaning of omnisexual. So enjoy!
Finally, a sincere thanks for listening to our very first episode. We’re learning as we go and only hope to keep getting better.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out Rebecca on IMDB.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Don’t Look Now.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of The Lady Vanishes.
Listen to 12 hours of François Truffaut interviewing Alfred Hitchcock for free (Rebecca is in part 9).
Other terrific gothic films, per The Guardian.
P.S.: My mom blew my mind when she asked as we were walking out of the theatre, “What was Joan Fontaine’s character’s name?” I love posing this question every time I introduce someone new to this film, and I hope you enjoy the look on their face when they discover the answer too!
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I am really looking forward to all your podcasts. Old movies are my favorite and TCM is my favorite channel. Thanks for the reminders about why I love Rebecca.
Thanks for listening!
One of the most popular optical lantern shows took place in 1863, shortly after the marriage of the Prince of Wales. The exhibition consisted of beautifully colored photo-portraits of the Royal Family and was attended by more than 200,000 viewers.
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