Rebecca (1940)

A movie so enjoyable, it's like putting on a favourite cardigan.  Judith Anderson steals the show as the nun-cum-matron who curates the memory of the dead Rebecca De Winter in the spectacular mansion that is Manderley. Actually, it was a spectacular miniature model, but it haunts the living Mrs De Winter just as Rebecca haunts the mansion.

Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine are fatefully drawn together as the improbable couple who meet while she is the companion to the perfectly ghastly Mrs Van Hopper on holiday in Monte Carlo, and he is thinking of chucking himself off a cliff.

Why improbable? He is the sophisticate, she the naive. It's a tired old trope nowadays (think Pretty Woman, but without the sex) but told with such élan and a great ensemble cast (though Olivier seems slightly awkward).

Rather like hoping that this time you watch, the Titanic will miss the iceberg, you squirm in your seat, hoping that this time, the 2nd Mrs De Winter won't make the dress worn by her dead predecessor. And that Maxim will stop being such a twat to his new wife who, he should clearly see, is completely out of her depth in "society".

Great story, great entertainment.

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