Rebecca is a 1940 American psychological drama-thriller film. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, it was his first American project, and his first film produced under contract with David O. Selznick. The film's screenplay was a version by Joan Harrison and Robert E. Sherwood based on Philip MacDonald and Michael Hogan's adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel of the same name. The film was produced by Selznick and stars Laurence Olivier as the brooding aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter, Joan Fontaine as the young woman who becomes his second wife, and Judith Anderson as the stern housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers.
The film is shot in black and white, and is a gothic tale. We never see Maxim de Winter's first wife, Rebecca, who died before the story starts, but her reputation, and recollections about her, are a constant presence to Maxim, his new young second wife, and the housekeeper Danvers.
The film won two Academy Awards, Best Picture and Cinematography, out of a total 11 nominations. Olivier, Fontaine and Anderson were all Oscar nominated for their respective roles. However, since 1936 (when awards for actors in supporting roles were first introduced), Rebecca is the only film that, despite winning Best Picture, received no Academy Award for acting, directing or writing.
Rebecca was the opening film at the 1st Berlin International Film Festival in 1951.