Hitchcock’s first stab at filmmaking across the pond won him a Best Picture Oscar. Not bad for your stateside debut. The winning film, Rebecca, is an electrifying Gothic tale of a man whose dead wife’s memory seems to haunt his new marriage. The year it was made, 1940, was no dry spell for film either. Other nominees included The Grapes of Wrath, The Philadelphia Story, and Hitchcock’s own Foreign Correspondent. But Rebecca was something different entirely.
Laurence Olivier stars as Maxim de Winter, a wealthy gentleman with a dark secret. Joan Fontaine plays his shy, unassuming new bride who finds herself in unfriendly territory with the household staff once she moves in—that is until the truth is revealed. Once the true fate of Maxim’s first wife is revealed, she assumes the role of accomplice. The films two heros (villains?) were so iconic that rebeca was used in Spanish to refer to the sorts of cardigans Fontaine wore (even though Rebecca is actually the name of the deceased woman). Perhaps a bigger honor yet, the film has been remade twice in Bollywood. We suggest seeing the original tonight and then getting your hands on the 2008 Anamika stat. 7 p.m. $8. —LB
Riverview Theater, 3800 42nd Ave., Mpls., 612-729-7369, riverviewtheater.com