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Rebecca Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1:37:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English Mono DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 131 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: MGM
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 24th, 2012
  • List Price: $24.99

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Rebecca -

Purchase Rebecca on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca tells the story of Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) and his young bride (Joan Fontaine). After a sudden marriage, Winter brings his wife home to his imposing estate, Manderley. Everything seems to be okay with the two, until mysterious things start occurring. Soon it becomes evident that Maxim’s late wife, the beautiful Rebecca, seems to be controlling both Maxim and the estate itself! What results is a well crafted, if at times a bit slow, film.

While Alfred Hitchcock is known for numerous horror classics including Psycho and Vertigo, Rebecca is a different kind of film. Not necessarily as scary as the aforementioned titles, but more a mere glimpse at what Hitchcock would become. The film does have a few truly convincing ‘scare’ moments, the kind that are genuine in horror (something that seems to be all but missing from today’s genre of so-called ‘horror’). For a brief moment, I’ll run off on a tangent. Horror seems to have been completely re-invented in today’s films. Gone are the days of real felt scares via John Carpenter and his infamous Halloween. Now we have complete, utter garbage horror via Eli Roth and his Hostel films. Movies that rely on throwing buckets of blood and guts at us, instead of creating the kind of scares that would feel real. Thanks to MGM, another classic innovative entry in the genre is now available for all to see.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The 1:37:1 framed, AVC/MPEG 4 encoded transfer is quite good, especially when one considers the age of the film. The print does have noticeable smears and damage to it, but when you realize the film is over 70 years old, the damage isn’t really too problematic. The black and white print looks fine with deep and inky blacks. Overall detail and clarity is solid throughout, in particular the clarity of the image. Facial closeups result in accurate contrast levels, while grain does have a thin layer applied. All in all, considering the origin of the film, this is a fine effort from MGM.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

The film’s original Mono track has been upgraded to a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track. The track itself is about as good as a mono track can be. The film’s dialogue is well reproduced throughout. Of highlight hear is the chilling, haunting score by Franz Waxman. Available as a separate isolated score in the accompanying features, the track sounded great. Fans will be pleased to know that despite this only being a 2.0 track, there is a bit of life to the physical soundtrack. Items like waves and the occasional scream do create a kind of genuine terror, something really forceful instead of the generic scares found in ‘horror’ today. Films like this are a pure joy to watch….and hear. Solid effort here from MGM.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The included supplements are presented in SD.

  • Commentary with Film Critic Richard Schnickel
  • Isolated Music and Effects Track
  • The Making of Rebecca – This runs 28:08 and looks into the challenges faced by Hitchcock.
  • The Gothic World of Daphne Du Maurier – This 19:02 feature shows the details behind the original novel that inspired this film.
  • Screen Tests – Here roughly 9:07 worth of screen tests, mostly from Margaret Sullivan, are shown.
  • Radio Plays – 3 different radio plays are offered up here. 59:35 is the original 1938 Orson Welles version, 58:31 is Cecil B. DeMille version, and 1:00:22 is 1950 version.
  • Hitchcock Audio Interviews – 2 interviews are shown, one with Peter Bogdanovich (4:20) and one with Francois Truffaut (9:15).
  • Original Theatrical Trailer – The film’s original trailer is shown.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Rebecca may not be his best film, but I’m glad this was made as it brought Hitchcock to this country. MGM has given this Blu-ray a faithful V/A presentation, along with a few solid features. Well Recommended!

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0065N6JSI[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Rebecca -

Purchase Rebecca on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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