- article: Rebecca's Deceivers
- author(s): Robert J. Yanal
- journal: Philosophy and Literature (01/Apr/2000)
- issue: volume 24, issue 1, pages 67-82
- journal ISSN: 0190-0013
- publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
- keywords: "The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock" - by Donald Spoto, "The Women Who Knew Too Much" - by Tania Modleski, Alfred Hitchcock, Daphne du Maurier, David O. Selznick, Donald Spoto, Farley Granger, Florence Bates, Franz Waxman, François Truffaut, George Sanders, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, Laurence Olivier, Marriage, New York City, New York, Nigel Bruce, North by Northwest (1959), Rebecca (1940), Reginald Denny, Robert J. Yanal, Robin Wood, Spirituality, Tania Modleski
Rebecca does have some points in common with that tale: a young girl, cast adrift in life, of at best modest background and stuck in a demeaning job, meets and marries a rich Englishman who is lord of a castle; there is a wicked stepmother (Mrs. Van Hopper) and a wicked stepsister (Mrs. Danvers); there is a costume ball with an unhappy denouement; there is even a sort of glass slipper, though it is a broken cupid and leads away from not towards marriage- but no pumpkin coach, no good fairy godmother; and Rebecca has ghostly and murderous elements that are not part of the Cinderella story. [...] if dreams reveal a wish, and the prologue is nostalgic, why is it Fontaine would wish to relive what was a virtual nightmare of humiliation, deceit, and despair, followed by an inquest into whether her husband murdered his first wife, an ugly business fraught with publicity and blackmail, during which she must watch her husband commit perjury and herself become his co-conspirator?