A must-see for Hitchcock adherents weaned on the likes of Psycho, North by Northwest, and The Birds. Less a cohesive whole than a triumvirate of diverse styles. An aggregate of noir, gothic, romance, mystery, and manor manners. The first reel is fairly standard structure forties Hollywood. That is until a lineaged Laurence Olivier suddenly segues into Gloria Steinem's worst nightmare - snapping off directives to Joan Fontaine as if training a puppy to go on the newspaper. As a matter of fact, there so many of these acid tongue transmissions in the film that I frequently found my jaw dangling at the end of my face at the unmitigated galling hilarity coming from these privileged pie holes. The middle third of the piece (happy couple arrives at Manderley Mansion) is no less than a masterpiece of mood and method. Here we have a director at the peak of his powers. The vast foreboding interiors of the estate loom as a sublime study of light and dark - an entity. You can almost imagine the maestro himself looming above this diorama - this shadowbox - maneuvering his minions like chess pieces on the board. Highlights include Fontaine's terrific turn as a pathological neurotic, the sinister staff popping up like wack-a-moles from a wax museum (especially Judith Anderson's 'Martha Stewart channeling Darth Vader's Mother-in-law'), and a devastating detour into Rebecca's resplendent you-moved-her-hair-brush-two-inches-to-the-left-you-unworthy-little-bitch 'shrine'. This is pure cinema - pure genius. Alas, the final third is a bit too 'Postman Always Rings Twice', but it has a nifty twist to it. All in all, a sixty two year old marvel that simply refuses to be resigned to chestnut status. This is what it's all about Alfie...good show old chap!