One of the interesting things about this movie is the title "Rebecca", referring to a character that you never see on the screen the entire movie, but she is ALWAYS there, commanding your attention. This is based upon the Daphne DuMaurier novel by the same name. It's an ooooold movie, made back in the '40 s in black and white (even better to carry out the theme of mystery, in my opinion. I can't imagine it in color).
So, to outline the plot...we meet Maxim DeWinter, a very wealthy and handsome middle-aged man, spending time on the Riviera, presumably to forget the recent death of Mrs. DeWinter (Rebecca), whom we are led to believe throughout most of the movie that he worshipped and adored. Enter the plain-Jane, soon-to-become the "second" Mrs. DeWinter, an employee/slave of another very wealthy and not-so-handsome elderly lady who orders her around to "go do this and that" for her. She is summarily "rescued" from her dismal existence and after a whirlwind courtship, is married and whisked away to Manderly, big country estate of the DeWinter's in England.
We suffer along with this pitiful replacement for the first Mrs. DeWinter, as she tries again and again (unsucessfully) to become the woman Maxim could truly love...beautiful, sophisticated, and capable of being the wife of such a man and forget all about Mrs. DeW #1. There is the cold and evil house manager, "Danny", who manages to manipulate Mrs. DeW #2 into making mistake upon mistake, until she is nearly driven to jump out of an upper bedroom window (belonging to the #1 Mrs. DeW, naturally) thinking Maxim will never love her so she might as well not exist.
Before she can jump, however, there is a loud cannon shot from out of the fog, signaling the discovery of a sailboat that has washed ashore on a nearby beach. You guessed it...Maxim delivers the somber news that it was #1's sailboat and was the craft she was in the night she died. So, was it a boating accident?? hmmm....seems as the cocks were open, which leads the entire group to either think suicide or MURDER!!!
An official inquiry ensues(as only the English can do)....Danny is beside herself with worry as her beloved Rebecca would not possibly have committed suicide. She was too full of life, too beautiful, too...well, just too. And the scene between Maxim and #2, where he reveals his hatred for Rebecca and how much he really loves #2 is the stuff romance junkies thrive upon!
I won't discuss here how the movie ends...except to say it is a VERY satisfying ending. I've watched this movie probably about 30 times in my lifetime. And I NEVER get tired of each visit to Manderly. Nor do I ever tire of seeing Lawrence Olivier onscreen. What an actor and what a gorgeous man. Not all movie rental stores have it...but if you can find it, rent it or better yet, BUY it...moviemaking at its best, when characters and story were the focus without all the special effects and car chases to keep one interested and involved.