Wednesday, June 28, 2006

April Showers Bring...More Time To Read!

It's time once again for a Heather's Book List. So, without any further ado:

32. Cities of the Dead - Linda Barnes

33. Eternity - Maggie Shayne

34. Mac's Angels: The Last Dance - Sandra Chastain

35. The Runaway Bride - Sandra Chastain

36. The Cat Who Dropped A Bombshell - Lillian Jackson Braun

37. Edge Of Evil - J.A. Jance

38. In The Night Room - Peter Straub

39. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier

40. My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier

41. The 5th Horseman - James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

The Book of the Month honor goes to Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. I had purchased the movie years ago when I first got into my old movie phase and remember loving it. I also remember waiting for my grandparents to show up one day and it was on Turner Movie Classics and they showed up during the infamous scene where (**SPOILER ALERT**) Mrs. Danvers almost succeeds in getting the 2nd Mrs. DeWinter to jump out of the bedroom window and I was bummed that I had to miss the rest of the movie.

However, giant shocker, I had never read the book. So, the last time we visited my grandma, I borrowed Rebecca from her. Now, it had been 8-10 years that I had watched the movie so the book was pretty much new to me. I had no idea what was coming and I loved every bit of it. It drove me crazy that I never learned the 2nd Mrs. DeWinter's first name, especially since Maxim DeWinter made such a big deal about how unique it was when they first lunched together. But I can forgive that.

Any book that makes me talk back to it must be good and I was doing a lot of that when #2 wouldn't stand up to the old biddy, Mrs. Danvers. I almost cheered when she finally did. Actually, I might have, come to think of it. After reading the book, I dug out the old tape of Rebecca and made Collin watch it with me. I felt so bad for him during the viewing - not just because it's an old "chick flick" but because I kept going, "Uh! That scene was never in the book!" "UH!!! SHE didn't say that!! That never happened!!" I did that A LOT!

I never had a problem with Alfred Hitchcock until I saw how he butchered the story of Rebecca on the silver screen. He made up scenes, he had characters saying other character's lines and - the worst of all - HE CHANGED THE ENDING!!!! **another spoiler alert** In the book, Maxim (played splendidly by a very handsome & dashing Laurence Olivier) admits that he killed his first wife Rebecca, shot her dead in the boat house then dragged her lifeless body onto her boat and sailed her out into the bay then sunk the boat. He hated Rebecca because she was cold and heartless and evil. It's a huge turning point in the book to discover this because his new wife is afraid that he loved Rebecca so much he couldn't get over her. For #2 (Joan Fontaine) to learn he never loved Rebecca is the whole point of the story!

In the movie, Ol' Alfie changed it to Maxim & Rebecca arguing in the boathouse and she turns to leave and trips over a rope, bangs her head on something and accidentally dies. Maxim panics, throws her onto her boat and sinks it. Now. By changing that in the movie, it takes away the whole tension from the inquest scene after Rebecca's body is found. In the book, the reader knows he's guilty and what if the jury realizes it? He'll go to prison and #2 will be left alone with the crazy and creepy Mrs. Danvers in Manderley!!

In the movie, that tension is moot since we know he's innocent and the evidence will prove it. I don't know if it was a sign of the times that a man not be shown murdering his wife or what but it bothered me that the whole plot was changed. I don't know if Daphne du Maurier had anything to do with the screenplay but I just can't see why she would allow Hitchcock such liberties with her wonderful story!

Sorry, didn't mean to go off on such a rant, there! I guess what I'm really trying to say is - I. Hate. Sauerkraut.

No, wait - Read Rebecca. Only watch the movie if you're a fan of Olivier.


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