Friday, June 15, 2012

Daphne du Maurier - The Movie Adaptations

Several of Daphne du Maurier's novels have been made into films. Yesterday's post was about Rebecca and it mentioned the 1940 film adaptation. It left us curious about the other movies, not only those made from Rebecca but the ones made from her other books. Below you can find a list of some of the most famous and a video of each one. Do you have a favourite? Or any that you hate? 

Hitchcock is the acclaimed director of several of du Maurier' adaptations but this is not one of the most famous ones. Starring Maureen O'Hara, Robert Newton and Charles Laughton this was a box-office hit but it failed to to please both the critics and the author.

Directed by Mitchell Leisen, with Joan Fontaine, Arturo de Córdova and Basil Rathbone. It is the second time that Joan Fontaine plays a du Maurier heroine after having been Rebecca in the 1940 adaptation.

Directed by Brian Desmond Hurst and starring Margaret Lockwood, Dennis Price and Cecil Parker. Unlike what had happened with the previous movies Daphne du Maurier helped adapting it to the screen.

Directed by Simon Langton. With Jeremy Brett, Joanna David, Anna Massey. A TV series with four episodes. I've read somewhere that this was du Maurier's favourite adaptation of Rebecca but sadly it was never released on DVD.

Directed by Lawrence Gordon Clark. With Jane Seymour, Patrick McGoohan, Trevor Eve, John McEnery. A TV Series with three episodes. The story follows the book more closely than the Hitchcock movie although there are some e twists added.

Directed by Jim O'Brien. With Charles Dance, Diana Rigg, Geraldine James, Jean Anderson. Another TV Series. Unlike the 1940 movie this time the character of Rebecca appears although only from behind or parts of her face.

Directed by Ferdinand Fairfax. With Tara Fitzgerald, Anthony Delon, Tim Dutton, James Fleet. We will be posting a review of this adaptation in a few days.

Fans of du Maurier in general and of movie adaptations in particular will be happy to know that a production of The Scapegoat is currently in production. You can find all the details here.  Earlier  this year it was announced that a new Rebecca adaptation is being planned and we're hoping it is a good one. With script by Stephen Knight I guess the big question is how faithfull it will be to the novel and... who will play the second Mrs de Winter? Any suggestions? Is there another of her books that you would like to see adapted?


  1. You know I didn't even know there were other versions of Rebecca. I guess they don't say enough about the others. It's surprising that the one du Maurier thought was best is not available to watch.

  2. I've seen a few of these. I loved the 70's version of Rebecca. It is one of my all-time favourite novels. Thanks for putting these up - I'm going to enjoy looking at them.

  3. There was also a 1952 adaptation of My Cousin Rachel, starring Olivia de Havilland (Joan Fontaine's sister) and Richard Burton:

  4. Kailana,
    I think there are at least 2 more Rebecca adaptations but I chose the adaptations that are more talked about to post here.

    I hope you enjoy. Yesterday's post was about Rebecca and it seems to a favourite for many people.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Good to know. I don't really pay attention to the movie world. I will have to see what versions I can find.

  6. I've watched the Alfred Hitchcock Jamaica Inn and it was okay. This was the first time I was aware of the older Frenchman's Creek. I'd like to see all of that one.

    Thanks for sharing!