My Cousin Rachel on DVD
Based on the best-selling novel by Daphne du Maurier
1 DVD. Romantic Mystery. Black & White. Year: 1952. Running time approx. 94 min.
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Richard Burton, Audrey Dalton, Ronald Squire & George Dolenz.
Based on the best-selling novel by Daphne du Maurier, the story weaves an eerie tale of Gothic romance, set against the backdrop of the wild, rocky Cornish coast. Richard Burton, in his first American film role, stars as an anguished young Englishman, torn between dark suspicion and an uncontrollable passion for his guardian’s widow, the mysterious Rachel, played by Olivia de Havilland.
With atmospheric direction by Henry Koster and a darkly romantic score by Franz Waxman, My Cousin Rachel is a seductive film, filled with suspense. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and Burton won a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year. Aged 26, it was his first major screen role, having made a name for himself on the London stage but with only a few scattered parts in the British film industry. He was initially not interested in the part, thinking he was too old even though he was only slightly older than his character, Philip. Burton gives the story a wonderful appeal, setting a new standard in film performances. Olivia de Havilland matches Burton scene by scene, her charming manners and poise as a woman of the world provoking his interest. The story becomes even more compelling when Rachel’s ambiguous nature is revealed.