An inexperienced young woman (Joan Fontaine) meets aristocratic widower Maxim de Winter (Laurence Olivier) at the French Riviera and soon becomes the second Mrs. de Winter.
Maxim takes his new bride back to Manderley, his grand mansion by the sea in south-western England, dominated by its housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson), a chilly individual who had been a close confidante of the first Mrs. De Winter—Rebecca—with whom she is clearly still obsessed. She has even preserved Rebecca's grand bedroom suite unchanged and continues to display various items that carry her monogram.
Eventually, her constant reminders of Rebecca's glamour and sophistication convince the new Mrs. de Winter that Maxim is still in love with his first wife, which could explain his irrational outbursts of anger. She tries to please her husband by holding a costume party like he and Rebecca used to. Danvers advises her to copy the dress that one of Maxim's ancestors is seen wearing in a portrait. Nevertheless, when she appears in the costume, Maxim is appalled since Rebecca had worn an identical dress at her last ball, just before her death.
Mrs. de Winter confronts Danvers about this but Danvers tells her she can never take Rebecca's place and almost persuades her to jump to her death. At that moment, however the alarm is raised because a sunken boat has been found with Rebecca's body in it.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring Laurence Olivier,Joan Fontaine