What is it? Adapted by Alfred Hitchcock from Daphne Du Maurier's book, it's the story of a young wife (Joan Fontaine) who comes to suspect her new husband (Laurence Olivier) of nefarious doings vis-a-vis his first wife.
Why did it win? Rebecca had two big things in its favour: the so-hot-right-now status of Alfred Hitchcock, and the pedigree conferred by Laurence Olivier's involvement, in a town still somewhat in awe of the universally acclaimed stage star. And perhaps even after the start of World War II, Chaplin's film was still a little too on-the-nose.
Did it deserve to win? Hitchcock's first US film was his only Best Picture winner, so we shouldn't begrudge him the award - but this was another stellar year. Other contenders included sparkling comedy The Philadelphia Story and Charlie Chaplin's spot-on war satire, The Great Dictator, not to mention Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath and Bette Davis in All This, And Heaven Too.
Worth a look? Yes: it's of its time, but still creepy and atmospheric.