George Sanders did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Jack Favell in Rebecca.
Sanders does not make another appearance until the last act of the film although we do learn that Favell was one of Rebecca lovers, although honestly Sanders makes that clear in his first scene. We do not meet him again until after new evidence regarding Rebecca's death has risen leaving another inquest that potentially threatens Maxim. Favell naturally turns up at the inquest and although there was plenty of indication to this in that first appearance, his next series of appearances Sanders shows that Favell is well, how should one put this eloquently, well he's a bit of an asshole. Though what a hole that Sanders makes him out him out to be. The way Sanders plays it does not just have Favell simply a man who has no regrets about the affair with Rebecca, although he certainly does that, he also makes it seem so vapid of an affair actually as the way Sanders mentions it you can see only the pleasure that Favell gets from the idea of it. That's not bad enough, not by a slight margin though, as Sanders takes it a step further by making it so whenever Favell makes an indication towards Maxim about the affair, basically gloating about it in his face, Sanders seems to exude the most despicable pleasure from this.
Potentially incriminating evidence against Maxim begins arise against Maxim, which Favell quickly jumps the chance. The scene where Favell just walks right into Maxim's car and starts eating his food, Sanders captures just how obnoxiously Favell behavior he is by the way he insists upon himself. Favell decides to attempt to blackmail Maxim over information he has, which Sanders again is terrific because he does not suggest Favell is trying to avenge his former lover or anything close to that. Sanders keeps Favell quite hollow as he states with such glee about how he'd love to be able to drive the fancy cars he sells, and just is so lacking in even the slightest respectability in his proposition towards Maxim. As Favell continues to attempt his plot, even though Maxim is not having it, Sanders continues to be so perfectly hate inducing that when Max finally does punch him that he perhaps is acting on the audience's wishes as well as his own. Sanders is so entertaining in the role by not holding back for a moment in reveling just how wretched of a man Favell happens to be. I especially love his final scene where the truth about Rebecca is revealed. Sanders makes it incredibly satisfying by his reaction in the scene as all the confidence just instantly leaves his face in a moments notice. What I like most is that Sanders still gets the chance to just make Favell all the more detestable just when there might be a slight chance for sympathy. Favell afterwards quickly puts on a sorrowful act of grief, but Sanders cleverly alludes that Favell is probably just fishing for some gain as he looks around for a supportive face then when seeing none he instantly turns back to his usual wretched self. This is a fantastic performance by Sanders that makes a great villain out of a man who simply is without scruples.
It is intriguing how Sanders works in this as he portrays simply a secondary hero for the film since he's certainly not Jones's sidekick, and at the same time ffolliott has the same good intentions as Jones. What Sanders does though is make the film all the better by adding a nice variation in the dynamic seen right for the beginning of his appearance as he so calmly explains the reason for the doubled and lower case f's in his last name while dodging bullets while chasing after the assassin. Sanders is pretty marvelous in realizing a James Bond sort of style for ffolliott, whereas McCrea's Jones is a far more straight forward sort. There's few moments that go by where ffolliott does not have a quip to go with the occasion. Sanders delivers these all quite flawlessly hitting his mark every time. Sanders makes ffolliott's wit as effortless as it should be. He adds so much character to the film through his mere presence, after all perhaps one could get along with simply one hero, but Sanders makes it worthwhile to have two heroes because he's just so much fun in the role.
Sanders is wonderful in finding just the right tone between the quips though and the actual severity of the situation. In the scene where ffolliott reveals to Jones that he's actually been more driven than he perhaps alluded to all along, Sanders is excellent in conveying the quiet passion in ffolliott to do the right thing as well. A funny thing about the film is that the heroic act to find the central figure of the plot is done by ffolliott and note Jones. In fact in the scene Jones really is ffolliott sidekick as ffolliott is the one who takes the needed steps to follow the villain's tracks, and to well save the day. Sanders is great in the scene as he reveals just how much ffolliott does care about the situation, he helps to create the severity of the moment by showing that it is not simply a game for ffolliot making the scene surprisingly powerful. Although this may merely be his second best performance of 1940 its a very good one that proves Sanders not only can be the man you love to hate, but also just the guy you can love without the hate.