3 items from 2014
1. The term "gaslight." The Ingrid Bergman thriller "Gaslight" -- released 70 years ago this week, on May 4, 1944, wasn't the original use of the title. There was Patrick Hamilton's 1938 play "Gas Light," retitled "Angel Street" when it came to Broadway a couple years later. And there was a British film version in 1939, starring Anton Walbrook (later the cruel impresario in "The Red Shoes") and Diana Wynyard.
Still, the glossy 1944 MGM version remains the best-known telling of the tale, with the title an apparent reference to the flickering Victorian lamps that are part of Gregory's (Charles Boyer) scheme to make wife Paula (Bergman) think she's seeing things that aren't there, thus deliberately undermining her sanity in order to have her institutionalized so that he'll be free to ransack the ancestral home to find the missing family jewels.
This version of Hamilton's tale was so popular that it made the word "gaslight"into a verb, »
- Gary Susman
We seek out some of the best films available to watch for free online. This week: Hitchcock's 1938 tale of mystery, espionage and a disappearing governess
My favourite Hitchcock: The Lady Vanishes
Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) is a young British tourist travelling through central Europe. On boarding a train that will take her home to get married, she's befriended by Miss Froy (May Whitty), an amiable governess, who promptly disappears in extremely mysterious circumstances. Her fellow passengers insist that Miss Froy never existed and that Iris is suffering delusions but she teams up with fellow-Brit Gilbert (Michael Redgrave), a charming-yet-vexacious musicologist, and the pair of them set about getting to the bottom of what's going on. »
- Adam Boult
Happy birthday to the glamorous Kim Novak, who is 81 today. It’s impossible to think of Novak without remembering her shock blonde super-coif in Vertigo (not to mention the way she werrrrrked Edith Head‘s form-sucking pencil skirts), and thus, it’s impossible to think of Novak without remembering the great female roles in Hitchcock movies. Here are my picks for the 10 best.
This is sort of a gonzo first pick, but give it up: The Lady Vanishes rules and Dame May Whitty, with all her grandmotherly charms, is just a subversive ol’ hoot as the bad-ass spy who sets up the intrigue of the story. This is the kind of role Margaret Rutherford would win an Oscar for. You underestimate the depth of how much she kicks ass.
Is it wild? Oh, yes. Is it sometimes a little embarrassing? »
- Louis Virtel
3 items from 2014
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