Twenty years ago, old Mrs. Barlow was killed in her home at 12, Pimlico Square for her priceless rubies. The murderer searched the whole house without finding them, then disappeared. The house has been empty since then, but now Paul and Bella Mallen move into the apartment. Bella Mallen suffers from forgetfulness and nervousness - at least that is what her husband tells her. An elderly horse wrangler, B.G. Rough worked as a policeman twenty years ago and still remembers the unsolved case. He notices that Mr. Mallen looks just like Louis Barre, Mrs. Barlow's nephew. And why does Mr. Mallen mysteriously leave every night just to go into the apartment next door, no. 14? Written by
Claustrophobic and Machiavellian Psychological Thriller
In London, at Pimlico Square 12, the ancient lady Alice Barlow (Marie Wright) is brutally killed and her famous rubies miss. Because of the murder, the house stays empty for twenty years, when Paul Mallen (Anton Walbrook) and his sick wife Bella (Diana Wynyard) move to the place. Bella apparently had a nervous breakdown, having problems with her memory and becoming kleptomaniac. When the retired policeman B.G. Rough (Frank Pettingell) sees Paul Mallen on the street, he immediately recognizes him as being Louis Bauer, the nephew and killer of Alice Barlow. He decides to find evidences to prove that Paul and Louis are the same man, while Bella is being driven mad and menaced of being interned in an asylum by her husband.
"Gaslight" is a very claustrophobic and Machiavellian psychological thriller, in a bourgeois pre-industrial revolution London with an abusive exploitation of the proletariat. Anton Walbrook performs one of the most despicable villains I have ever seen and Diana Wynyard plays a very convincing fragile and confused Bella. The theatrical acting is excellent, and the smart B.G. Rough is a sort of "Sherlock Holmes" in the plot. The "can-can" dance is amazing, with the dancers showing a stunning elongation and agility. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "À Meia-Luz" ("Dimly")
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