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Gaslight (1940)

Not Rated | | Thriller | 10 November 1952 (USA)
Twenty years after the murder of Alice Barlow, her house is finally occupied again. However, the husband of the couple who have moved in has a secret which he will do anything to keep hidden.

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(from the stage play by), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Frank Pettingell ...
Cathleen Cordell ...
...
Ullswater
...
...
Marie Wright ...
Alice Barlow
...
House Agent
Mary Hinton ...
Angus Morrison ...
Jack Barty ...
Chairman of Music Hall
The Darmora Ballet ...
Dancers
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Storyline

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 Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Patrick Hamilton's famous play brought to the screen - thrill by thrill as only the British know how! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 November 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Angel Street  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When later remade as Gaslight (1944) with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, the studio (MGM) attempted to have all prints of this earlier version destroyed. Fortunately, it was unsuccessful (in fact it is thought that director Thorold Dickinson surreptitiously struck off a print himself before the negatives were binned). See more »

Goofs

Camera pans across the tossed room with woman's dead body. When the police come up, the position of the woman's hand has changed. See more »

Quotes

B.G. Rough: Do you mind if I take my coat off? I always work better with my coat off. Saucy shirt, isn't it?
See more »

Connections

Version of Luce a gas (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

The Can-Can
(uncredited)
from "Orpheus in the Underworld"
Music by Jacques Offenbach
Arranged by Richard Addinsell
Played at the music hall and danced to by The Darmora Ballet
See more »

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User Reviews

"Creates an air of electric tension that Hollywood could only envy."
25 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

In Victorian London, Louis Bower (Walbrook), murdered his aunt for her precious rubies that are hidden somewhere in her house, only he couldn't find them. Having eluded the police for a number of years and changed his name to Paul Mallen, he takes a wife in the fragile Bella (Wynyard), and the couple move back into the house so that he can continue his search under cover as a respectable Victorian husband. At the same time he tries to drive his wife out of her mind because he is afraid that she might discover his guilty secret...

The first film version of Patrick Hamilton's successful stage play is technically modest compared to the 1944 Hollywood remake (see my review), but this British National production directed by Thorold Dickinson creates an atmosphere of genuine electric tension that Hollywood could only envy. Hardly surprising really that they tried to destroy the negative of this picture. Fortunately prints have survived and it often turns up on TCM every few months. Good performances too, especially from Walbrook who portrays the villain as a vile Victorian bully whereas Charles Boyer played it smooth. Wynyard does well as the tortured wife while Cathleen Cordell is fine as the tarty parlour maid whom Walbrook uses to add insult to his wife's injury.

The film was available in the UK on VHS but it has since been deleted, although the Hollywood version is out on DVD. Let's hope this version finds it's way on to DVD too.


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