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Gaslight (1944)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | May 1944 (USA)
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane.

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Barbara Everest ...
Emil Rameau ...
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Halliwell Hobbes ...
Tom Stevenson ...
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Lawrence Grossmith ...
Jakob Gimpel ...
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Storyline

Paula's aunt, Alice Alquist, a famous entertainer, is murdered in her home. Paula, who lives with her aunt, finds the body. Police fail to find the killer, and Paula is sent away to school. Ten years later, Paula returns to London with her new husband. They take up residence in her aunt's house, which she has inherited. Paula is increasingly isolated by her husband but does come to the attention of an admirer of her aunt, Mr. Brian Cameron. Written by Sandra Douglass <skayd@lib.ksu.edu

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Strange drama of a captive sweetheart! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

May 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Haus der Lady Alquist  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM sued Jack Benny for infringement because he parodied this film in a segment called "Autolight" on his show, The Jack Benny Program (1950). The actor's legal team convinced MGM that the skit was in the realm of parody and therefore not a copyright violation. The studio begrudgingly dropped the suit. See more »

Goofs

When embracing at the lake, hands and heads change position. See more »

Quotes

Paula Alquist Anton: If I were not mad, I could have helped you. Whatever you had done, I could have pitied and protected you. But because I am mad, I hate you. Because I am mad, I have betrayed you. And because I'm mad, I'm rejoicing in my heart, without a shred of pity, without a shred of regret, watching you go with glory in my heart!
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Crazy Credits

The opening and closing credits are displayed over a background of a burning gaslight. If you look at the shadow on the wallpaper, you see a man strangling a woman. See more »

Connections

Featured in Reflections on 'Gaslight' (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
(1835-36) (uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Foggy nights in London's Thornton Square
22 May 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Patrick Hamilton's "Angel Street", an American stage classic, was turned into "Gaslight" in 1944. This atmospheric account about a woman being driven out of her mind, was directed by George Cukor. The film has always been a favorite of classic movie fans all over the world because it holds the viewer interested in watching the psychological drama with echoes of Gothic overtones, unfold on the screen.

This was not the first adaptation of Mr. Hamilton's play, although in our humble opinion, it is much better than the previous account, in part helped by the great cast that Mr. Cukor assembled to portray these characters. Thanks to the magnificent black and white cinematography by Joseph Ruttengerg and the musical score by Bronislau Kaper, the film ultimately rewards the viewer.

We are taken to No. 9 Thornton Square, at the start of the film. A murder of a famous opera singer has been committed. We watch as a young woman is taken away. Paula, is being sent away to Italy to recuperate from the tragedy she has just witnessed. The idea was for her to follow her aunt, the murdered diva's footsteps, but just listening to the young woman sing, one realizes opera is not going to gain a new star.

The young pianist, Greorgy Anton, who is seen at Maestro Gardi's home, seems to be in love with Paula; she, in turn, has fallen in love with this much older figure. They prepare to return to London and live in the house at Thornton Square. Paula, alas, is not too happy because of her traumatic experience there. Little by little we watch as Gregory, now in charge of the household, begins to terrorize his wife. The key seems to be hidden in the attic where all the things that belonged to the late diva has been stored.

A young man living near the Antons, Brian Cameron, takes an interest in what he sees is definitively wrong with the woman at No. 9, and takes things into his own hands. It's through this man's intervention that Paula is able to see all that has been inflicted upon her. Whatever Gregory has done, succeeded in giving Paula a deep sense of insecurity and fear.

Ingrid Bergman, who makes a magnificent Paula, was born to play this troubled woman. She is seen as a young girl at the beginning of the film, then as a blossoming beautiful woman and at the end she is transformed into a person afraid of her own shadow. One look into Ms. Bergman's eyes and we know what's going on in her mind. She conveys all the emotions convincingly. There's not a thing wrong with her performance.

Charles Boyer also makes a great Gregory Anton, a man who is duplicitous and sly, with a hidden agenda to get whatever he can out of poor Paula. Gregory is an evil man who will go to great lengths to get what he wants. Gregory Anton offered the actor one of his best characters. His chemistry with Ms. Bergman is wonderful.

The other supporting characters are well performed, especially by a young and interesting Angela Lansbury, who plays the parlor maid, Nancy. Joseph Cotten, on the other hand, seems to be out of character as Brian Cameron. His American accent ruins his appearance and we don't believe in him. Dame May Witty is about the sunniest one in this film.

"Gaslight" is an excellent way to spend the time in the company of Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, thanks to the detailed production directed by George Cukor.


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