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.
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 <email@example.com
The scene in which Angela Lansbury lights a cigarette in contradiction of Ingrid Bergman's wishes had to be postponed until toward the end of production. Lansbury was only seventeen when filming began and because she was a minor she had to be monitored by a social worker. The social worker refused to allow Lansbury to smoke while she was a minor, so the scene had to be postponed until her eighteenth birthday. When Lansbury walked on set on her birthday, Bergman and the crew had organized a party for her, and the cigarette scene was shot immediately after they celebrated her birthday. See more »
After the shot is fired, the maid runs to the door and calls across the street to the policeman. Nancy (Lansbury), who is standing with the policeman, obviously yells out, but there is no sound of her voice heard. See more »
Paula Alquist Anton:
[holding the brooch]
I've found it at last, you see, but it doesn't help you, does it, and I'm trying to help you, aren't I, trying to help you to escape. How can a mad woman help her husband to escape?
See more »
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 »
Ingrid Bergman experiences the murder of the aunt who has raised her. Ten years later, she returns to the house in which it happened with her new husband (Charles Boyer). Something is wrong, though, as her husband, once so kind to her, grows cold and cruel. Furthermore, Bergman begins to lose things, misplace things, and develop a case of kleptomania, or at least that's her husband's explanation. Boyer convinces his wife that she is going insane, that she is sick, and she becomes little more than a shut-in. She becomes paranoid, especially at her maids (the younger of which is played by Angela Lansbury in her first film role). Meanwhile, Joseph Cotten, a detective, gets an inkling that something is up in that household, and that it might be related to the aunt's murder. Gaslight is a very atmospheric film. The black and white cinematography is full of shadows, and there are interesting things going on in the focus. The music is also quite excellent, and very original. Classical music is also used to great effect. The plot is great, although maybe a tiny bit predictable (it didn't harm my enjoyment of the film whatsoever). The performances are top-notch, although Cotten doesn't add much to the picture. I mean, he's good, but his role perhaps isn't the one the original playwright or the screenwriters were most interested in. Anyone probably could have done just as well. Bergman's performances is to be counted amongst her best. Charles Boyer, an actor with whom I am unfamiliar, is so wicked in the film. You hate him, but you've got to admit it's an effective performance! And I can't finish without praising Angela Lansbury. Dame May Whitty also has a nice supporting role, although the role - the comic relief - is sometimes used at a bad time. I don't think, for instance, she should have come back in during the final sequence. Anyway, little flaws don't detract much from this masterpiece. Bravo, Mr. Cukor! 10/10.
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