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Gaslight (1944)

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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
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Miss Thwaites (as Dame May Whitty)
...
Barbara Everest ...
Emil Rameau ...
...
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Tom Stevenson ...
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Lawrence Grossmith ...
Jakob Gimpel ...

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Storyline

After the death of her famous opera-singing aunt, Paula is sent to study in Italy to become a great opera singer as well. While there, she falls in love with the charming Gregory Anton. The two return to London, and Paula begins to notice strange goings-on: missing pictures, strange footsteps in the night and gaslights that dim without being touched. As she fights to retain her sanity, her new husband's intentions come into question. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M's melodrama See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1944 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La luz que agoniza  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

Angela Lansbury was required to wear platform shoes in order to appear taller, more domineering, and more sinister in comparison to Ingrid Bergman. Lansbury's added height drew even greater attention to Charles Boyer's diminutive stature, and added to the number of scenes in which Boyer was forced to stand on a box to increase his relative height. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning, a man is lighting outdoor gaslights on tall poles, using a long pole with a flame on the end. He is shown lighting one light, then a close-up of the next one shows the end of the pole entering the gaslight glass enclosure, but it has no flame for starting the light. That shot ends before the starter pole lights the light. See more »

Quotes

Nancy Oliver: Gonna work on your tunes again tonight, sir? You're always working, aren't you?
Gregory Anton: Yes. What are you doing with your evening out?
Nancy Oliver: Oh, I'm going to a music hall...
[starts to sing 'Up in a balloon']
Gregory Anton: I've never been to an English music hall.
Nancy Oliver: Oh, you don't know what you've missed, sir...
Gregory Anton: And whom are you going to the music hall with?
Nancy Oliver: A gentleman friend, sir.
Gregory Anton: Oh, now you know, Nancy, don't you, that gentlemen friends are sometimes inclined to take liberties with young ladies.
Nancy Oliver: Oh no, sir, not with me. I...
[...]
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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 Biography: Angela Lansbury: A Balancing Act (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 (Pathetique)
(1798) (uncredited)
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
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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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