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Gaslight (1944)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama | Film-Noir  -  May 1944 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 14,410 users  
Reviews: 105 user | 57 critic

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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Title: Gaslight (1944)

Gaslight (1944) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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...
Barbara Everest ...
Emil Rameau ...
Edmund Breon ...
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Tom Stevenson ...
Heather Thatcher ...
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

Taglines:

M-G-M's melodrama See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das Haus der Lady Alquist  »

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

Charles Boyer's contract stipulated top billing. When David O. Selznick heard this (Ingrid Bergman was under contract to him at the time), he refused to loan MGM Bergman's services. It was only after much pleading from Bergman, who was very keen to work with Boyer, that Selznick finally relented. See more »

Goofs

The mark left on the wallpaper by the missing picture is portrait shaped. When Paula Anton finds the picture it is clearly a landscape. See more »

Quotes

Gregory Anton: For the last time, what do you want of me?
Brian Cameron: The jewels - and justice. How does it feel, Bauer, to have planned and killed and tortured for something and then to know it's been for nothing?
Gregory Anton: For nothing?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: Gaslit (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Fledermaus: Waltz
(1874) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Solidly-written ground-breaking psychological mystery; it's Bergman's show
24 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

"Gaslight" (1944) was in its time first a play by Patrick Hamilton and next a psychological thriller of great influence. Since the work was directed by George Cukor, one expects fine performances, and the film delivers several of these; it is in fact unusually well-done in many respects in my judgment. The screenplay by John Van Druten, Walter Reisch and John Balderston has also been widely admired for retaining the theatrical tension of the original work. As produced by Arthur Hornblow Jr., this intelligent but somewhat unsettling drama features understated music by Bronislau Kaper, the fine cinematography of Joseph Ruttenberg, art direction by the great Cedric Gibbons, unusually good set decorations by Edwin B. Willis and costumes design by Irene (Sharaff). But because of the understatement of its scenes, the lack of large scenes of action and image, and the sheer amount of its meaningful dialog, it is an actor's film. The minor players such as Dame May Witty as the heroine's neighbor, Tom Stevenson as Wlliams the policeman, Angela Lansbury as the saucy aid, Barbar Everest as the faithful maid Elizabeth, Emil Rmeau as the maestro, Heather Thatcher as Lady Dalroy, Halliwell Hobbes and Edmund Breon and Lawrence Grossman range in ability from good to exceptional. As the policeman who discerns what is going on that troubles the heroine, played by Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten is dashing, attractive and acceptable as both potential lover and man of action. Charles Boyer has in this film a thankless role, that of a devouring immoralist who has only two possible moods-- brief burst of anger needing to be controlled and an exuded charm that must be slightly overdone at times. These moods he plays very professionally at all points, his timing being not the least of his accomplishments during the film. In the difficult role of a Victorian young woman of intelligence, honesty and vulnerability, Oscar winner Ingrid Bergman earns the award by sustaining a sunny and intelligent personality undergoing a series of slowly-revealed and subtle attacks from her husband, who is trying to convince her she is incapable of independent function. Everything in the film--lighting, use of flights of stairs, objects, blocking, gestures, observers, character and dialog contribute to the overall effect. Even the title, referring to the mysterious changes in the lighting of the house Bergman and Boyer inhabit has meaning here. The film is not a sunny one; but the suspense is in my opinion rather admirably sustained. In tribute to its quality as a drama, I can only say that in the more than six decades since the film was created, no imitation of its male to female menace has come close to achieving anything really approaching its sterling qualities. To have ushered in a sub-genre--the Victorian menaced-female type, and set so high a mark is no small feat. The mystery's solid construction and simplicity of design certainly play a part in the building of its sustained fascination.


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