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Gaslight (1944)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 30 October 1944 (Sweden)
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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.

Director:

George Cukor

Writers:

John Van Druten (screenplay), Walter Reisch (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,707 ( 2,205)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Boyer ... Gregory Anton
Ingrid Bergman ... Paula Alquist
Joseph Cotten ... Brian Cameron
May Whitty ... Miss Thwaites (as Dame May Whitty)
Angela Lansbury ... Nancy
Barbara Everest Barbara Everest ... Elizabeth
Emil Rameau Emil Rameau ... Maestro Guardi
Edmund Breon ... General Huddleston
Halliwell Hobbes ... Mr. Muffin
Tom Stevenson Tom Stevenson ... Williams
Heather Thatcher ... Lady Dalroy
Lawrence Grossmith Lawrence Grossmith ... Lord Dalroy
Jakob Gimpel Jakob Gimpel ... Pianist
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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:

Strange drama of a captive sweetheart! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 October 1944 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

La luz que agoniza See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although she eventually became very attached to the part and insisted on acting in this film, Ingrid Bergman was initially reluctant to take on the role of Paula. Bergman considered herself to be a very strong and independent woman, and worried that she would be unable to convincingly play the timid and fragile character. Bergman took great pride in her portrayal of a weak character and considered it one of her greatest challenges as an actress. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Gregory Anton: I don't ask you to understand me. Between us all the time were those jewels, like a fire - a fire in my brain that separated us - those jewels which I wanted all my life. I don't know why... Goodbye, Paula.
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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

Referenced in IMDb's 20th Anniversary Star of the Day: Tim Roth (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Fledermaus: Waltz
(1874) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A good suspense film that could have been great.
19 August 1999 | by Danimal-7See all my reviews

Ingrid Bergman plays Paula, an orphaned Victorian-era Londoner whose opera-singer aunt is murdered at the beginning of the movie. She moves to Italy to follow in her aunt's footsteps as a diva, but falls in love and returns to London with her new husband (Boyer) to live in her aunt's empty house. There, she becomes the victim of a carefully-orchestrated campaign to drive her insane.

GASLIGHT is richly atmospheric, mostly well-acted, and beautifully photographed. There are chills aplenty as seemingly innocent people grow progressively creepier, and the movie is well-paced with each successive scene increasing Paula's terror. The climax is tense and has a certain poetic justice to it.

The chief flaw in the movie is that we are clearly shown from the beginning that Paula is the victim of a third party and is not insane. Thus we cannot share the doubts and terror that she feels. We are not, like her, wondering if we can trust our senses, but merely wondering who is doing this to her. And the latter question isn't very challenging to answer. With a little more subtlety, Cukor could have left us as much in the dark as Paula about why she is experiencing so many strange phenomena, and made this effective little film into a true masterwork of suspense. As it is, GASLIGHT is good, but fails to achieve its potential to match such classics as REBECCA or VERTIGO.

Bergman and Boyer make a very dynamic on-screen duo. The film does suffer from Joseph Cotten, whose apple-pie American accent makes for a very unconvincing Scotland Yard inspector. Angela Lansbury is delightfully saucy in her film debut as a Cockney maidservant. Dame May Whitty provides effective comic relief.

GASLIGHT is well worth a rental at any price, so long as your expectations aren't overly high.

Rating: *** (out of ****).


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