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.
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
Columbia Pictures initially bought the property as a vehicle for its contract player Irene Dunne, as the prospect of reteaming her with Charles Boyer was tempting. However, the studio sold the rights to MGM, which wanted to star Hedy Lamarr. Eventually Ingrid Bergman played the Paula role. See more »
The guide in the Tower of London is incorrectly shown as wearing the uniform of the Chelsea pensioners instead of the Yeoman guard. See more »
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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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 »
The first scene establishes the dreary tone of the film. It is nighttime in London and a murder goes unsolved. The magnificent Ingrid Bergman portrays Paula, the niece of the deceased woman. After living ten years trying to forget the past, Paula returns to her house in London at the suggestion of her new husband, Gregory (Charles Boyer). "I've found peace in loving you," Paula says and decides with the help of her husband, she is ready to face the past. Fear is an essential element in the story. It seems the police cannot find a motive for the murder but when a new young assistant comes to Scotland Yard, he sees something that others did not notice or would not pursue. The murderer remains at large and his next potential victim has returned to the very house where the first murder was committed.
The cast's flawless talent makes the film absolutely unforgettable. Charles Boyer is exceedingly ominous as Paula's obsessive husband. As the high-strung wife, Ingrid Bergman gives an outstanding performance. She is startling and brilliant. Brian Cameron, played by Joseph Cotton, makes his appearance later in the film but is wonderful nonetheless. Watch for the emphasis on foreshadowing and the beautiful lighting achieved in Gaslight, as well as the particular attention to the many details that make it spectacular. George Cukor's fantastic direction of this intriguing and suspicious tale will keep you on the edge of your seat.
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