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 Alquist (Ingrid Bergman) 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 (Charles Boyer). 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
Ingrid Bergman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in this movie when The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) was being shot. In addition to Bergman, that movie featured Academy Award-winning actor Bing Crosby and Academy Award-winning director Leo McCarey. During her acceptance speech, Bergman said, "I am particularly glad to get the Oscar this time because I'm working on a picture at the moment with Mr. Crosby and Mr. McCarey, and I'm afraid if I went on the set tomorrow without an award, neither of them would speak to me." 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 »
They don't make them like they used to is a lazy thing to say, but they really don't. There's a wonderful tangible and hypnotic innocence to early cinema that we've lost... or progressed from depending how you look at it, but it's great to be able to relive films like this. Paula (Ingrid Bergman) hasn't had a happy start in life, her aunt murdered in her foggy london home. Escaping to Italy she meets and falls for Gregory (Charles Boyer). It's an affluent life, palatial hotels on Lake Como. Were lives of the poor depicted often in 40s cinema? I don't think so, I guess it was a medium purely of escape. Anyway, Gregory fancies settling in London and Paula still owns her aunts house at 9 Thornton Square an address that haunts her, but she puts that aside for Gregory's wishes. I must admit I'm captivated by old London. Cobble streets, horse drawn carriages and of course gaslights. The house is stunning and thanks to the eerie score, quite spooky. Unchanged since that fateful night of the unsolved murder... and full of clues. I don't trust dear Gregory and I'm not sure about Nancy (Angela Lansbury) the new maid either. The sneaky sod is playing mind games, undermining poor Paula, trying to convince her she's losing it. He's a gold digger. Not like Brian (Joseph Cotten) and Miss Thwaites (May Whitty), both who bring much needed warmth. Brian works at Scotland Yard and smells a rat... and a jewel thief, every murder needs a motive. The elderly Miss Thwaites, well she loves a good story and is fascinated by the things that happened at number 9. And might well she be, there's a lot going on in it's walls. Largely down to poor Paula rarely leaving them, slowly being pushed into the role of reclusive madness, by an increasingly manipulative Gregory. It's partly frustrating knowing that Paula is being bullied and unsettling to modern eyes. Yet it's captivating as we expect repercussion, relief, truth and justice. The gaslit house with its shadows and aunties old memorabilia locked up in its top floor, brings an odd supernatural sense to proceedings, but we know what's really going on and Brian is onto something too. Bergman is fantastic in her increasing frailty. Boyer in his domineering menace. Lansbury in with her east end flirting and Cotten as the hero detective. It's a lovely slow burner with fantastic finale.
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