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George Cukor helped transform a moody Victorian stage melodrama (previously filmed in Britain in 1939) into a gothic Hollywood romantic thriller. Ingrid Bergman stars as a meek, uncertain heiress courted and married in a whirlwind romance by the debonair Charles Boyer, but when they move back into her childhood home she begins losing her grip on reality and becomes convinced that her husband is trying to drive her insane. Joseph Cotten, rather stiff and colorless next to the anguished Bergman and charming and lively Boyer, is the heroic Scotland Yard detective who becomes enamored of the skittish woman who is slowly succumbing to madness. The grand, glorious sets and elegant photography recall Hitchcock's Rebecca, another lush Hollywood gothic melodrama of a retiring young wife overwhelmed by the history of her abode, and Gaslight is still assumed by some to be a Hitchcock film (the Bergman connection doesn't help the confusion). It's really a rather straightforward thriller with a forced plot device, but under Cukor's control the tightly constructed script is given the full MGM treatment, then reined in for intimate moments of harrowing suspense. Boyer brilliantly played off his continental lover reputation by adding an undercurrent of malevolence and Bergman won an Oscar for her haunted performance. It also marks the memorable debut of Angela Lansbury as a saucy maid unwittingly drawn into Boyer's master plan. --Sean Axmaker
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot is simple yet satisfying: An unstable woman and her husband move back into her childhood home, where a murder had taken place years earlier. She slowly begins losing grip on reality and becomes convinced that her husband is trying to drive her insane. Or is he? It adds up to a diabolical, atmospheric thriller, which won Bergman her first, but not last, Oscar.
By today's standards GASLIGHT may be seen as slow-moving and obvious. But no modern film can match this picture's intricate psychology. Beautifully filmed in a gloomy, atmospheric black-and-white, GASLIGHT exhibits all the classic visual elements of '40s film noir. The attention to detail is more obvious than in many modern films and heightens the suspense. The benighted streets of London are cloaked with fog, and the large, lonely house where most of the action takes place, is filled with shadows and strange noises. The paranoid, claustrophobic world of Paula's confinement is also effectively conveyed. This is the kind of effectively-crafted, well-acted motion picture that rises above its faults to earn its "classic" appellation. It's a must!
She loves him enough to tell him that her aunt left her a house in London. Soon after, they get married and move there. Unfortunately for her, he's not as he once seemed.
We see Paula getting driven mad by her husband. She does not leave the house, she does not have any friends. The best part about this film was that everything was done so gradually and the husband acted in such a way that Paula didn't even realise what was happening.
What is Paula's husband after?
An impressive film.
Director George Cukor presents a remarkably thrilling film, with superb acting from Ingrid Bergman (in an Oscar-winning performance) as Paula Alquist, Chalres Boyer as her mysterious husband Gregory Anton, Joseph Cotten as Inspector Brian Cameron, and Angela Lansbury in her first screen role as the maid Nancy Oliver. The captivating story of a woman struggling to maintain her sanity is marvelously portrayed on-screen. Bergman fills her character with enough frayed nerves and self-doubt that you feel right along with her. Boyer is both menacing and debonair and gives off just the right amount of malice to make you bite your nails as you watch the film.
This is a first-rate thriller that will keep you glued to the screen!
The film opens on one of MGM's spooky and unsettling soundstages, gussied up to look like a typical English square. From one of the brownstones a distraught Paula is taken away, having just discovered her aunt's horribly mangled body inside. In a state of shock, Paula is sent to Florence where she falls in love with a piano player, Gregory Anton. The two married. Returning to London, Paula and Gregory set up housekeeping in her aunt's old house. However, not long afterward Paula begins to become increasingly absentminded - or does she. Priceless antiques are moved, paintings are switched on the walls and a broach belonging to Gregory's mother vanishes without a trace. Gregory, growing increasingly impatient with Paula's emerging psychosis (actually he's upset how long its taking to drive her crazy), leaves her alone each night, presumably to go off and paint portraits (his profession). Actually, he sneaks around the back of their house, reentering from an adjacent attic into theirs to search for the aunt's missing jewels. The tap, tap, tapping on Paula's bedroom ceiling and the sudden lowering of gaslights are attributed to figments of Paula's growing mental instability.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Better film quality than expected for such an old movie. Very satisfied.Published 2 months ago by Mav_712
I ordered this DVD but when I watched it wasn'T Ingrid who was Playing in this movie! Even if her face is on the Cover!! Please Everyone Don't purchase it if it's for Ingrid :O!Published on April 4 2011 by July
I love this Movie!I first decided to watch this when I found out Angela Lansbury was in it,because she is my favorite actress. Read morePublished on May 15 2004
Well, I beg to differ with the Amazon reviews. The thing that makes this extra creepy is that our young, uncertain heiress fully believes she can trust her new husband. Read morePublished on May 2 2004 by Laura Smith
The Amazon listing is incorrect, and the photo of the DVD must use an old theatre poster as the artwork. Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2004
I have waited for this movie to be released for a long time on dvd.
Now after almost 30 years i get to see the Uk version which is on the flip side of GASLIGHT. Read more
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