Classic drama starring Ingrid Bergman as a woman who believes she is going mad when she moves back into the home where her aunt was murdered. Paula (Bergman) is initially disturbed when the gaslight in the house starts flickering unexpectedly and she becomes convinced she can hear footsteps in the attic, which has been shut up for years. Then there is the case of the unknown man (Joseph Cotten) she begins seeing everywhere and numerous other strange events that seem to relate back to her aunt and the house. Will Paula be able to get to the bottom of her aunt's murder and the strange goings-on before the mystery drives her insane?
In 1944, Ingrid Bergman took home a Best Actress Oscar for her work as the neurotic, persecuted wife in Gaslight
, a thundering melodrama based on the play by Patrick Hamilton. At the heart of the piece is a splendidly cruel scenario as a husband (Charles Boyer) subtly drives his wife out of her mind in a house suffocating with Victorian clutter. But MGM production gloss and George Cukor's broad strokes direction make this a less affecting, suspenseful effort than the 1939 British film version with Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard. Bergman has a succession of big, impressive mad scenes that show off her acting muscles--and is given the full Hollywood glamour lighting and costuming to highlight her personal beauty--while Boyer comes alive as he salivates over the missing jewels. The best work comes from a teenage Angela Lansbury (in her screen debut) as an impudent, sexy-sinister maidservant, undermining her mistress at every turn and pouting to perfection.
On the DVD: Gaslight on disc includes a trailer, a newsreel snippet of Bergman getting her Oscar and a nice featurette with Pia Lindstrom (Bergman's daughter) and Lansbury talking about the film. --Kim Newman
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.