Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The lovely, creaky original!, 19 April 2012
This review is from: Gaslight [VHS] [1940] (VHS Tape)
This original 1940 version of Gaslight is occasionally shown on U.K. TV - I watched it this time as part of Film 4's Movies for Life series, though shown about lunchtime, so many would have missed it.

Which is a pity. It's got tons of atmosphere, even more hiss and crackles and the fog clings to everything like a favourite old overcoat. Rather than the sheen and shine of the always gleaming Ingrid Bergman in the 1944 re-make, this looks and feels like the creepy horror film that it is.

But remake they obviously did and I, for one, would not say either is better than the other. They're both very similar but also very different and each has virtues the other hasn't. The obvious star appeal of the later one is the real draw, along with the polish of George Cukor's direction, but that somehow detracts from the ordinariness of the original. There it's the story and the surroundings plus the real atmosphere that are the stars.

It must have seemed like strange fare for its time, though as we don't usually associate early WW2 cinema-goers having a liking for such dark stuff.

I have always enjoyed the story; how under posh middle class Pimlico town-house roofs lie madness, murder and sadistic mental torture, though rather more subtly done than my list might suggest.

Others have written longer reviews with every plot twist, so I'm purposefully keeping mine short. I would say that if you've seen and enjoyed the 1944 one, keep an eye out for this one, whether on TV (get your recording device ready) or any other method, as it's certain you'll love this one too.

My five stars may be a little generous, but Gaslight mk 1 is definitely an un-flaunted and underrated - and overshadowed original little classic.
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4.7 out of 5 stars (14 customer reviews)
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Location: Salisbury, UK

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