"Gaslight" Is Released
Gaslight is a 1944 mystery-thriller film adapted from Patrick Hamilton's play Angel Street.
It was the second version to be filmed; the first, released in Great Britain, had been made a mere four years earlier. This 1944 version of the story was directed by George Cukor and starred Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotten, and nineteen-year-old Angela Lansbury in her screen debut. This remake had a larger scale and budget and lends a different feel to the material.
Ingrid Bergman won her first of three Oscars for this suspense thriller, crafted with surprising tautness by normally genteel "women's picture" director George Cukor. Bergman stars as Paula Alquist, a late 19th century English singer studying music in Italy. However, Paula abandons her studies because she's fallen in love with dapper, handsome Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer). The couple marries and returns to the U.K. and a home inherited by Paula from her aunt, herself a famous singer, who was mysteriously murdered in the house ten years before. Once they have moved in, Gregory, who is in reality a jewel thief and the murderer of Paula's aunt, launches a campaign of terror designed to drive his new bride insane. Though Paula is certain that she sees the house's gaslights dim every evening and that there are strange noises coming from the attic, Gregory convinces Paula that she's imagining things. Gregory's efforts to make Paula unstable are aided by an impertinent maid, Nancy (teenager Angela Lansbury in her feature film debut). Meanwhile, a Scotland Yard inspector, Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten), becomes suspicious of Gregory and sympathetic to Paula's plight. ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide