Gaslight (1940 film)
theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Thorold Dickinson|
|Produced by||John Corfield|
|Written by||A. R. Rawlinson
|Based on||Gas Light (play, 1938) by Patrick Hamilton|
|Music by||Richard Addinsell
Orchestrated, Roy Douglas
Direction, Muir Mathieson
|Editing by||Sidney Cole|
|Distributed by||Anglo-American Film Corporation|
|Release dates||25 June 1940|
|Running time||84 minutes|
Gaslight is a 1940 British film directed by Thorold Dickinson which stars Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard, and features Frank Pettingell. The film adheres more closely to the original play upon which it is based – Patrick Hamilton's Gas Light (1938), which was presented on Broadway as Angel Street – than the better-known 1944 MGM adaptation. The picture was released in the United States as Angel Street and has also been released in the UK as A Strange Case of Murder.
Alice Barlow (Marie Wright) is murdered by an unknown man, who then ransacks her house, looking for her valuable and famous rubies. The house remains empty for years, until newlyweds Paul and Bella Mallen move in. Bella (Diana Wynyard) soon finds herself misplacing small objects; and, before long, Paul (Anton Walbrook) has her believing she is losing her sanity. B. G. Rough (Frank Pettingell), a former detective involved in the original murder investigation, immediately suspects him of Alice Barlow's murder.
Paul uses the gas lamps to search the closed off upper floors, which causes the rest of the lamps in the house to dim slightly. When Bella comments on the lights' dimming, he tells her she is imagining things. Bella is persuaded she is hearing noises, unaware that Paul enters the upper floors from the house next door. The sinister interpretation of the change in light levels is part of a larger pattern of deception to which Bella is subjected. It is revealed Paul is a bigamist. He is the wanted Louis Bauer, who has returned to the house to search for the rubies he was unable to find after the murder.
MGM reportedly tried to suppress release of the 1940 film in the United States, even to the point of trying to destroy the negative, so that it would not compete with their more highly-publicized 1944 film starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, and Joseph Cotten.
- Angel Street on IBDB.com
- Fristoe, Roger. "Gaslight (1940)" on TCM.com
- Rush, Florence (February 1992). The best-kept secret: sexual abuse of children. Human Services Institute. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-8306-3907-6. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
- Horne, Philip (2008-10-04). "Thorold Dickinson's 1949 film The Queen of Spades has been called 'a masterpiece' by Martin Scorsese - so why is his work not better known? | Film". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-30.
- Vermilye, Jerry. The Great British Films Citadel Press, 1978. pp 52–54. ISBN 0-8065-0661-X
- Gaslight at the Internet Movie Database
- Gaslight is available for free download at the Internet Archive [more]
- Gaslight at the TCM Movie Database
- Gaslight at Rotten Tomatoes