Beautiful and trusting, Paula Anton is slowly tormented by mysterious happenings in her luxurious Victorian home. The suspect is her devoted husband. But viewing the world through the dim glow of the gaslight, it is diff... more »icult to tell what is real and what is imagined.« less
"GASLIGHT is finally on DVD! And not just the 1944 suspense classic. This edition includes the complete British GASLIGHT made just a few years before in 1940. For years MGM actively supressed the older film giving rise to the legend that it was a far superior film. Now finally film buffs can view both and decide for themselves. Both are terrific movies. For me, while the British version is leaner and faster, the Cukor film is by far the greater of the two. The relationship between Walbrook and Wynyard in the 1940 version is a well-played but two dimensional depiction of a tormentor and his victim. Boyer's and Bergman's characters are more complex and subtle in the 1944 film. There is a genuine romantic/sexual energy between them. While Boyer is sinister he also very charming and attractive. And you watch as the once-vibrant Bergman gives up her self confidence and becomes emotionally dependent on Boyer a little bit at a time. And what can you say about the amoral delinquent maid of Angela Lansbury? That alone is worth the price of admission!
A great movie and a very good movie. Buy the DVD and enjoy them both!"
Chilling thriller with Charles Boyer at his best!
Dave | Tennessee United States | 01/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Gaslight" (the 1944 version) is one of the best suspense classics I can think of that's not directed by Hitchcock, and the casting was simply flawless. Ingrid Bergman gives a excellent performance as a naive young woman ("Paula") who's nearly driven insane by her sinister, greedy husband, "Gregory" (played by Charles Boyer). Joseph Cotten plays the detective who comes to Paula's rescue just when she's almost lost her sanity. It is he who helps Paula finally realize that Gregory had only married her so that he could find very valuable jewels supposedly hidden in her house years ago. Charles Boyer is great even playing such an unlikable villian, and Dame May Whitty along with then 18-year-old Angela Lansbury in her film debut (who was nominated for best supporting actress) add great support to the main stars. This is truly an awesome dvd, and it includes the 1940 British version of "Gaslight" as well as a documentary "Reflections on Gaslight", the original trailer, and footage of Ingrid Bergman accepting her best actress oscar at the 1944 Academy Awards ceremony! This classic thriller is highly recommended."
Great Period Drama
Stephen Reginald | Chicago, IL United States | 12/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Director George Cukor's Gaslight is a wonderful mystery suspense in the Alfred Hitchcock tradition. And where Hitchcock had trouble with mastery over period dramas, Cukor excelled. The set decoration and camera work are extraordinary and the performances are all on target. Another reason this film has a Hitchcock feel is due to the fact that two of Hitchcock's most popular players, Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotton, star. Bergman stars as Paula Alquist, a shy young woman, whose only surviving relative was brutally murdered when she was a teenager. Bergman's aunt, Alice Alquist was a famous opera singer and as the movie begins, we find Bergman studying voice in Italy. Accompanying her on the piano is the suave and sophisticated Charles Boyer, the object of Bergman's affections. Distracted by this new love in her life, Bergman gives up her studies and runs off and marries Boyer. All seems wonderful until Boyer convinces Bergman that they should return to her home in London, the very place where her aunt was murdered. Bergman is reluctant, but gives in to please her new husband. Unknown to Bergman, however, is the fact that Boyer murdered her aunt looking for some very expensive, but hidden jewels. His obsession in finding them goes so far as to convince Bergman that she is on the brink of insanity. Cotton enters the scene as a sympathetic Scotland Yard inspector, and a fan of Bergman's late aunt. He is convinced that the mystery surrounding Alice Alquist's murder is somewhere in that house, and he also suspects Boyer. Bergman shines in her first Academy Awarding winning performance. Hers is a delicate, well balanced tour de force that draws the viewer in and makes us sympathize and pull for her to triumph. As the diabolical husband, Boyer is properly menacing and cruel, carefully orchestrating Bergman's descent into madness. With all this talent and star power in one film, Gaslight couldn't help but be a masterpiece. Gaslight is also noteworthy for 17-year-old Angela Landsbury's film debut as the saucy maid Nancy. With all the polish and resources of the MGM film factory at its peak, Gaslight is superb in every way. Wonderful entertainment."
Almost lost forever, this is a cinematic treasure
Doc Holliday | Great Northwest | 12/21/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing Anton Walbrook in "49th Parallel" (1941), "The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp" (1943), "Red Shoes" (1948), I am definitely a Walbrook fan. His acting is skilled and magical. This amazing talent was clearly borne out in the 1940 British version of "Gaslight", which I believe to be vastly superior to the slick, Hollywood remake in 1944 with Boyer and Bergman. Overall, Walbrook's performance is just more psychologically correct as the consummate narcissistic, evil killer, who brings his wife, played by Diana Wynyard, repeatedly up, then down with surprising dramatic intensity, in his relentless plan to drive her mad. In the Hollywood remake, I can never quite believe that Bergman's overdone beauty is even physically suited to the role of a victimized, Victorian female, in fact, she seems like she could knock Boyer out, at any time. Not surprisingly, the British version clearly portrays the Victorian social of dominance of men, and in particular, husbands who could have their spouses involuntarily committed to an asylum, simply by summoning a doctor. The painful reality of female status and vulnerability in Victorian England was also sensationally portrayed in the plots of novels like "Jane Eyre" by Bronte, "The Woman in White" by Wilkie Collins, "Lady Audley's Secret" by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, (all of which I highly recommend). Someday, I hope the 1940 British version of "Gaslight" with Walbrook will be restored or remastered to the best optical and sound quality possible. It simply deserves to be enjoyed, appreciated and treasured, despite MGM's best efforts to have it suppressed, forever. At $4.99 it's a steal!"
Steven Hellerstedt | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are two movies and three strong reasons to love this dvd. The disk contains two versions of GASLIGHT, based on Patrick Hamilton's stage play. The first, from 1940, is director Thorold Dickinson's English version starring Diana Wynyard as the retiring young wife and Anton Walbrook as the husband who is trying to drive her insane. The second is the famous one, directed in Hollywood by George Cukor in 1944, starring Ingrid Bergman (she won an Oscar for this one) and Charles Boyer.
I watched the 1940's version first and, somewhat to my surprise, enjoyed it very much. Walbrook's character in the first movie is the epitome of effete villainy, a hiss-able cad whose cruelty made me squirm. Boyer's husband, on the other hand, is a charming rogue with a cold, calculating, concealed and congealed heart. They both get the job done, but Boyer does so in a more believable manner. In the first movie Diana Wynyard's character is extremely shy and retiring, almost to the point where you wonder how she ever managed to make it to adulthood. Ingrid Bergman is given a character more assertive, even though still under her husband's control.
If you can't tell by now, the third reason I love this dvd is the chance it gives to see the evolution of a screenplay by comparing the two movies. That we're given the opportunity to make the comparison is ironic - reports have it that the studio tried to destroy all copies of the '40 GASLIGHT when they released Cukor's version. They shouldn't have worried. Although the `40 version is good, Cukor's is a classic. Wynyard is good is her showcase role while Bergman is transcendent. "