Pssst, want to check out Gaslight in our new look?
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Boyer does a wonderful job of making you hate him: he's truly one of the slimiest and most unpleasant of film noir villains. Brilliant performances and beautiful art direction and costumes, even if aspects of the plot stretch credulity.
Maybe this and the even better Double Indemnity split the Best Picture vote at the Oscars that year to allow Going my Way to win.
Definitely did a double take when I realized Angela Lansbury was playing the trollop.
Gaslight is about a woman (Ingrid Bergman) whose aunt was murdered when she was a child and who is now being driven insane by her husband (Charles Boyer) for reasons all his own, but that are obviously connected to that aunt. With a young Angela Lansbury as the trollopy, back-talking maid, May Whitty as the nosy but well-meaning neighbor, and Joseph Cotten as a possible white knight, there really isn't a wrong-footed bit of acting in the piece, but Boyer is particularly slimy, a textbook, abusive, manipulator of women (even if it's Bergman who took home the Oscar that year). The title evokes Victorian London and everything Gothic about the place - the fog, Ripperology - and we get that (in some ways, it borrows from Jane Eyre), but the gaslight is also a crucial clue that's part of Bergman's descent into madness, and the eventual resolution. Much better than its UK title, "Murder in Thornton Square", I hope you agree.
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In 8 official lists
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This movie ranks #29 in IMDb's Film-noir Top 50
This movie ranks #78 in AFI's 100 years...100 thrills
This movie ranks #145 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #169 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
This movie ranks #286 in Have You Seen? A Personal Introduction to 1,000 Films
This movie ranks #286 in TSPDT 1000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #323 in The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made
This movie ranks #1040 in Doubling the Canon