Wednesday, December 14, 2011


There's one shot in George Cukor's Gaslight that I feel I must point out. Confronted by her husband Gregory (Charles Boyer), the lighting on Paula's (Ingrid Bergman) face shows her weariness from her constant persecutions of her husband. It emphasizes the dark circles under her eyes, a nice touch from cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg.

Paula was tormented long before this scene. She lives in the house where her aunt was murdered. The event haunts her for much of Gaslight. But there's more that torments Paula's mind.

It's clear Gregory is hiding something from Paula, but what? When he's hiring Nancy (Angela Lansbury) as a maid, he's quite friendly to her as well as in later scenes. Could he be attracted to her? After all, Nancy is shown to be a lively girl. (The fact Paula doesn't like could be another reason.)

Enter Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten), a police officer who becomes transfixed by Paula's beauty. (Not to the point of obsession, mind you.) He also becomes transfixed by her marriage to Gregory. They appear to be a loving couple, but it's a whole different story behind closed doors.

Gaslight is a great movie. The work from Bergman, Boyer, Cotten and Lansbury is great, especially Bergman. She slowly falls into the depths of insanity, a daring task both then and now. It's something that has to be seen to be believed.

My Rating: *****

1 comment:

  1. Gaslight is such a wonderful film. The scene you mentioned is what won Ingrid Bergman the Oscar that year.


Comments are appreciated. More so if they are appropriate.