|Starring:||Angela Lansbury, Joseph Cotten, Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, May Whitty|
|Studio:||WARNER HOME VIDEO|
|Run time:||1 hour 50 minutes|
|Rental release:||16 Feb 2004|
Most helpful review
TremendousBy Tim Turner from Manchester , 11 Dec 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]As another reviewer says, you don't watch this for the plot (if you don't spot Boyer as the villain in the first fifteen minutes, you're hopeless). You watch it for the atmosphere, with serpentine camerawork and a shivery score complementing the foggy visuals and brilliant performances.
Bergman is staggeringly good as a fragile, haunted woman very convincingly losing her marbles at the hands of her diabolical husband Charles Boyer, whose silky charms quickly subside into manipulation and vicious bullying. Special mention must go to the supporting cast though, with Dame May Whitty playing one of cinema's most irritating characters (a nosy neighbour), and Angela Lansbury proving once again that she was far better playing sluts or schemers (see 'The Manchurian Candidate' for further evidence) than genial mystery solvers. Indeed, for all Bergman's dominance of the action, Lansbury threatens to steal the show every time she slopes onto the screen. She's marvellous.
All in all, the stage origins never really present a problem, and if you never really doubt Boyer's true intentions, the film turns the screw in a quite exquisite way. A late twist, when it looks like Bergman might once again be cheated of her sanity is so devastating you may find yourself shouting at the screen. Very highly recommended.
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Atmospheric and engaging film.By FairLucyRose (7 reviews) , 26 May 2013As usual, Ingrid Bergman is at her best and together with a good plot and brilliant acting you are guaranteed a good film with this one.
Irritatingly melodramatic and overactedBy NickWright (13 reviews) from London , 02 Jan 2012
[Highly rated reviewer]There can't be many on-screen accents I've been more irritated by than Boyer's grating, pouty Italian gentleman in Gaslight. That and the awful amounts of overacting (mostly from Boyer but Bergman is also guilty) made this a difficult film to finish.
Some of my favourite films are black and white and Ingrid Bergman is a legend, so I'm not prejudiced on that score. Nevertheless, for a film that is meant to be one of the best of its genre I was sorely disappointed by how much of its theatrical heritage it failed to shed. On stage certain emotions need to be played up to be noticed but on film, where close-ups are available and subtlety is required for even a vague sense of realism, this level of hamming it up is unforgiveable. Director and actors should have known better.
I would also have thought that feminists would be outraged by this film which suggests the central woman's mental health is so fragile that a pantomime villain is able to overturn it with one of the most transparent ruses I've ever seen - quite apart from how easily she falls for a man more than twice here age. Even compared with a true melodrama like Brief Encounter, this film lacks depth, nuance and credibility.
Clearly, I'm in a minority with this view and many still believe this is a masterpiece. Unfortunately, I don't think this is at all the best example of the genre or a good way in for someone new to black and white films of this era.
There are some redeeming features: Bergman is still a pleasure to watch as always. The plot has enough intrigue and hangs together well enough. I found Joseph Cotten's detective character the best in the film - once he enters the scene properly, everyone seems to up their game and the ending of the film is all the stronger for it. Lansbury is also a great cheeky maid character with the right amount of jealous flirtation and naive cruelty.
GaslightBy Miriam from Ealing, London , 10 Sep 2011I rented this film because the wonderful actress Ingrid Bergman was in it.
I was not disappointed. A very good psychological suspense thriller.
If you, like me, arent in to B+W movies, this is a MUST SEE!!!By McBeanus (5 reviews) , 16 Aug 2011I'm not one to watch old, b+w movies, but 5 mins into this one and I was HOOKED!!! I can now see what people say about 'they dont make 'em like they used to'! I wont be in to watching another black and white, but this is an absolute MUST for anyone who likes movies!!! The plot is superb, the acting ditto.
tense yet fluentBy a customer , 08 Aug 2011Even my wife who dislikes black and white movies, and indeed vintage movies, was utterly captivated by this tense yet fluent psychological work. Yes, the villain is exposed before long but this simply shifts the interest and attention away from 'who?' to 'how?' and 'and then?'. Bergman is superb, though Boyer and Cotten (always a reassuring presence) are not far behind. This may be the ultimate winter home movie.
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