~February 15, 2015~
The psychological term gaslighting, which describes a form of psychological abuse in which the victim is gradually manipulated into doubting his or her own reality, originated from the play and its two film adaptations
Encouraged by the success of the play and film, MGM bought the remake rights, but with a clause insisting that all existing prints of Dickinson's version be destroyed, 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.
Time Out wrote, "Nothing like as lavish as the later MGM version ... But in its own small-scale way a superior film by far. Lurking menace hangs in the air like a fog, the atmosphere is electric, and Wynyard suffers exquisitely as she struggles to keep dementia at bay. It's hardly surprising that MGM tried to destroy the negative of this version when they made their own five years later."
the film adheres more closely to the original play upon which it is based - Patrick Hamilton's Gas Light (1938) - than the better-known 1944 MGM adaptation. The play had been shown on Broadway as Angel Street, so when the film was released in the United States it was given the same name. According to the TCM database, it has also been released in the UK as A Strange Case of Murder.
i think that both Anton Walbrook as Paul Mallen, Diana Wynyard as Bella Mallen, were absolutley fantastic throughout this movie in the lead roles of the married couple throughout this movie....man this is such a fantastic thrilling movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.....man this is such a thrilling movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie....man this is such a fantastic movie 2 watch....it is so so so fantastic movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie.....
Unfortunately, this Gaslight does suffer in comparison to the later polished Hollywood production. The plot lacks the more interesting plot complications of the remake, and while some might call it streamlined, to be honest, the film's first hour drags considerably. Anton Walbrook portrays a certain strain of misogyny well, but the unambiguity of his performance hurts the movie overall. Diana Wynard is decent if brittle, and simply doesn't measure up to Bergman in one of her most iconic roles.
The premise of "Gaslight" is quite compelling-- there's a reason it's entered the modern parlance to describe a particular phenomenom of psychological torture-- but in this adaptation the horror of being made to go mad hasn't quite ... bloomed yet.