Gaslight (restored) 1944

Gaslight is a thriller soaked in paranoia, it is a period films [sic] noir that, like Hitchcock‘s The Lodger and Hangover Square, is set in the Edwardian age. It’s interesting to speculate about the prominence of a film cycle in the 1940s that can be described as ‘Don’t Trust Your Husband’. It began with three Hitchcock films: Rebecca (1940), Suspicion (1941), and Shadow of a Doubt (1943), and continued with Gaslight and Jane Eyre (both in 1944), Dragonwyck (1945), Notorious and The Spiral Staircase (both 1946), The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947), and Sorry, Wrong Number and Sleep, My Love (both 1948). All of these films use the noir visual vocabulary and share the same premise and narrative structure: The life of a rich, sheltered woman is threatened by an older, deranged man, often her husband. In all of them, the house, usually a symbol of sheltered security in Hollywood movies, becomes a trap of terror.

Dame Angela Brigid Lansbury ( Nancy Oliver, Gaslight 1944) a British-American-Irish actress and singer. In a career spanning eighty years, she played various roles across film, stage, and television. Although based for much of her life in the United States, her work attracted international attention. This is her first film appearance.


Brake it down for me

In this edition of Film, Literature and the New World Order by James Corbett, We welcome Thomas Sheridan, author of The Anvil of the Psyche, to discuss Gaslight, the 1940 British psychological thriller that introduced us to the concept of ‘gaslighting.’ In the discussion we point out how common gaslighting is, ask “Are you being gaslighted?”, talk about techniques for defending oneself from gaslighting, and talk about how this technique is used on a societal level by the psychopaths at the top of the pyramid.

Full 1940 version GasLight

Gaslight is a 1940 British film directed by Thorold Dickinson which stars Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard, and features Frank Pettingell. 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. PLOT Alice Barlow (Marie Wright) is murdered by an unknown man, who then ransacks her house, looking for her valuable and famous rubies. The house remains empty for years, until newlyweds Paul and Bella Mallen move in. Bella (Diana Wynyard) soon finds herself misplacing small objects; and, before long, Paul (Anton Walbrook) has her believing she is losing her sanity. B. G. Rough (Frank Pettingell), a former detective involved in the original murder investigation, immediately suspects him of Alice Barlow’s murder. CAST Anton Walbrook as Paul Mallen Diana Wynyard as Bella Mallen Frank Pettingell as B.G. Rough Cathleen Cordell as Nancy the parlour maid Robert Newton as Vincent Ullswater Minnie Rayner as Elizabeth, the cook Jimmy Hanley as Cobb Marie Wright as Alice Barlow Aubrey Dexter as House agent Mary Hinton as Lady Winterbourne Angus Morrison as Pianist Katie Johnson as Alice Barlow’s maid


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