Patrick Hamilton’s stageplay Gaslight had considerable London success as a legit vehicle. Excellent direction by Thorold Dickinson retains all the psychological drama of the original in presenting the tale of a woman being driven steadily mad.
In transferring story to the screen, scripters have embellished the action with an explanatory opening for the motive behind the events, and stretched it with one or two incidents which neither add nor detract.
Anton Walbrook’s study of the half insane Paul Mallen, driven to further crime in a search of a handful of ruby stones, is an obnoxious type of characterization. He successfully avoids overplaying. Diana Wynyard brings a sympathy and understanding to her portrayal of the woman who, once married to Mallen, unwittingly stumbles on the secret of his early days, and is influenced by him that she is developing insanity.