Patrick Hamilton’s London stage melodrama, is given an exciting screen treatment by Arthur Hornblow Jr’s excellent production starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman and Joseph Cotten.
It is a faithful adaptation, conspicuously notable for fine performances of the stars and the screenplay by John van Druten, Walter Reisch and John L. Balderston. There are times when the screen treatment verges on a type of drama that must be linked to the period upon which the title is based, but this factor only serves to hypo the film’s dramatic suspense where normally it might be construed as corny theatrics.
Gaslight is the story of a murderer who escaped detection for many years. He kills a famous opera singer for her jewels but is never able to uncover the baubles. Years later he marries the singer’s niece so that he can continue his search for the gems in the late singer’s home, which has been inherited by her niece and in which the newlyweds make their home.
Director George Cukor keeps the film at an even pace and is responsible for the film lacking the ten-twent-thirt element that was a factor in the stage play.
1944: Best Actress (Ingrid Bergman), B&W Art Decoration.
Nominations: Best Picture, Actor (Charles Boyer), Supp. Actress (Angela Lansbury), Screenplay, B&W Cinematography