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Gaslight (1940)


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I've had this on my viewing list for a while now.  I'm sure most of you know the plot.   Paul Mallen ( Anton Walbrook) is married to Bella ( Diana Wynyard). They move into this huge mansion formerly occupied by Alice Barlow who is murdered. SPOILER ALERTS:  Detective Rough ( Frank Pettingell) who has been investigating that murder, suspects that Mr. Mallen is the unfound  murderer who has found a way to move back into the house.   The plot reveals that Mr. Mallen IS the original murderer.  In order to keep his wife from finding out about his plot to continue to search for some rubys he was seeking during the original murder, he tries to convince her that the noises he is making in the closed off upper portion of the mansion is her imagination. The plot builds tension and keeps you engaged until the climax of the film.  I saw a bad copy on Youtube and I can tell this is a beautiful film to watch with restoration.

On a side note, I read that MGM, which bought the rights to this British film from British National Films, ordered that all prints of it be destroyed because they ordered a 1944 remake.  This failed as the negative and other copies survived.  This is a excellent film which gave way to the term " Gaslighting ",  a form of abuse in which the perpetrators try and convince their victims that they are crazy when its actually the other way around.  Unlike the film "The Night of the Hunter" which reveals narcissism in very nuanced ways, this film is in your face about its subject matter, narcissism.  I rank this film a solid 8.5 out of 10...







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