Gaslight Director: George Cukor (1944)
Adopted from Patrick Hamilton’s play of the same name, Gaslight is a great film that is wildly suspenseful and amusing, though it deviates significantly from the play. It stars a young Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotton. It was nominated and won a number of Academy Awards. The term “gaslighting” is a colloquialism that refers to a kind of psychological abuse.
The films tells the story of Paula and Gregory Anton. Paula inherits a large amount of money from a wealthy and famous relative who lived in London. She owned some priceless jewels that were much sought after as she was strangled to death for them. One day Paula elopes with Gregory and they move in to the former home of her wealthy relative in London. Gregory forbids Paula from going out and plays psychological games with her as he ventures out every night. She starts to believe she is going mad and meanwhile he is scavenging in the attic for the jewels of Paula’s Aunt. The film comes to a head when the police and an investigator are involved and Gregory (who has been using an alias) is caught and taken away just as he finds the jewels.