Gaslight

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Gaslight

Charles Boyer very nearly steals the show in this 1944 nail biter. Boyer is pitch perfect in his role as Gregory Anton, con man extraordinaire. Ingrid Bergman plays Paula Alquist, unwitting victim to his machinations. As the movie begins we see a murder involving Paula's aunt, which takes place in London's foggy Thornton Square; a murder that goes unsolved. Paula is whisked away to Italy in hopes that she can put the ghastly scene behind her. It is there that she is courted by Gregory Anton. His constant presence and excessive doting would be suffocating to most women but the needy and naïve Paula welcomes it. The two are soon married. It is then that the story begins to get truly sinister. At Gregory's suggestion the couple returns to London and move in to the house on Thornton Square. Shortly after their arrival, Paula begins a descent into madness. Are the lights really dimming and flickering every night? What is that thumping sound above her bedroom? And... why does Gregory suddenly seem so distant and cruel? The ubiquitous Charles Cotton soon enters the picture as an American police officer working for Scotland Yard. His initial interest is to solve the earlier murder of Paula's aunt but he is soon smitten with Paula and his suspicion of Gregory moves the action forward. Director George Cukor adds to the film's mystery with a pitch perfect mise-en-scène. The fog covered square, the creaky old house, the nosy neighbor and so much more all abet the film's sinister air. It doesn't take long to figure out how this movie will end up but, it's getting there that's the fun part.
-Stephen

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This page contains a single entry published on December 18, 2008 5:07 PM.

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