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Gaslight (1940)

Not Rated | | Thriller | 10 November 1952 (USA)
Twenty years after the murder of Alice Barlow, her house is finally occupied again. However, the husband of the couple who have moved in has a secret which he will do anything to keep hidden.

Director:

Thorold Dickinson

Writers:

Patrick Hamilton (from the stage play by), A.R. Rawlinson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anton Walbrook ... Paul Mallen
Diana Wynyard ... Bella Mallen
Frank Pettingell ... Rough
Cathleen Cordell ... Nancy
Robert Newton ... Ullswater
Jimmy Hanley ... Cobb
Minnie Rayner ... Elizabeth
Marie Wright Marie Wright ... Alice Barlow
Aubrey Dexter ... House Agent
Mary Hinton ... Lady Winterbourne
Angus Morrison ... Pianist
Jack Barty Jack Barty ... Chairman of Music Hall
The Darmora Ballet The Darmora Ballet ... Dancers
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Storyline

Twenty years ago, old Mrs. Barlow was killed in her home at 12, Pimlico Square for her priceless rubies. The murderer searched the whole house without finding them, then disappeared. The house has been empty since then, but now Paul and Bella Mallen move into the apartment. Bella Mallen suffers from forgetfulness and nervousness - at least that is what her husband tells her. An elderly horse wrangler, B.G. Rough worked as a policeman twenty years ago and still remembers the unsolved case. He notices that Mr. Mallen looks just like Louis Barre, Mrs. Barlow's nephew. And why does Mr. Mallen mysteriously leave every night just to go into the apartment next door, no. 14? Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A melodrama of a strange love! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Murder in Thornton Square See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

British National Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original play, "Gas Light", opened in London on 31 January 1939. See more »

Goofs

After the murder of the old lady in 1865, a police constable is shown blowing a whistle to summon assistance. Whistles were not used by the Metropolitan Police until the 1870s; prior to that they used a football rattle to attract attention. See more »

Quotes

Nancy the Parlour Maid: Very well, you shall be master for a bit longer.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in American Horror Story: Monsters Among Us (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz
(uncredited)
Music by Joseph Lanner
Arranged by Richard Addinsell
See more »

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User Reviews

Streamlined & Suspenseful
20 August 2004 | by Harold_RobbinsSee all my reviews

Let's face it - the British do psychological suspense VERY well! This 1940 British production is more streamlined and suspenseful than the MGM version of 1944, as it sticks more closely to Patrick Hamilton's play. The MGM version had more 'back-story' and padding to it. I love Diana Wynyard - she was lovely to look at and seemed wonderfully edgy and vulnerable - I wasn't surprised to learn that she played the anguished mother in the West End production of THE BAD SEED - she's really only remembered today for this film and CAVALCADE (1933), but she's definitely worth watching. Anton Walbrook is a little hammier than Boyer was, and there are those obvious streaks in his hair to make him look a little older - but he has a wonderful moment at the films end when, quite suddenly, his eyes go wild and you can tell that he's completely lost his mind - might have been a nice touch if the 1944 had included such a moment. Highly recommended.

I've noticed that people seem surprised that MGM attempted to suppress the 1940 British version of GASLIGHT to avoid any competition with their version. I don't know why anyone should be surprised - Hollywood's business is a cut-throat one: remember that L.B. Mayer, along with Jack Warner and others, offered to buy CITIZEN KANE from RKO and then destroy it, all to appease William R. Hearst - fortunately they didn't (just imagine the history of film since 1941 if they had!) And although MGM didn't destroy all prints of GASLIGHT, they did manage to keep it out of sight for many years - I think I first saw it on a cable station in the early 1980s - I tuned in expecting Boyer and Bergman and got Walbrook and Wynyard - as it turned out I didn't mind at all, and have enjoyed it many times since! MGM did the same thing with Paramount's 1932 DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE which, except for an occasional screening, went unseen (but much written about) until it came out on video around 1990 (under the MGM label - imagine that!)


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