Movie Review: Gaslight (1944)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1944 movie starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.

Synopsis: When a renown opera singer is murdered, her niece, who interrupted the intruder and found the body, is sent to live in Italy. Ten years later, she returns to her aunt's home in London with her new husband. She hopes to have a happy marriage but her husband soon has her believing she is losing her mind.


I came across this film on one of our movie channels a few nights ago and, thinking it would be a fun movie to watch while home at lunch, decided to record it. I managed to finally watch it over the course of the last couple of days and, while I had high hopes for this film, I honestly found myself having a mixed opinion of it.

I'm going to start out by saying I loved Ingrid Bergman in this movie. Her character, Paula, was a hard character to portray. Not only did she need to be beautiful and likable, she needed to be believable as she was slowly driven into a deep depression and madness. Plus, on top of that, she had to be a great singer. Bergman pulled that off perfectly.

In fact, as far as talent goes, this movie was loaded with it. All the main players did an excellent job making the situation as believable as it could be made and were easily the most enjoyable part of this film.

My biggest complaint about the movie is it is kind of predictable. It's not overly difficult to figure out Paula's new husband (Boyer) isn't being completely honest with her and, once that happens, the rest of the puzzle falls into place a little too easily. In fact, the only thing that wasn't immediately clear was his motive. And, the movie doesn't wait long enough to fill us in on that part of it either.

As a result of this, while there were still a couple small details that weren't revealed until toward the very end, there really weren't any surprises when it came to the movie's conclusion, something I did find I was a little disappointed about considering the number of great performances.


Final Opinion

If you watch this film for the mystery, you're going to be pretty disappointed. However, if you like strong performances from talented classic stars, it's still a film that is worth taking the time to watch if you have an opportunity to do so.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 01/13/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 03/31/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system here does have Gaslight among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So I look forward to seeing this film classic soon, shortly after Lent ends.

How would Gaslight fare nowadays as a colorized reboot or remake? Who would be able to interpret their respective roles like Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer did?

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