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Gaslight

UK 1940
produced by
John Corfield for British National Films
directed by Thorold Dickinson
starring Anton Walbrook, Diana Wyngard, Frank Pettingell, Cathleen Cordell, Robert Newton, Minnie Rayner, Jimmy Hanley, Marie Wright, Aubrey Dexter, Mary Hinton, Angus Morrison, Jack Barty, the Darmora Ballet, Katie Johnson, Johnnie Schofield
screenplay by A.R. Rawlinson, Bridget Boland, based on the play Angel Street by Patrick Hamilton

Gaslight

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Ever since they have moved into that old house on Pimlico Square where a murder had happened 20 years ago, Bella Mallen (Diana Wyngard) has gone a bit crazy, she loses things, steals stuff without remembering it later on, and so on - well, at least her husband Paul (Anton Walbrook) tells her she does, and she believes it, too, not knowing that he mislays her stuff on purpose, hides stuff he then claims she has stolen and the like. And behind her back, he romances the parlour maid Nancy (Cathleen Cordell), just to have her on his side.

Does it all make sense?

No it doesn't, and it especially doesn't to Rough (Frank Pettingell), a former cop who stumbled upon Paul 20 years ago when the above-mentioned murder happened, not as a suspect, merely as a relative. Only, Paul had another name back then, which is enough to make him suspicious. So Rough follows Paul around one night and finds out he spends many of his nights breaking into the neighbouring house (that's currently for sale) to climb into the walled off attic of his own house. Now this would of course make no sense unless he was doing something sinister in there - like looking for a fortune in rubies his aunt (the murder victim from 20 years ago) has hidden there somewhere.

Eventually, Paul does want to have Bella committed to an asylum, and that's when Rough knows it's time to act, and he forces his way into Paul and Bella's house and confronts Paul with a few facts about his former life to catch him off guard ... but what really breaks him is that his wife has long found the rubies but hidden them in a vase and forgot all about them out of neglect.

Rough and his sidekick (Jimmy Hanley) manage to overcome Paul and tie him to a chair, but then Bella wants to talk to Paul alone, and while he tries to convince her to cut him loose, she threatens him with a knife, convincing him she has gone all insane ...

 

Even though Gaslight gives away a few of its key plotpoints way too soon, it's still a mighty tense and suspenseful little thriller, mainly because even with having all the facts readily presented before oneself, the whole thing is tightly constructed, tensely told, and the cast is uniformly first rate. And add to that an elegant direction and beautiful period sets and costumes that never seem to be self-serving, and you've got yourself a pretty good movie!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD