Gaslight

Image for Gaslight

Dir. Thorold Dickinson

UK 1940 | Black & White | 82 mins

Cast: Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard, Frank Pettingell, Robert Newton

A powerful Gothic melodrama of domestic sadism and psychological suspense, now digitally remastered by the BFI National Archive

 

The novelist/dramatist Patrick Hamilton is regularly ‘rediscovered’ but the first film version of Hamilton’s Victorian stage play Gas Light has not had its time in the sun – until now. Mingling suavity and cruelty, Anton Walbrook excels as the sadistic husband who attempts to drive his wife mad to prevent her disclosure of his guilty secret while he searches obsessively for some hidden jewels. The project appealed to Dickinson for allowing him ‘to expose the worst side of the Victorian male’s attitude to women’. The film’s critical success in Britain prompted the sale of all rights to MGM, who suppressed this version. Fortunately Dickinson had made a ‘secret’ print which was donated to the BFI. - Nigel Algar

Available on: DCP

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