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Gaslight Movie Review

bergman hollywood walbrook mgm

People who pine for the good old days when Hollywood studios had a stranglehold on the worldwide film industry might appreciate how good old MGM made an international hit out of 1944's Gaslight. Gaslight was originally made in England four years earlier with Diana Wynyard and Anton Walbrook. Since neither Wynyard nor Walbrook were MGM stars, what's a rich powerful studio to do? Bingo! Buy up all the prints, suppress them, and make a big, expensive movie with REAL stars, like Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. I'm not knocking Bergman and Boyer. Two of Bergman's Swedish hits had already been re-made in Hollywood: Intermezzo with Bergman herself and A Woman's Face with Joan Crawford. But this original version, with far more subtle direction and performances, is actually far more terrifying than the best that Hollywood could buy! Only menacing teenager Angela Lansbury, as Hollywood's Nancy, is WAY superior to the original Nancy, Cathleen Cordell. Interestingly, Lansbury's mother, Moyna MacGill, has a small role in the first movie. You can still dig the re-make and deplore MGM's strategy in (nearly) destroying every trace of the existence of this film. AKA:Angel Street.

1940 88m/C GB Anton Walbrook, Diana Wynyard, Frank Pettingell, Cathleen Cordell, Robert Newton, Jimmy Hanley, Minnie Rayner, Mary Hinton, Marie Wright, Jack Barty, Moyna MacGill, Darmora Ballet; D: Thorold Dickinson; W: A.H. Rawlinson, Bridget Boland; C: Bernard Knowles; M: Richard Addinsell. VHS

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