Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Gaslight

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Very tense
Diversity Issues:None
Movie Release Date:1944

Paula Alquist (Ingrid Bergman) falls in love with Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer), a musician, and once they are married, he persuades her to move into the house she lived in as a child, which has been closed since her aunt was murdered there.

At first very happy, Paula soon becomes confused and insecure. While Gregory appears to be solicitous and caring, in reality he is cutting her off from all contact with anyone but himself, and making her doubt herself and her sanity. He convinces her that she is always losing things, that she sees things that are not there, that she is unstable and untrustworthy. Every night he leaves to play the piano in an apartment he has rented, and while he is gone the gaslights flicker and she hears mysterious noises from the attic. Gregory persuades her that these are just her delusions.

Just as Paula’s fragile hold on reality is about to break, she is visited by Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten) of Scotland Yard, with information about Gregory. But can she trust him? Or is he just another illusion?

This classic of suspense is a good way to begin a conversation about vulnerability and manipulation. Gregory is almost able to drive Paula mad by making her think she is mad already. By cutting her off from any outside reality, by cooly denying what she sees and hears for herself, by telling her over and over again that she is helpless and incompetent, she begins to turn into the person he tells her that she is.

Families who see the movie should talk about these questions: “Gaslighting” someone is now an accepted psychiatric term, based on this movie, and its predecessor, the play “Angel Street.” What do you think it means? How does Gregory get Paula to doubt herself? How does the director help the viewer get some sense of Paula’s feelings of disorientation and doubt? Can someone make another person doubt him or herself as Gregory did? Can someone affect other people positively along the same lines, helping them to believe in themselves? How?

Families who enjoy this movie will also enjoy “Dial M for Murder” and “Suspicion.”



Previous Posts

Heaven is for Real
A movie like "Heaven is for Real" requires two different reviews, one for believers/fans of the 1.5 million-volume best-selling book, one for those who are unfamiliar with the book and whose views about faith and heaven and proof may differ from the evangelical beliefs of the Wesleyan pastor who wro

posted 6:00:04pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Heaven is for Real: The Real Story
"Heaven is for Real" opens tomorrow, with Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo, a Nebraska pastor whose four-year-old son says that he visited heaven during surgery for a ruptured appendix.  It is based on a best-selling book Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back,

posted 3:59:56pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Movie Critic Ann Hornaday Comes Out as...a Christian
Washington Post movie critic Ann Hornaday wrote a brave and very moving essay about being a writer sustained by Christian faith and how that affects the way she approaches all films and especially those with religious themes. As a critic, my first obligation is to assess each of these films not as

posted 3:59:22pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Gone Girl with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike
Take a look at the very creepy trailer from director David Fincher for the upcoming "Gone Girl" based on the best-seller by Gillian Flynn. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGn-xKFZdU[/youtube]

posted 2:33:38pm Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »

SFX: The Foundry's Dazzling Reel of Special Effects
From top special effects firm The Foundry.  Enjoy! [iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/91528664" width="500" height="281"]

posted 8:00:16am Apr. 15, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.