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

Joss Whedon's New Film is a Surprise VOD Release: In Your Eyes
Joss Whedon made a surprise announcement after the premiere of his new film, "In Your Eyes" at the Tribeca Film Festival. Instead of a theatrical release, it is immediately available through Video on Demand. Here's the synopsis: In the frozen East Coast winter, Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) is withering away

posted 8:01:27am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Ultimate Book About "2001: A Space Odyssey"
Fifty years after Stanley Kubrick began work on "2001: A Space Odyssey," the ultimate behind-the-scenes story will be out next month in a limited edition $750 four-volume history by Piers Bizony, an expert on both Kubrick and space exploration. Made in exclusive collaboration with the Kubrick esta

posted 8:00:59am Apr. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Classic: Funny Little Bunnies
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYwHUbD422A[/youtube]

posted 3:43:11pm Apr. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Tribute: Hurricane Carter
Rubin "Hurricane" Carter died at home at age 76.  A prize fighter who was wrongly convicted of murder and released after serving 19 years in prison, he devoted the rest of his life to helping others. Denzel Washington portrayed Carter in the movie The Hurricane. [youtube]https://www.youtube.c

posted 11:28:53am Apr. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Celebrate Easter!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0RhLJYKi-4[/youtube]

posted 7:00:48am Apr. 20, 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.