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

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of "I Am Eleven"
There's a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey remembered the year she was 11 as one of the happiest of her l

posted 8:09:47pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Best TV for Kids May Be Online
Children have more choices than ever on television, but some of the best viewing for kids is online. Common Sense Media has a great list of family-friendly YouTube stars. I'd add EvanTube to the list. Newsweek calls him The Most Popular Kid You've Never Heard Of, with 272 million views of his engagi

posted 3:59:29pm Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Fifty Years of Fiddler on the Roof
The Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, "Fiddler on the Roof," which opened fifty years ago this week.

posted 8:00:47am Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Great Cinematographers on Instagram
Indiewire has a gorgeous array of Instagram feeds from Hollywood cinematographers. Be sure to talke a look so you can follow them.

posted 8:00:27am Sep. 19, 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.