Gaslight

The Movie Snob checks in with a new review of an old movie.

Gaslight  (B+).  This 1942 classic stars the beauteous Ingrid Bergman (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) as Paula Alquist.  In the opening scene, we see a very young Paula being escorted away from the London townhome where she has just discovered the body of her murdered aunt (her guardian since birth).  Flash forward a few years, and Paula is living in Italy.  She has followed in her aunt’s footsteps by studying music and singing, but we learn she has just been swept off her feet by a debonair foreigner named Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer, Fanny).  Anton is strangely eager to move to London, and into the townhouse Paula inherited from her aunt.  And once they are ensconced there, Paula seems to start to lose her grip on her sanity, and Gregory becomes ever more controlling.  What is happening?  Straight-arrow Scotland Yard detective Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten, The Third Man) senses something is amiss, but can he figure it out in time to help Paula?  I quite enjoyed this classic old noir.  Watch for a young Angela Lansbury (TV’s Murder, She Wrote) as a saucy housemaid.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

DVD review from The Movie Snob

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (C). This is the 1941 black-and-white version starring Spencer Tracy (Adam’s Rib) as the good doctor and the evil Hyde, and co-starring the lovely Lana Turner (The Postman Always Rings Twice) and the luminous Ingrid Bergman (Notorious). I don’t really remember the original Robert Louis Stevenson story, but the movie is a rather slow and plodding affair. The benevolent Dr. Jekyll hits a dead end in his research and unwisely uses himself as an experimental subject. The result is the unleashing of his own inner demons, in the form of Mr. Hyde. While Jekyll’s fiancee (Turner) is away on an extended trip, Hyde takes up with–and terrorizes–a poor barmaid (Bergman). Can Jekyll put the genie back in the bottle? Of course the movie is very clean, but there is some surprisingly suggestive imagery, especially in the dreamlike sequence when Jekyll first transforms into Hyde. Anyhoo, it’s still a much better movie than the terrible Mary Reilly starring Julia Roberts and John Malkovich. Yuck!