Friday, August 6, 2010
Ingrid Bergman, was a Swedish actress noted for her starring roles in American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute. She is best remembered for her role as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942), a World War II drama co-starring Humphrey Bogart. Another one of my favorite Ingid Bergman films: Gaslight(1944).
Mystery-thriller film adapted from Patrick Hamilton's play performed as Angel Street on Broadway in 1941. It was the second version to be filmed; the first, released in Great Britain, had been made four years earlier. This 1944 version of the story was directed by George Cukor. Cast: Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotten, and eighteen-year-old Angela Lansbury in her screen debut.
After her Aunt Alice Alquist, a famous opera singer, is found murdered in their London home at No. 9 Thornton Square, Paula Alquist moves to Italy.
Ten years later, Paula tells her voice teacher, Maestro Guardi, that she has put her past behind her and is now in love with Gregory Anton, a pianist who she has known for two weeks.
While on their honeymoon in Lake Como, Gregory tells Paula that he would love to live in a fashionable London square. Wanting to please her husband, Paula says that they should move into her aunt's house in Thornton Square. Not long after they move into No. 9, Paula's memories begin to overwhelm her. Gregory thinks it is best that all of her aunt's things be stored in the attic. Paula finds a letter in her aunt's sheet music, dated two days before her murder, in which Sergius Bauer, begs to see her aunt. When Paula say Bauer's name, Gregory grabs the letter from her.
Three months later, as they are leaving for a Tower of London tour, Gregory gives Paula his great-grandmother's brooch, but warns her not to wear it until the clasp has been fixed. Paula, puts the brooch in her purse. During the tour, Paula senses that the brooch is missing. While walking toward the Crown Jewels exhibit, Paula is greeted by Brian Cameron, who had been a fan of Alice's and mistook her for her aunt. Gregory is suspicious of Brian, even though Paula says that she has never met him.
Back at home, Paula tells Gregory that she lost the brooch, and he accuses her of being forgetful. Later that night, after Gregory has left the house, Paula sees the gaslights in her bedroom flicker and hears footsteps overhead.
Two months later, Brian appears in Thornton Square and questions Paula's neighbor. Brian looks up and sees Paula standing in her front door. When Nancy Oliver, a young maid hired by Gregory, asks Paula where she is going, the insecure Paula goes back inside the house. Suspicious by Paula's odd behavior, Brian, a Scotland Yard detective, reads the police file on Alice's unsolved murder and learns that the crown jewels, which had been given secretly to Alice, disappeared on the night of the murder. Believing that Paula is in danger, Brian assigns Williams, a constable, to keep an eye on No. 9. Overtime, Paula is confused by Gregory's manipulations. Is Paula going crazy, or is she being haunted by her dead aunt's spirit...or is it something far more sinister?
I thought Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer were amazing. Bergman performs her character's emotions so perfectly you feel her pain. And Charles Boyer is pure evil in this one. One of the best scenes was at the reception, when Gregory tells Paula he lost his watch, and then finds it in her purse.
Ingrid Bergman wins her very first Academy Award (Oscar) for MGM's Gaslight (1944). Her 1st of 3 oscar's. Presented by Jennifer Jones.