Gaslight, 1940, aka 'Angel Street' Tagline: "Patrick Hamilton's famous play brought to the screen - thrill by thrill as only the British know how!' From IMDb: Twenty years after the murder of Alice Barlow, her house is finally occupied again. However, the husband of the couple who have moved in has a secret which he will do anything to keep hidden. Stars Anton Walbrook, Diane Wynyard, Frank Pettingtgell, Cathleen Cordell.

Gaslight is a 1940 British film directed by Thorold Dickinson which stars Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard, and features Frank Pettingell. The film adheres more closely to the original play upon which it is based – Patrick Hamilton (dramatist)'s Gas Light (1938) – than the better-known Gaslight (1944 film). The play had been shown on Broadway theatre as Angel Street,


Alice Barlow (
  • Anton Walbrook as Paul Mallen
  • Diana Wynyard as Bella Mallen
  • Frank Pettingell as B.G. Rough
  • Cathleen Cordell as Nancy the parlour maid
  • Robert Newton as Vincent Ullswater
  • Minnie Rayner as Elizabeth, the cook

  • Jimmy Hanley as Cobb
  • Marie Wright as Alice Barlow
  • Aubrey Dexter as House agent
  • Mary Hinton as Lady Winterbourne
  • Angus Morrison as Pianist
  • Katie Johnson as Alice Barlow's maid


Encouraged by the success of the play and film, MGM bought the remake rights, but with a clause insisting that all existing prints of Dickinson's version be destroyed,<></> even to the point of trying to destroy the negative, so that it would not compete with their more highly publicized 1944 in film film starring Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, and Joseph Cotten.</>
Time Out (magazine) wrote, "Nothing like as lavish as the later MGM version&nbsp;... But in its own small-scale way a superior film by far. Lurking menace hangs in the air like a fog, the atmosphere is electric, and Wynyard suffers exquisitely as she struggles to keep dementia at bay. It's hardly surprising that MGM tried to destroy the negative of this version when they made their own five years later."

Gaslight as expression

The psychological term gaslighting, which describes a form of psychological abuse in which the victim is gradually manipulated into doubting his or her own reality, originated from the play and its two film adaptations.< name="Rush1992"></>

  • Vermilye, Jerry. The Great British Films Citadel Press, 1978. pp. 52–54. ISBN 0-8065-0661-X

  • Category:1940 films
    Category:1940s thriller films
    Category:Black-and-white films
    Category:British films
    Category:British mystery films
    Category:English-language films
    Category:Films based on plays
    Category:Films directed by Thorold Dickinson
    Category:Psychological thriller films
    British National Films

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