Posted by Sarah
All are welcome to attend the fifth of this term’s melodrama screening sessions which will take place on the 20th of March in Jarman 7, from 5pm to 7pm.
We will be showing Gaslight (George Cukor, 1944) 114 mins
This is the Hollywood remake, with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman (see above!), of the British film of the same title produced in 1940. The earlier film (which we will be watching at the next session on the 3rd of April) was directed by Thorold Dickinson and starred Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard. The British film was itself based on Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play Gas Light (known as Angel Street in the US).
It is especially apt that our first screening of a direct adaptation of a stage play should be of a theatrical production which was so influential it gave rise to the term ‘Gaslighting’. This meant “a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented to the victim with the intent of making him/her doubt his/her own memory and perception”. Set in 1880 fog-bound London Gas Light tells the story of a married couple: a husband with a secret, and a terrified wife…
Watching the two film versions of the same stage play will hopefully enlighten us as to some similarities and differences between British and Hollywood film as well as some insights into melodrama more generally.
Do come along to watch this Hollywood classic. Due to the film’s length discussion will take place after watching the (much shorter- 84 mins) British version at the next session – the 3rd of April. We will begin the film promptly at 5 (technology permitting!)