Ingrid Bergman in ‘Gaslight’ (1944)
Film Synopsis: (allmovie.com)
Ingrid Bergman won her first of three Oscars for this suspense thriller, crafted with surprising tautness by normally genteel “women’s picture” director George Cukor. Bergman stars as Paula Alquist, a late 19th century English singer studying music in Italy. However, Paula abandons her studies because she’s fallen in love with dapper, handsome Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer). The couple marries and returns to the U.K. and a home inherited by Paula from her aunt, herself a famous singer, who was mysteriously murdered in the house ten years before. Once they have moved in, Gregory, who is in reality a jewel thief and the murderer of Paula’s aunt, launches a campaign of terror designed to drive his new bride insane. Though Paula is certain that she sees the house’s gaslights dim every evening and that there are strange noises coming from the attic, Gregory convinces Paula that she’s imagining things. Gregory’s efforts to make Paula unstable are aided by an impertinent maid, Nancy (teenager Angela Lansbury in her feature film debut). Meanwhile, a Scotland Yard inspector, Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotten), becomes suspicious of Gregory and sympathetic to Paula’s plight.
Short Bio: (wikipedia.org)
Ingrid Bergman (29 August 1915 – 29 August 1982) was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, four Golden Globe 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 roles as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca (1942), a World War II drama co-starring Humphrey Bogart, and as Alicia Huberman in Notorious (1946), an Alfred Hitchcock thriller co-starring Cary Grant.
Before becoming a star in American films, she had been a leading actress in Swedish films. Her first introduction to U.S. audiences came with her starring role in the English-language remake of Intermezzo in 1939. In the United States, she brought to the screen a “Nordic freshness and vitality”, along with exceptional beauty and intelligence, and according to the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, she quickly became “the ideal of American womanhood” and one of Hollywood’s greatest leading actresses.
After her performance in Victor Fleming’s remake of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in 1941, she was noticed by her future producer David O. Selznick, who called her “the most completely conscientious actress” he had ever worked with. He gave her a seven-year acting contract, thereby supporting her continued success. A few of her other starring roles, besides Casablanca, included For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943), Gaslight (1944), The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound (1945), Notorious (1946), and Under Capricorn (1949), and the independent production, Joan of Arc (1948).
In 1950, after a decade of stardom in American films, she starred in the Italian film Stromboli, which led to a love affair with director Roberto Rossellini while they were both already married. The affair and then marriage with Rossellini created a scandal that forced her to remain in Europe until 1956, when she made a successful Hollywood return in Anastasia, for which she won her second Academy Award, as well as the forgiveness of her fans. Many of her personal and film documents can be seen in the Wesleyan University Cinema Archives.