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Gaslight Blu-ray Review

Gaslight.jpg

“Gaslight” is sadly as relevant as ever.

In “Gaslight” (based on the 1938 stage play of the same name), the story revolves around Paula whose opera star aunt (Alice) had been killed in her youth. Now, as an adult, she has married a man named Gregory and moved back into the home of her murdered aunt. While staying there, the shady Gregory shelters Paula to allegedly protect her all while Paula’s memory and mindset grows increasingly foggier with each day. Is Paula imagining things, going mad or is she being manipulated for a specific reason? Elsewhere in the story, a Scotland Yard Inspector (Brian) begins to look into the case of Alice’s murder again and is led to new revelations.

Despite being a period piece set, this 1944 George Cukor directed mystery remains a timely film about control, psychological abuse, male toxicity, and manipulation. Basically, it was woke before woke was a thing. While the film does overstay its welcome at an unnecessary, overly telegraphed and tedious 113 minutes, this does not diminish the impact of the overall story. If anything, the movie is just as impactful now as it was then in this troubling era of fake news and abuse scandals.

You can’t ask for a better cast than this. Ingrid Bergman (who won an Oscar for her performance here) shines as the tortured and psychologically abused Paula. Charles Boyer isn’t a name you hear very often these days which is a shame as the actor has tremendous range. His performance as the creepy Gregory is a real stand-out in a cast of stand-outs. A very young Angela Lansbury makes a big impression as the maid Nancy. It’s a small role, but her talent is fully on display. Joseph Cotten is an underrated actor has been in many of the best Hollywood films, but unfortunately, he’s rather wasted here. It’s no fault of the actor mind you, he just doesn’t have a lot to do.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.37:1 1080p. How does it look? The film has never looked better on home video thanks to this hi-def transfer which gives “Gaslight” a new level of clarity.

Audio Track: 2.0 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A lively and crisp 2.0 track.

Extras:
* “Gaslight” trailer
* A 1946 radio drama version of “Gaslight.”
* “Oscars For Movie Stars”- Newsreel footage from the award ceremony in which Ingrid Bergman won for “Gaslight.”
* “Reflections On Gaslight”- A nearly 14 minute special that includes film clips, interviews, behind-the-scenes stories, and more.
* The crown jewel of the extras here is the feature length 1940 film version of “Gaslight.” While not on the level of the 1944 version, it does have its strong suits. It’s also wisely only 83 minutes as opposed to the overlong length of the 1944 version.

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July 6, 2019 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , ,

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