There are many films that fit this theme and yet, I felt like I wanted to find films similar to Gaslight which is a brilliant film but one I have picked more than once. I think I was overthinking this theme to be honest so I just went with it and once again, chose 2 Hitchcock films because Hitchcock is brilliant. I will be interested what everyone else will choose over at Wandering Through The Shelves so best head over there and see what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3...
I really fell in lust for Lawrence Olivier when I saw this film( watching Wuthering Heights cinched the deal) playing the brooding Maxim De Winter who meets a mousy gal, played by Joan Fontaine, and marries her and whisks her back to his home of Manderley. This home is one I would have loved to have lived in, if it actually existed, with its huge fireplaces and is full of Gothic drama. Here, the young wife meets the staff including Mrs. Danvers who is the head housekeeper of the place and still drools over the late Rebecca, Maxim’s dead wife. Quickly, mousy Joan seems to be doing everything wrong and feels she is slowly going insane with Mrs. Danvers helping her to that ledge of insanity. Good ole Max doesn’t help things at all and is actually a bit of a dick becoming moody and nasty to his wife. This is a very atmospheric, gothic thriller with Dame Judith Anderson stealing the picture as lesbo Mrs. Danvers. You know there was more going on between Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers(or it could have been one-sided) even though the Hays Office didn’t want any reference to an affair between Danvers and Rebecca. This just shows how great Miss. Anderson is in her acting to infer this.
2. SHADOW OF A DOUBT-1943
I love this film and it is one of my favourite Hitchcock films starring Joseph Cotton as a serial killer who must leave the city since the cops are close to catching him. He decides to go visit his sister and her family. The sister is so happy to have her younger brother with her and her daughter, played by Teresa Wright, is ecstatic to see her Uncle Charlie whom she loves but soon she starts seeing cracks in his white armour. When a police detective comes calling and informs her of what they suspect, she, at first doesn’t believe it, but soon changes her mind. Soon, it becomes a cat and mouse game Charlie against Charlie and the rest of the family are completely unaware of what is going on. Well acted and tense, the film gives an early insight into the mind of a serial killer before that term was coined.
3. THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE-1946
This is another one of my favourite films that starts off with the murder of a disabled young woman and the town is reeling from it. We see a young, pretty woman getting back to a large home where she is the companion to a bedridden old lady who is disagreeable with most everyone else. The one problem this girl has is she can’t talk due to some mental trauma from years back. In the home we meet the cook who likes to have a few drinks, a very pretty young lady who is the secretary to the head of the household, played by George Brent. He is kindly and takes care of the home and his mom. In comes the jerk brother who has been away from the town and the house for quite a while and proceeds to play havoc with his older brother. We also meet the kindly doctor who has his heart go pitter patter for the mute girl. Of course, a storm is approaching and everyone must batten down the hatches but not before realizing the killer is somewhere in their home. The one the killer sets his sights on is the mute girl because he sees her without a mouth. Atmospheric, with a few twists and turns, it’s quite a good thriller that makes you think twice who it might be. It is a real gem of a film.
So which 3 films would you choose?
Tomorrow afternoon, I am going for my Astra Zeneca shot and hope I don’t feel sick after. Wish me luck!