Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks-Gaslighting


I think we have all been gaslighted at one point in our lives and, if you haven't're lucky. Wandering Through The Shelves picked another winner and one that, I know is popular in the movies, but my brain went numb. Of course, the first film that came into my head was Gaslight (1944) with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer but I already spoke about this film last year and I have not seen the original British film starring Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard (1940). On came my thinking cap and a few small sparks flew out so this is what I came up with...


I watched this film just last year because of the 2 stars whom I adore-Barbara Stanwyck and George Sanders. Barbara is in her apartment when she looks across the way and sees a man kill a woman. Frantic, she contacts the police who go to the scene of the killing except no one is there except debonair George Sanders who conveys complete innocence while laying blame on Stanwyck that she is cuckoo for coco puffs. It comes to pass that even Stanwyck feels she is losing grasp but is she? The police don't believe her and she does not seem quite credible. This movie is good, not great, but good especially Sanders who always excels especially the diabolical characters. To me, the problem is the wonderful Stanwyck who just seems to strong a person to convey a wispy, unsure of herself woman doubting her own sanity. Bergman excels in this and Joan Fontaine is good in this type of role too but Stanwyck could pussywhip poor George into submission on a bad day. I would say to see it for sure but it is not the best work she has done. Oh and the ending part made my eyes roll into the back of my head because George is more than just what he is. 


Predictable, sweet, fun...This is the movie that fits even though many of the characters are not that first and some would end up in prison but this is just a nice comedy. It stars the dynamic duo of Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell who have actually been together for over 40 years now. Every once in a while, they make a movie and this is one of them. She plays an over the top spoiled rich bitch who fires the carpenter's ass, played by Russell, when he tells her what he thinks of her. That night, she falls overboard (it all took place on her yacht), hits her head and wakes up with amnesia. Her husband decides to be rid of her so he can whore around and spend her money. The carpenter see this as payback and tells her that she is his wife and brings her back to his swamp of a home. To say it is disgusting is an understatement which includes his 3 sons who are all in on the scam. He makes fun of her every chance he can get with her none the wiser but, big surprise, he starts falling for her and she helps him realize his dream. It's a nice comedy that makes you smile even though I would never go with a man after doing that to me. 


This is a film produced, directed and scored by Clint Eastwood based on the real life events of Christine Collins and the Wineville Chicken coop murders(1928). Angelina Jolie plays Christine who comes home one day to find her son missing. She contacts the police who, initially try to help her but, due to the media and pressure to find the boy plus other children who have gone missing, they get a boy to pretend he is her son. When she states it is not her son, the police and government state she must be hysterical and delusional. She takes this boy in but does not give up on the police finding her actual son. The police end up sending her to a mental asylum, which they could do back in the day. This film seems a bit long, from what I remember, but that is not a major issue. It is upsetting what happened to Christine and how she was treated and Jolie manages this quite well. She acted this role quite well and deserves more meatier parts than what she has been getting as of late. It is worth a look for sure.

Which films would you choose?


  1. Hi, Birgit!

    I've been sitting in the balcony waiting for you since 6 am, dear friend. I'm very happy to see you.

    Gaslighting is cruel, and films that artfully employ the device are always of interest to me. Witness To Murder looks great. George Sanders is one of my favorite screen villains. I don't think I'd be as picky as you are about the casting of Barbara Stanwyck, because she looked plenty convincing to me in the trailer.

    I remember Overboard, but I haven't seen it. I don't think I could ever warm up to a man who executed a such a scam, treated a woman in an abusive manner and eventually "fell" for his victim. I don't think I could forgive him enough to celebrate their happiness.

    The Changeling looks excellent. I can hardly believe such a dreadful sequence of events actually happened to that woman.

    I think a classic example of gaslighting can be found in the first reel of North By Northwest, with Cary Grant trying to blow the whistle on his kidnappers, and an elaborate cover-up making him appear drunk to his aunt and crazy to the authorities. That's the best one I can think of, but I might also mention the 1956 original version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers in which the whole town is in denial about the menace of alien beings taking over the bodies and lives of humans, at the time of its release a metaphor for the spread of Communism. Of course, as it turned out, the town folk were trying hard to make Dr. Miles Bennell believe he was imagining things because most of them had already "turned."

    Thanks for the entertainment and reviews, dear friend BB, and have a wonderful weekend!

  2. You made some good picks. That is a challenging one. There's another movie called The Changeling with George C. Scott that might also fit.

  3. I hadn't realized how many "gaslight" films there are. I have, of course, seen Gaslight. But I haven't seen the first one you listed. I didn't even consider Overboard, but you're right, it fits. Have you seen the remake? I know, I know, remake. But it's not half bad.

  4. I'm not familiar with The Changeling. Sounds horrifically sad.

  5. I haven't seen any of them.

    I know Overboard was remade recently.

  6. I've seen all of your picks. This is a difficult one for me to come up with any others. I know I've seen films like these, but I'm not coming up with anything right off. In The Truman Show would Truman have been considered a victim of gaslighting? I seem to have a film on the tip of my brain where there was a hoax contrived to make someone believe a lie but it's not coming to me.

    I give up.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. LEE ~

      >>... would Truman have been considered a victim of gaslighting?

      I just got done posting my own first impressions for this category. I didn't even think of 'The Truman Show', which you mentioned. But that was a GREAT movie, and probably the best example of the 'Gaslighting' category that I've seen. Damn! I wish I'd thought of that one!!

      Kudos, Brother! Even 'Gaslighting' doesn't "gaslight" better'n 'The Truman Show' does.

      Joel mentioned 'Rosemary's Baby' (which I very recently watched for a second time, and that's a really great choice, too). But NUTTIN' could beat 'The Truman Show' in gaslighting. Hot-damn!!

      Fun Fact: Earlier tonight, I re-watched another really goot movie by the NUTatic Jim Carrey ('Bruce Almighty').

      ~ D-FensDogG

  7. You're right about Witness to Murder being good but not great however with those two masters at the forefront it does hold your interest from beginning to end.

    True Overboard's plot is creepy but it's played for comedy and Goldie is such an expert comedienne that it works as light entertainment. The recent remake was an awful train wreck.

    Changeling was involving and Angelina Jolie compelling but the once I watched it was enough.

    Like you the Ingrid Bergman version of Gaslight is the first thing I thought of, a very good film. I've seen the English version which was not bad but VERY British and oh so correct. The Hollywood take is better.

    Rosemary's Baby would also work for this. An excellent picture that it took me years to finally get around to seeing but I can't say I have a great pull to see it again.

  8. Hi Birgit - I always enjoy your posts and recommendations ... and then your commenters always have excellent choices too - thanks for these - cheers Hilary

  9. You won't believe this, but I have seen one of these films. Overboard was a fun movie and I loved how Goldie and Kurt interact with each other in this film. It is actually a feel good film in the end. Of course, I have not seen the other two, but I would love to see the Changling because I have read about those murders.

  10. I forgot to mention, there was an old Law and Order tv show that featured Gaslighting, too. That's where I learned about the word and what it meant.

  11. You have a wonderful weekend. Gorge yourself on old movies:)
    Take good care.

  12. BIRGIT ~

    I haven't read any of the other comments... yet. So, these are my original first thoughts based on the theme:

    Well, OF COURSE, the first one that intruded upon my cluttered mind was 'GASLIGHT' -- which, obviously, is the origin of the concept.

    #2 was'Hush.. .Hush, Sweet Charlotte' -- which should actually be #1 since I dig it even more than 'Gaslight'.

    The 3rd movie that popped into my mind was 'Primal Fear', which I don't want to say much about (as I'm sure you will understand).

    ~ D-umbshitDogG

  13. I have seen Overboard- but none of the others. I remember watching Overboard a few times in the 80s and 90s- but I would be curious to watch it again after so much time. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Oooo...

    Another great category! Sadly, I can't think of any off the top of my head. The original came to mind, of course - already mentioned. And Primal Fear - one of Stephen's offers - is an excellent choice.

    I don't know your examples, either. I might have to give this one some thought.

  15. Overboard is one of my favorite movies to watch over and over. And over. I like seeing Goldie’s character change from haughtiness to sweetness.