Golden Globe Winners of Yesteryear – GASLIGHT

By Jorge Camara As Paula Alquist, the suffering wife being driven mad by her supposedly devoted husband in Gaslight, an extraordinarily vulnerable Ingrid Bergman won her first Golden Globe as the Best Lead Actress of 1944. She received the statuette in 1945, the second year that the award was given, and at the time there was only one category in acting, as opposed to the division between Drama and Musical and/or Comedy, a tradition that started in 1950. Gaslight was the American remake of the British film Angel Street, adapted from the play by Patrick Hamilton and released in 1940 with Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynward, under the direction of Thorold Dickinson.

If not better, at least as good as the original, the second version of the play was directed by George Cukor, and also starred Charles Boyer, as the sinister husband, and Joseph Cotton as a Scotland Yard policeman. In her motion picture debut, a 19 year old Angela Lansbury distinguished herself as the young and insolent maid. Gaslight was the sixth movie of Ingrid Bergman in Hollywood after Intermezzo, her first English language film released in 1939. The Swedish actress went on to win two more Golden Globes, the second the following year for The Bells of St. Mary, and the third in 1957 for Anastasia. Curiously, two more versions of Gaslight were made, but for the small screen, one in England in 1947 and the other in France in 1959, with Jennifer Gray and Loleh Bellon, respectively, playing Bergman’s role.