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Trivia / Gaslight

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  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Thrills: #78
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Ingrid Bergman persuaded David O Selznick to allow Charles Boyer to star alongside her, despite his contract stipulating top billing, because she really wanted to work with him.
  • Enforced Method Acting: As the scenes were shot out of order, George Cukor had Ingrid Bergman listen to the entire plot of the movie up until the point of the day's scene to be filmed. Ingrid Bergman grew tired of this and he stopped for a few days. But then a producer noted a decline in acting quality, and he resumed doing so. Ingrid later came to appreciate this method.
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  • Executive Meddling: Subverted. The MGM script contained a line where Gregory says he loved Paula all along. This was an addition to the play. David O Selznick sent a very long memo to the studio ordering them to cut the line, which they did.
  • Fake Brit: Joseph Cotten as Brian is Not Even Bothering with the Accent when using his own courtly Virginia accent to play a Scotland Yard detective. You could maybe interpret him as Canadian, if you want.
  • Market-Based Title: Averted for the American release; the play and first film adaptation were titled Angel Street in the U.S., but this version was released under the original title. In the UK however, it was called The Murder in Thornton Square to distinguish from the 1940 movie.
  • Method Acting: Ingrid Bergman studied several patients at a mental hospital to prepare for the role. She was drawn to one woman in particular, and ended up using many of her quirks and mannerisms in the film.
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  • Playing Against Type: Ingrid Bergman considered herself very strong and independent, and usually played such roles - For Whom the Bell Tolls, Casablanca, Joan of Arc - and she was hesitant at playing a vulnerable woman who is psychologically tortured for most of the running time.
  • Prop Recycling: The famous brass bed with the swan head design was also featured in Meet Me in St. Louis.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: A meta example. As Angela Lansbury was only seventeen during filming, the scene where she lights a cigarette couldn't be filmed until her eighteenth birthday.
  • Scully Box:
    • Charles Boyer was the same height as Ingrid Bergman, but still had to stand on one of these to appear taller. This had hilarious results when shooting the passionate kiss scene at the train station; Ingrid kept accidentally kicking the box away as she ran in.
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    • Angela Lansbury also wore platform shoes in order to appear taller and more sinister in her scenes with Paula.
  • Trope Namer: For Gaslighting.
  • Unbuilt Casting Type: For the first few years of her career, Angela Lansbury was often cast as antagonistic "venal bitches" (to quote her). In her first film, Nancy is specifically planted there by Gregory to be someone who disagrees with Paula and create conflict - but she's ultimately innocent of any wrongdoing.
  • Underage Casting: Angela Lansbury was only seventeen (and turned eighteen during filming) playing Nancy, who is implied to be several years older.
  • What Could Have Been: The rights were first bought by Columbia Pictures, who wanted Irene Dunne as Paula. When it was sold to MGM, they initially wanted Hedy Lamarr. Ingrid Bergman was initially reluctant to play such a vulnerable character, but came to love the part. There were rumours that Greer Garson would replace her if she couldn't be loaned out.

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