Starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer and Joseph Cotten, “Gaslight” is the oldest film on this list. Bergman and Boyer play Paula Alquist and Gregory Anton, newlyweds who seem smitten with each other. If only Paula knew that Gregory entered the marriage with ulterior motives. She would’ve known better if Lifetime movies had been around then. But I digress. Gregory is so hell-bent on executing his secret plan that he’s willing to drive his wife mad in the process. He’s decided that making Paula doubt her sanity will surely lead him to his goal. A charming detective (Cotten) has other plans.
Directed by George Cukor, “Gaslight” made such an impact on popular culture that the term “gaslighting” is now used synonymously with crazy-making. The film also features a teenage Angela Lansbury as a saucy maid who’s no friend to Bergman’s character. If you’re looking for signs of Lansbury as the moral J.B. Fletcher or the motherly Mrs. Potts, you won’t find it here. Lansbury and Boyer received Oscar nods for their acting in “Gaslight.” Bergman actually took home the statue, along with a Golden Globe, for her performance as the tormented new bride. Next “Les Diaboliques.”