Gaslight appears in an aspect ratio of 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a highly satisfying presentation.
Overall sharpness worked well, with only a smidgen of softness in a couple of wider shots. Most of the film boasted fine delineation and accuracy.
Neither jaggies nor moiré effects impacted the proceedings, and the presence of light grain meant it seemed unlikely that digital noise reduction came into play. Edge haloes remained absent and I saw no print flaws.
Blacks seemed deep and rich, while contrast gave the movie a fine silvery sheen. Low-light shots brought us nice smoothness and clarity. This turned into a more than satisfactory image.
I felt the same about the high-quality DTS-HD MA monaural soundtrack, as it held up nicely for its age. Music and effects didn’t boast great range or punch, but both came across accurate enough and they lacked distortion or problems.
As usual for older recordings, speech came across as a little tinny, but the lines remained fairly concise and only a few spots of edginess occurred. The mix lacked hiss, noise or other problems. This turned into a more than acceptable mix for its era.
A few extras fill out the disc, and we find the original 1940 British version of Gaslight. Directed by Thorold Dickinson, this edition runs one hour, 23 minutes, 57 seconds and stars Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard.
Expect many differences between the 1940 and 1944 versions. They share plenty of similarities, of course, but they diverge in more ways than I’d anticipate.
Both have their pros and cons, but I think I prefer the 1940 version. It’s more nuanced in some ways, and the shorter running time means it feels more efficient. Both work well, but the 1940 edition just seems tighter.
With Reflections on Gaslight, we get a 13-minute, 50-second program hosted by actor Ingrid Bergman’s daughter Pia Lindstrom. It also includes comments from actor Angela Lansbury.
We learn about cast and performances, music, sets and production design, and general thoughts. It’s nice to hear from Lansbury but this show doesn’t boast a lot of depth.
A newsreel titled Oscars for Movie Stars spans one minute, 32 seconds. It appears here because we see Ingrid Bergman accept her trophy for Gaslight. It’s a fun addition.
In addition to the film’s trailer, we locate a 1946 Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of Gaslight. With a running time of 59 minutes, 40 seconds, it brings back Bergman and Charles Boyer to reprise their film roles.
Like most of these radio adaptations, this one pares down a lot of material, but it works pretty well. What it loses in visual impact it gains in storytelling clarity. The radio version works better than most.
A film whose title entered the vernacular, Gaslight occasionally suffers from telegraphed plot points. However, it manages to become a reasonably taut thriller despite those issues. The Blu-ray boasts terrific picture quality, acceptable audio and a nice array of bonus features. This winds up as a fairly enjoyable tale.