PDA

View Full Version : Best "gaslighting" movies



robeiae
09-29-2016, 05:26 PM
So, "gaslighting" used to mean manipulating someone so they would doubt their sanity or even lose their sanity. But I think it's become more of a generic term to refer to plots to make people believe in a furtive reality that does not really exist, to believe in a series of facts that are not facts at all, by playing on their paranoia.

For instance, I think The Usual Suspects represents an extreme instance of gaslighting by Verbal Kint. And the other night, I watched Absence of Malice (from 1981) and was taken back when I thought more carefully about how Paul Newman's character gaslighted multiple people with just a handful of moves.

Other examples?

Twick
09-29-2016, 05:30 PM
Well, I'd say that Gaslight is probably one of the best, being the source of the name. The classic Hitchcock one is, well, classic, but there's an earlier British version that has its moments, even if it can't compare to the great Ingrid Bergman climax. "Are you suggesting that this is a knife I hold in my hand? Have you gone mad, my husband?"

Lissibith
09-29-2016, 05:55 PM
The Screaming Skull. Best watched via MST3K. :D

Aggy B.
09-29-2016, 09:13 PM
I am not so sure about your second definition there, but "Vertigo" contains elements like that. So does " Dark Water" (with Jennifer Connelly, I think).

Although the movie "Gaslight" is the source of the term, it is not typically a term used in film analysis, but in psychology and sociology especially of a feminist bent. I'd say there are plenty of horror/thriller films that demonstrate gaslighting particularly of husbands with wives. It seems like you are thinking more of films using an unreliable narrator (or narrative device) to deceive the audience and that's not the same thing. For examples like that, Memento or Hero or even Run, Lola, Run might be good examples.

grandma2isaac
09-29-2016, 09:32 PM
Ok, what about The Game with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn? It took the twisted reality phase to a new level for me.

Maryn
09-29-2016, 09:55 PM
Good addition, The Game. How about Jacob's Ladder? The Twilight Zone episode An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge. Vanilla Sky. American Psycho.

Maze Runner
09-29-2016, 10:59 PM
House of Games?

soapdish
10-01-2016, 07:13 AM
What about Changeling with Angelina Jolie?

Spoilers below...






When they try to pass a boy off as her son and treat her like she's crazy when she tells them it's not her son. They sorta claim she was traumatized. Play on her insecurities about being neglectful (because she was a single working mother) so she feels like it's somehow her fault he went missing to begin with. All so that the police department didn't lose face by bringing home the WRONG child.

soapdish
10-01-2016, 07:21 AM
:idea: What about The Awakening?



Oh! And The Astronaut's Wife?

Or The Devil's Advocate?

with Charlize Theron being the one being gaslighted (gaslit?) in both movies, coincidentally.

Um, can you tell I really like this thread?

Roxxsmom
10-01-2016, 07:32 AM
Memento? Sixth Sense also, in the sense of not really knowing what's going on but thinking you do the first time you watch it.

And that recent De Caprio film about dreams--Inception. Oh, and Shutter Island too, maybe.

I'm not sure what you mean by gaslighting, though. I'm assuming you're not using it in the psychological abuse sense, but more in a sense where the viewer is sort of led to think things are unfolding in a different direction than they are without actually being lied to.

dinky_dau
10-28-2016, 11:35 PM
Well, I'd say that Gaslight is probably one of the best, being the source of the name. The classic Hitchcock one is, well, classic, but there's an earlier British version that has its moments, even if it can't compare to the great Ingrid Bergman climax. "Are you suggesting that this is a knife I hold in my hand? Have you gone mad, my husband?"

Agreed. But if I read you right, you mean the 1944 'Gaslight' with Boyer, Bergman, and Cotten which was directed by George Cukor. This is the most widely known. I just want to clarify this because I was confused at first by your post mentioning Hitch. Yes, there is an earlier 'Gaslight' too; with...now let me think...that wonderful actor from 'Red Shoes'...Kurt Waldheim? Waldman? Ack I can't get his name right. It's Anton Walbrook. That was a 1940 release.

Now then. My rec's for gaslight films? There's probably many more floating around in my head then I can--at this moment--name.

First and foremost though, I would cite the french classic, 'Diaboliques'. That's an easy one.

Will add more later....ah! Here's another. 'Fragment of Fear' starring David Hemmings and (vavavoom) Gail Hennessy.

Oh! And Billy Wilder's 'Fedora'? His next-to-last film which reunited him with Holden. At least a partial gaslighting?

How about the superb WWII intriguer, "36 Hours". In this case, the Germans try to convince an American that the war has been over for twenty yrs and so its okay for him to reveal details about Normandy. I'd watch James Garner in anything.

Jason
10-28-2016, 11:46 PM
It's been done so many times, and a fair number of the more well-known ones are mentioned. One I'd not seen yet though is:

Star Trek TNG: Frame of Mind (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0708718/)

Celia Cyanide
10-29-2016, 06:23 AM
Let's Scare Jessica To Death.

dinky_dau
10-31-2016, 09:07 PM
Let's Scare Jessica To Death.

It's my favorite horror movie. Hadn't considered it an example of gaslighting but yes, I guess it is now that you mention it.
Another one might be 'The Haunting of Julia'? Originally a Peter Straub story, made into a nicely-photographed flick with Mia Farrow.
Robert Wise' 'The Haunting'? 'Burnt Offerings'? These all have elements of 'someone being pushed to the edge of sanity'; however there are genuine supernatural elements involved too.

katiemac
11-01-2016, 05:53 PM
Any superhero movie where the hero tries to convince his girlfriend she's crazy after she sees something suspicious to protect his secret identity.

Same can be said for a lot of films in the supernatural/horror genre.