Gaslicht 1956

 

Director: Rudolph Cartier

 

Writers: Rudolph Cartier, Patrick Hamilton (based on his play 'Gaslight')

Rôle: Jack Manningham

Broadcast:  29 May 1956 Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR)

Synopsis: London 1880: the house of the late Alice Barlow stands in a dimly lit back street. The mood of the residents is as gloomy as the outside of the house. Bella Manningham, the landlady, seems strangely under the spell of a psychopathic passion. Only through the limitless patience of her husband Jack succeeds - at least apparently - in saving the young woman from the consequences of her psychosis. Do shadows of the past lie over this enigmatic marriage tragedy? A strange visitor, former Police Inspector Rough, agrees. He remembers an unsolved murder that had been committed in the house many years earlier...

Reviews: In the detective play "Gaslight" by Patrick Hamilton it was not only the thunderstorm outside. There was also a thunderstorm in the production and in the play, at least it was always very bright and bombastic, with mimic theatrical thunder, so to speak. Just two minutes after the start of the game, even the most lazy spectator must have understood that this man is a bad villain, he has to act so highly demonic. So there are no puzzles to solve, the viewer has no choice but to combine them - it's all about the creeps. For this purpose, the cheapest means are now taken out of the clothes box: theatrical eye rolling, excitement and warning music starting at critical points, delusion and hysteria in every direction, everything applied as thickly as possible, and again and again just this one moment of tension: is he coming now? Is he doing what? However, this tension does not last for around a hundred stretching minutes, as there is hardly anything left to unveil from the fabric.

Did the director make up for that? Oh, even Rudolph Cartier and therefore also the BBC cook with water. Shaking your head, one wonders whether that is why one had to bring a (certainly not cheap) director over from England! By the way: We have nothing against the broadcast of detective pieces, the viewer has a right to it, and you can do it with taste - and more entertaining than here.

At the time, director and translator Rudolph Cartier was considered the top man at the BBC.

 

The "gaslight" material was filmed several times for TV and cinema, the first time in 1940. The best-known version is probably George Cukor's "Das Haus der Lady Alquist" from 1944 with Ingrid Bergmann in the lead role. In 1956 there was also a version for Eastern TV. Richard Lauffen and Marion van de Kamp played in "Gaslicht", directed by Karlheinz Bieber. In 1960 there was another TV version with Dieter Borsche and Margot Trooger for BR (director: Wilm ten Haaf), in 1962 there was another DFF version "Gaslicht". Again with Marion van den Kamp, the Süddeutsche Rundfunk produced a remake in 1977, also under the title "Gaslicht", in which Erika Pluhar and Josef Meinrad played the title roles under the direction of Ludwig Cremer.

 

Cartier also produced the ORF television thriller "Alibi for James" (1966) with Peter Vogel, Heinz Ehrenfreund and Jochen Brockmann. In 1962 he also shot "Der Kronanwalt" with Albert Lieven.

From: Die Krimiserien

Trivia: SDR (now part of SWR) has been contacted by a research assistant (Detective T) and, unfortunately, no recording/copy has been preserved. And despite a thorough search, no production stills or screenshots are known to exist. 

Gaslicht 1956 poster

Many Mansions 1957

 

Producer: George R Foa

Writer: Duncan Ross

 

Rôle: Lester Hockley

Broadcast: 29 March 1957 BBCTV

Synopsis: The 30 minute play, specially written for television by Scottish writer, Duncan Ross, takes place in a pub in Yorkshire. Marius plays Lester Hockley, a man blind from birth. Lester has been secretary to a deceased artist, Paul Stanton, whose character and work are being discussed by the regulars in the pub that night.

Trivia: It is unknown if a copy of this production still exists but, knowing the BBC, it is highly unlikely.