Adam Belinski: What made you think you were out of place?
Cluny Brown: Oh, I didn’t think I was. It’s Uncle Arn. He’s always telling me, “Cluny Brown, you don’t know your place. Think of your place. Cluny Brown, you ought to learn your place.”
Adam Belinski: Where does Uncle Arn think your place is?
Cluny Brown: He didn’t say.
Adam Belinski: Because he doesn’t know. Nobody can tell you where your place is. Where is my place? Where is anybody’s place? I’ll tell you where it is. Wherever you’re happy, that’s your place. And happiness is a matter of purely personal adjustment to your environment. You’re the sole judge. In Hyde Park, for instance. Some people like to feed nuts to the squirrels. But if it makes you happy to feed squirrels to the nuts, who am I to say nuts to the squirrels?
God I love this film. I first saw it during Summer Under the Stars in 2010 at about 2 in the morning after having watched five other Bergman films that day. I think I must have dosed off during it because a few months later when I fell really hard for Joseph Cotten and was looking at his filmography, I saw he was one of the co-stars and I didn’t remember his character at all! Luckily, at the TCM Film Festival in 2011, I got a second chance to see the film, this time on the gigantic screen at the Chinese Theater. During that day I had seen two other Cotten films on the big screen (Citizen Kane and Niagara), so I was on a bit of a Cotten high. What a great day that was. And what a great film, too! I now own it (thank you very much Warner Archive!) and have watched it several times. I would be lying if I told you the following look at the film is going to go pretty heavy into Jo Cotten’s wardrobe. Also, it will contain spoilers regarding the plot twist. So if you’ve never seen it before, you might want to look away. Gaslight was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning two: Best B&W Art Director (won), Best B&W Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Angela Lansbury, Best Actor Charles Boyer, Best Actress Ingrid Bergman (won) and Best Picture. George Cukor was not nominated for Best Director, however. Actually, this was one of those years where Best Director lined up with three of the nominated films, while two director were nominated without Best Picture nominations (Otto Preminger for Laura and Alfred Hitchcock for Lifeboat). The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Double Indemnity, Since You Went Away, Wilson and winner Going My Way. I should also mention that there is a British version of Gaslight from 1940 that stars Anton Walbrook and Diana Wynyard, though I have yet to see it.