won her first of three Oscars for this suspense thriller, crafted with surprising tautness by normally genteel "women's picture" director George Cukor
. Bergman stars as Paula Alquist, a late 19th century English singer studying music in Italy. However, Paula abandons her studies because she's fallen in love with dapper, handsome Gregory Anton (Charles Boyer
). The couple marries and returns to the U.K. and a home inherited by Paula from her aunt, herself a famous singer, who was mysteriously murdered in the house ten years before. Once they have moved in, Gregory, who is in reality a jewel thief and the murderer of Paula's aunt, launches a campaign of terror designed to drive his new bride insane. Though Paula is certain that she sees the house's gaslights dim every evening and that there are strange noises coming from the attic, Gregory convinces Paula that she's imagining things. Gregory's efforts to make Paula unstable are aided by an impertinent maid, Nancy (teenager Angela Lansbury
in her feature film debut). Meanwhile, a Scotland Yard inspector, Brian Cameron (Joseph Cotton), becomes suspicious of Gregory and sympathetic to Paula's plight.