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The Spiral Staircase

Released Feb 6, 1946 1h 23m Mystery & Thriller List
86% Tomatometer 22 Reviews 78% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings A young mute woman who is working in a New England mansion as a domestic is terrorized by a maniac who is killing off people with disabilities. After being warned of the danger to her personal safety she makes plans to leave the dark old house, but it is too late. The maniac is in the house, and she is his prey. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (22) Critics Reviews
Variety Staff Variety This is a smooth production of an obvious, though suspenseful murder thriller, ably acted and directed. Mood and pace are well set, and story grips throughout. Oct 17, 2016 Full Review David Parkinson Empire Magazine Although its whodunnit aspect is weak, the strong camera angles and cast performance make this a fine film. Rated: 4/5 Oct 17, 2016 Full Review TIME Magazine The Spiral Staircase, a murder mystery, knowingly paced by Director Robert Siodmak and shrewdly acted by an expert cast, including Ethel Barrymore, is choice, eerie entertainment. Oct 17, 2016 Full Review Herbert Cohn Brooklyn Daily Eagle An always chilling and sometimes hair-raising thriller. Dec 31, 2020 Full Review Mattie Lucas From the Front Row A haunted house tale where the ghosts are all too human. Rated: 3.5/4 Jun 3, 2019 Full Review Sue Heal Radio Times Thought-provoking and disturbing, this masterly thriller is directed with touches of sheer genius by Robert Siodmak. Rated: 4/5 Oct 17, 2016 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (158) audience reviews
nick s Well acted and directed. It's main flaw was the lack of mystery and some very predictable plot points. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/22/24 Full Review Andy F An unusual and atmospheric chiller. Not quite as great as some have made it out to be, but interesting nonetheless. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 12/03/23 Full Review Monsol E This may be one of my favorite thrillers of all time. The premise of a killer targeting "imperfect" women was great, making them even more monstrous than just a murderer. The suspense and uncertainty were real, and I wasn't sure who it was until near the end. Helen is very likeable, with an interesting situation, backstory, and relations to the other characters, most of whom are also likeable...even if you're wary of them. Everyone's acting was great, ESPECIALLY McGuire's, considering she does it all without speaking. The scene where the doc made her relive the fire is one of the best acted scenes I've seen in a long time. I'm not sure how this holds up to all it's remakes, but I don't really see how this one could be topped. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 10/18/23 Full Review j F I could guess the ending, but nevertheless, a supremely scary murderous mansion! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/22/23 Full Review Daniel E Plot development, pace, casting and acting all appropriate. It has all of the bells and whistles. Perhaps too obvious and succinct. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/24/23 Full Review Audience Member It was on a list of underrated murder mysteries and it is truly underrtate Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Spiral Staircase

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Cast & Crew

Lured 100% 70% Lured And Then There Were None 100% 77% And Then There Were None Possessed 83% 77% Possessed Sorry, Wrong Number 86% 78% Sorry, Wrong Number Spellbound 86% 82% Spellbound Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis A young mute woman who is working in a New England mansion as a domestic is terrorized by a maniac who is killing off people with disabilities. After being warned of the danger to her personal safety she makes plans to leave the dark old house, but it is too late. The maniac is in the house, and she is his prey.
Director
Robert Siodmak
Producer
Dore Schary
Distributor
RKO Radio Pictures
Genre
Mystery & Thriller
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Feb 6, 1946, Original
Release Date (DVD)
Oct 4, 2005
Runtime
1h 23m