The Spiral Staircase
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The wonderfully suspenseful psychological drama Spiral Staircase is the prototype of the "old dark house, lady in distress" thriller, full of dark corners, flickering candles and featuring a mysterious, menacing killer whose true identity remains hidden until the end. Helen Capel (Dorothy McGuire), mute because of a childhood trauma, cares for the owner of the house, the wealthy Mrs. Warren (Ethel Barrymore), a demanding, widowed invalid. Helen has quietly fallen in love with one of Mrs. Warren's sons, Dr. Parry (Kent Smith), who she believes to be a gentle and understanding man.… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This dated old chestnut definitely wouldn't hold up as-is for today's audiences, but for fans of classic cinema it's well worth a look."
‑ Staci Layne Wilson,
"Complex thriller with rich style."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"Great period noir from Robert Siodmak."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"Erected on expressionistic Gothic menace"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"...the majority of the film's running time [is] bogged down in the dull exploits of several uninteresting characters."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Psychological drama has its share of chills; led by Dorothy McGuire standout."
‑ Steve Crum,
"The radiant heroine performance by Dorothy McGuire as a terrified mute, who conveys her inner thoughts without dialogue, was priceless."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for The Spiral Staircase on Rotten Tomatoes