The Spiral Staircase (1945)
Horror Movies & Sci-Fi Movies Database
In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, a serial-killer is terrorizing a small town, killing women with imperfections. In the Warren manor, the mute servant Helen nurses Mrs. Warren who is terminal in bed. The newcomer Dr. Parry falls in love for Helen and has the intention to take her to specialists in Boston for treatment for recovering her voice and marry her. When the reckless Steve Warren arrives from Europe, he stays in the mansion with his mother and his stepbrother Professor Albert Warren and has a brief affair with Albert's assistant Blanche. When a crippled woman is killed in the town, Mrs. Warren advises Helen to leave the house immediately since she is in danger. When a murder occurs in the mansion, Helen does not know who is trustful to help her to call Dr. Parry to rescue her.
Also Known As:
Silence of Helen McCord
Some Must Watch
Title: Spiral Staircase, The
Release Date: December , 1945
Runtime: 83 mins
All Genres: Drama, Film-Noir, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Colors: Black and White
IMDB Rating: 7.7
Buried.com Rating: 8.7 - (Rate This Horror Movie at Buried.com)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With S
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Dorothy McGuire ...Helen Capel
George Brent ...Professor Warren
Ethel Barrymore ...Mrs. Warren
Kent Smith ...Dr. Parry
Rhonda Fleming ...Blanche
Gordon Oliver ...Steve Warren
Elsa Lanchester ...Mrs. Oates
Sara Allgood ...Nurse Barker
Rhys Williams ...Mr. Oates
James Bell ...Constable
Erville Alderson ...Dr. Harvey
Ellen Corby ...Neighbour
Myrna Dell ...Murder Victim
George Holmes ...The Killer's 'Shadow'
Richard Tyler ...Freddy
Charles Wagenheim ...Desk Clerk
Ethel Lina White
The Spiral Staircase Horror Film Trailer 1
"Waltz Op. 34 No. 2 in A minor"
- Constable: She's dead! Dr. Parry: Well, in that case, Constable, I certainly can't do her any harm.
- The silent film within the film that the audience watches at the beginning is The Sands of Dee (1912), directed by D.W. Griffith.
Joan Crawford, after receiving critical praise for her performance in A Woman's Face (1941), at one point campaigned for the role of the deaf-mute girl played by Dorothy McGuire, but MGM studio chief Louis B. Mayer vehemently opposed the idea, telling her "No more cripples or maimed women".
While this film was based on Ethel Lina White's 1933 novel "Some Must Watch," there are several major differences. In the novel, the maid stalked by the killer was crippled, not mute. It was also set in contemporary England, not early 1900's New England. Finally, the title of the film and the idea of incorporating a "spiral staircase" as a thematic element comes from another source entirely: Mary Roberts Rinehart's 1908 novel "The Circular Staircase."
"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 25, 1949 with Dorothy McGuire reprising her film role.
"The Hedda Hopper Show - This Is Hollywood" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on February 15, 1947 with George Brent reprising his film role.
» User Comments at imdb.com
» More information at imdb.com
Mute, Mansion, Murder, Serial Killer, Professor ...[more]
Rating: 8.7 out of 10.0 - 61 votes cast total