Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Spiral Staircase (1946)

Disabled women in small town are becoming prey of a serial killer. Helen (Dorothy McGuire), a mute girl who works for the Warren family, is the killer’s next victim. In the Warren manor, Helen serves as the ailing Mrs. Warren’s (Ethel Barrymore) companion. When another murder takes place in town, Mrs. Warren is convinced it’s her son Steve (Gordon Oliver), a reckless womanizer. Steve has just arrived from Europe and is staying in the mansion with his mother and step-brother Professor Albert Warren (George Brent). He is currently having an affair with Albert’s assistant and past love interest, Blanche. When Dr. Parry (Kent Smith), the young new doctor arrives to check on Mrs. Warren, she insists that he take Helen from her home immediately. Since Dr. Parry loves Helen and wants to take her to see specialists in Boston so she can regain her voice, he agrees but first he must take care of his other patients and so leaves Helen to her own defenses in the Warren home.

This film is full of wonderful suspense! The set up is great- three men, three possible murderers. Could it be the new doctor in town who professes his love for Helen? What about Steve, who’s never had a care in the world and seems to earn everyone’s dislike? Or could it possibly be Professor Warren, a kind man who has graciously taken on the care of his step-mother?

Tonight on TCM!
Richard Burton!!

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous film. Total psychological thriller.