Best Movies by Farr

The Spiral Staircase

The Spiral Staircase Poster
The Spiral Staircase Poster

Released

1946

Runtime

83

The Spiral Staircase

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What's it About

Set in the late nineteenth century, this story concerns a series of brutal murders of handicapped women in a New England town. Mute servant girl Helen is urged to leave by invalid employer Mrs. Warren (Barrymore), but Helen chooses to stay. After all, Professor Warren (Brent), the old lady's son, and several other servants, including Mrs. Oates (Lanchester), are present in the house to protect her. Yet Helen's safety is increasingly in doubt, and soon it seems the old lady's advice was fully justified.

Why we love it

Robert Siodmak's eerie gothic thriller will set your teeth chattering, thanks to a subtly forbidding atmosphere, as well as top-flight performances from Barrymore, Brent, and especially McGuire, who's the picture of vulnerability as the delicate, silent Helen. A first-rate chiller, with a nifty surprise climax.