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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: The Spiral Staircase

Steve Hayes reviews the 1946 thriller:
It's a dark and stormy night! Hide under the bed! Don't look in the closet! Stay downstairs! He knows you're alone!

These warnings pop in and out of the heroine's mind as the tension runs rampant in Robert Siodmak's suspense classic, The Spiral Staircase.

But Dorothy McGuire isn't listening. She isn't talking either and that's half her problem. She's a mute. And there's a psycho killer murdering women with handicaps who may be hiding somewhere in the old dark house where she works. Where is it safe? Who can she trust? What was that noise? Is it just her imagination, or was that window closed the last time she passed it?

Dorothy McGuire leads a top flight cast of character actors including: Ethel Barrymore, in an Oscar nominated role, George Brent. Elsa Lancaster, Rhonda Fleming and Sarah Allgood in what is probably the greatest "Where is he in the house?" movie ever made.

Your blood'll run cold, Your spine'll tingle. You'll want to run. You won't dare. Whatever you do, don't go down The Spiral Staircase.

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