MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,795 this week

The Spiral Staircase (1945)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 5,709 users  
Reviews: 100 user | 38 critic

A serial killer (circa 1916) is targeting women with 'afflictions'; one night during a thunderstorm, mute Helen feels menaced.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 08 Sep 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 31 May 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 15 Sep 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 47 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Spiral Staircase (1945)

The Spiral Staircase (1945) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Spiral Staircase.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Phantom Lady (1944)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A beautiful secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Criss Cross (1949)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An armored truck driver and his lovely ex-wife conspire with a gang to have his own truck robbed on the route.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Yvonne De Carlo, Dan Duryea
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A woman suspected of murdering her doctor boyfriend has an identical twin sister. When both twins have an alibi for the night of the murder, a psychiatrist is called in to assist a ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Bachelor Harry Quincey, head designer in a small-town cloth factory, lives with his selfish sisters, glamorous hypochondriac Lettie and querulous widow Hester. His developing relationship ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: George Sanders, Ella Raines, Geraldine Fitzgerald
The Killers (1946)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Police Lieut. Candella, longtime friend of the Rome family, walks a tightrope in the case of cop-killer Martin Rome.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Victor Mature, Richard Conte, Fred Clark
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a lovely wife and her new husband, settle in an ancient mansion on the East coast, she discovers he may want to kill her.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave, Anne Revere
The Suspect (1944)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip's ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Charles Laughton, Ella Raines, Dean Harens
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young femme fatale-type woman realizes that the wealthy man she married is an incorrigible wastrel.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, Richard Whorf
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The ambitious Stanton "Stan" Carlisle works in a sideshow as carny and assistant of the mentalist Zeena Krumbein, who is married with the alcoholic Pete. The couple had developed a secret ... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Director: Peter Collinson
Stars: Jacqueline Bisset, Christopher Plummer, John Phillip Law
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The son of a wealthy Maine shipping magnate causes a crisis in the family when he announces that he wants a career in music rather than in the family business.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Phyllis Calvert, Robert Hutton, Ella Raines
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
George Brent ...
...
Mrs. Warren
Kent Smith ...
...
Blanche
Gordon Oliver ...
Steve Warren
...
...
Nurse Barker
...
Mr. Oates
James Bell ...
Constable
Edit

Storyline

Beautiful young mute Helen is a domestic worker for old ailing Mrs. Warren. Mrs. Warren's two sons, Albert (a professor) and womanizing impudent Steven, also live in the Warren mansion. Mrs. Warren becomes concerned for Helen's safety when a rash of murders involving 'women with afflictions' hits the neighborhood. She implores her physician, Dr. Parry, to take Helen away for her own safety. When another murder occurs inside the Warren mansion, it becomes obvious that Helen is in danger. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Silence of Helen McCord  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"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. See more »

Goofs

SPOILER:Mrs. Warren is presented as bedridden yet, when Helen is searching for the gun she checks the entire room - though this may suggest that she already knows her employer is not such an invalid as she makes out. See more »

Quotes

Constable: She's dead!
Dr. Parry: Well, in that case, Constable, I certainly can't do her any harm.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Society (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz Op. 34 No. 2 in A minor
(uncredited)
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played during the scene at the silent movie theater
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The World Has No Place for Imperfections
13 July 2008 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

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 (Dorothy McGuire) nurses Mrs. Warren (Ethel Barrymore) who is terminal in bed. The newcomer Dr. Parry (Kent Smith) 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 (Gordon Oliver) arrives from Europe, he stays in the mansion with his mother and his stepbrother Professor Albert Warren (George Brent) and has a brief affair with Albert's assistant Blanche (Rhonda Fleming). 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.

"The Spiral Staircase" is a suspenseful stylish movie, with a magnificent black and white cinematography that follows the German Expressionism and wonderful set decoration in Victorian style. It is impressive the use of shadows and lights in many unforgettable scenes, like for example Blanche in the basement or Helen in the spiral staircase. The beginning is an awesome tribute to the earlier days of the cinema. The performances are excellent and it is impossible to individually highlight any actor or actress. The plot keeps the tension until the very end in this great movie. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Silêncio nas Trevas" ("Silence in the Darkness")


17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
1st Killer's POV movie? ClassicMovieholic
Is this scene in this movie? charel196
Dorothy McGuire's performance overlooked for Academy Award? TCManiacs
where is this house? carlin4737
Influence on gialli? pstumpf
Ethel Lina White and The Unlocked WIndow on Hitchcock BoomerMovieFan
Discuss The Spiral Staircase (1945) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?