The Spiral Staircase (1946)




The Spiral Staircase Photos

Movie Info

Spiral Staircase is a thriller about a mute servant (Dorothy McGuire) who works in an spooky mansion that may house a killer who has been murdering women who have physical deformities.
Rating: NR
Genre: Classics , Horror , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Robert Siodmak
Written By: Mel Dinelli
In Theaters: wide
RKO Pictures


Dorothy McGuire
as Helen Capel
George Brent
as Professor Warren
Ethel Barrymore
as Mrs. Warren
Kent Smith
as Dr. Parry
Rhonda Fleming
as Blanche
Gordon Oliver
as Steve Warren
Elsa Lanchester
as Mrs. Oates
James Bell
as Constable
Charles Wagenheim
as Desk Clerk
Ellen Corby
as Neighbor
Richard Tyler
as Freddie
Erville Alderson
as Dr. Harvey
Sara Allgood
as Nurse Barker
Rhys Williams
as Mr. Oates
Myrna Dell
as Murder Victim
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News & Interviews for The Spiral Staircase

Critic Reviews for The Spiral Staircase

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (2)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

This dated old chestnut definitely wouldn't hold up as-is for today's audiences, but for fans of classic cinema it's well worth a look.

Full Review… | February 23, 2010

Erected on expressionistic Gothic menace

Full Review… | September 25, 2009

Psychological drama has its share of chills; led by Dorothy McGuire standout.

March 16, 2009

Complex thriller with rich style.

Full Review… | August 9, 2007
Classic Film and Television

Audience Reviews for The Spiral Staircase


Noticeably less eventful than one might expect, but by no means boring, with an unsurprising ending. The cinematography, however, is almost to die for.

vieras esine
vieras esine

Excellent chiller with an outstanding Dorothy McGuire in the lead. Fantastically moody settings and a real sense of dread permeates the proceedings under Siodmak's solid direction. It's the women in the cast who stand out here, aside from McGuire there's a young and very beautiful Rhonda Fleming, a quietly iunderstated but still scenery chewing Ethel Barrymore, and the humourous duo of Elsa Lanchester and Sara Allgood. All the men are rather stolid but it doesn't detract much from this superior and classy fright flick.

jay nixon
jay nixon

An atmospheric whodunit that has very little to do with a spiral staircase. Someone is knocking off women with 'imperfections'. A woman with a scar on her face, a 'simple minded thing', a cripple... and now, someone is trying to kill Helen (Dorothy McGuire), the gorgeous mute servant of rich old Miss Warren (Ethel Barrymore). Good luck trying to figure this one out - there is a plethora of suspects, and no butler!

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

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