The Spiral Staircase - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spiral Staircase Reviews

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Top Critic
Variety Staff
October 17, 2016
This is a smooth production of an obvious, though suspenseful murder thriller, ably acted and directed. Mood and pace are well set, and story grips throughout.
David Parkinson
Empire Magazine
October 17, 2016
Although its whodunnit aspect is weak, the strong camera angles and cast performance make this a fine film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic

TIME Magazine
October 17, 2016
The Spiral Staircase, a murder mystery, knowingly paced by Director Robert Siodmak and shrewdly acted by an expert cast, including Ethel Barrymore, is choice, eerie entertainment.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
October 17, 2016
This 1946 film is one of [Siodmak's] least interesting.
Sue Heal
Radio Times
October 17, 2016
Thought-provoking and disturbing, this masterly thriller is directed with touches of sheer genius by Robert Siodmak.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Staci Layne Wilson
February 23, 2010
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.
Fernando F. Croce
September 25, 2009
Erected on expressionistic Gothic menace
Steve Crum
March 16, 2009
Psychological drama has its share of chills; led by Dorothy McGuire standout.
| Original Score: 5/5
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television
August 9, 2007
Complex thriller with rich style.
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
June 1, 2007
...the majority of the film's running time [is] bogged down in the dull exploits of several uninteresting characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Milne
Time Out
February 9, 2006
It's one of the undoubted masterpieces of the Gothic mode.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 16, 2004
The radiant heroine performance by Dorothy McGuire as a terrified mute, who conveys her inner thoughts without dialogue, was priceless.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Christopher Null
November 18, 2003
Dorothy McGuire does a fair job as the mute could-be-next victim, but overall the thrill of Spiral is largely gone.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

May 24, 2003
A delicious freakshow of neurosis, shock, suspense and cranked-up character-acting.
Top Critic
Thomas M. Pryor
New York Times
May 20, 2003
The film is likely to scare the daylights out of most of its audiences.
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
November 6, 2002
Great period noir from Robert Siodmak.
| Original Score: 4/5

TV Guide
January 1, 2000
Not one thriller convention has been neglected in a picture that is virtually guaranteed to suffuse audiences with gooseflesh.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Dragan Antulov
January 1, 2000
One of the true gems of classic Hollywood.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Emanuel Levy
June 26, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Carol Cling
Las Vegas Review-Journal
August 22, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
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