The Spiral Staircase

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Reviews Counted: 21

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,037


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.7/5

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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.


Dorothy McGuire
as Helen Capel
George Brent
as Professor Warren
Ethel Barrymore
as Mrs. Warren
Kent Smith
as Dr. Parry
Gordon Oliver
as Steve Warren
Elsa Lanchester
as Mrs. Oates
James Bell
as Constable
Ellen Corby
as Neighbor
Erville Alderson
as Dr. Harvey
Sara Allgood
as Nurse Barker
Rhys Williams
as Mr. Oates
Myrna Dell
as Murder Victim
View All

Critic Reviews for The Spiral Staircase

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (5)

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.

Oct 17, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

Oct 17, 2016 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This 1946 film is one of [Siodmak's] least interesting.

Oct 17, 2016 | Full Review…

It's one of the undoubted masterpieces of the Gothic mode.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The film is likely to scare the daylights out of most of its audiences.

May 20, 2003 | Full Review…

Although its whodunnit aspect is weak, the strong camera angles and cast performance make this a fine film.

Oct 17, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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

Super Reviewer

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

Super Reviewer

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

Super Reviewer


good creepy thriller in a spooky old mansion

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

The Spiral Staircase Quotes

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