Whirlpool (1949)

Whirlpool (1949)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Whirlpool Photos

Movie Info

It is best to check one's logic in the lobby while indulging in the melodramatic machinations of Whirlpool. It all begins when Ann Sutton (Gene Tierney), the fashionable wife of a wealthy psychiatrist (Richard Conte), is caught shoplifting in a posh department store. She is rescued by erudite fortune-teller David Korvo (Jose Ferrer), who promises to cure her of her kleptomania through hypnosis. In truth, Korvo plots to use poor Ann as the cover for a complex murder scheme. In lesser hands, the film's bizarre climax might have been laughable: as handled by Jose Ferrer, however, it comes surprisingly close to believability. Adapted by Ben Hecht and Andrew Solt from a novel by Guy Endore, Whirlpool is directed with a delightful lack of restraint by Otto Preminger, who'd previously guided Tierney through the somewhat more credible Laura (1944).
Art House & International , Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation


Gene Tierney
as Ann Sutton
Richard Conte
as Dr. William Sutton
José Ferrer
as David Korvo
Charles Bickford
as Lt. Colton
Barbara O'Neil
as Theresa Randolph
Eduard Franz
as Martin Avery
Constance Collier
as Tina Cosgrove
Fortunio Bonanova
as Feruccio di Ravallo
Ruth Lee
as Miss Hall
Ian MacDonald
as Store Detective Hogan
Bruce Hamilton
as Lt. Jeffreys
Alex Gerry
as Dr. Peter Duval
Lawrence Keating
as Mr. Simms
Larry Keating
as Mr. Simms
Mauritz Hugo
as Hotel Employee
John Trebach
as Freddie
Lawrence Dobkin
as Surgeon Wayne
Jane Van Duser
as Miss Andrews
Nancy Valentine
as Taffy Lou
Clancy Cooper
as Policeman
Eddie Dunn
as Policeman
Charles Flynn
as Policeman
Randy Stuart
as Miss Landau
Helen Westcott
as The Secretary
Mack Williams
as Whorton
Howard Negley
as Gordon
Phyllis Hill
as Cocktail Party Guest
Roger Moore
as Fingerprint Man
Margaret Brayton
as Policewoman
Sue Carlton
as Elevator Girl
Ted Jordan
as Parking Attendant
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Whirlpool

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

It's a fine example of the way Preminger, on occasion, managed to deflect routine melodrama into something more personal and profound.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

There is no doubt that people will do strange things under hypnotic spell and that the techniques of hypnotism may be villainously employed. But you don't catch this fairly rational corner believing for one minute the hocuspocus that goes on.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Preminger's ambiguous relation to his characters and his sense of moral relativity have seldom been put to such haunting use.

Full Review… | October 23, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Ferrer is wonderfully sleazy as Korvo and makes the perfect foil for Tierney.

Full Review… | November 16, 2015
Eye for Film

...a sporadically trashy, thoroughly absurd murder mystery.

Full Review… | June 28, 2010
Reel Film Reviews

Very wry, very Viennese satire of psychoanalysis as bourgeois fad

Full Review… | March 13, 2010

Audience Reviews for Whirlpool


Jose Ferrer is excellent in this, but the story plays out in a very uninteresting way. Like most Preminger films I've seen, I like the look of it and the premise, but it plays a bit too slow and everyone seems a bit detached from any real emotion--Ferrer excepted.

Jeff Bachman
Jeff Bachman

Tierney plays a woman who has kleptomania, and doesn't want her husband to find out. It's very thrilling, I liked it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

More noir-ish than noir, a solid psychological drama but one that lacks tension. The shining star of this movie is Jose Ferrer, who pulls off devious and charming in a captivating manner reminiscent of Alan Rickman. Gene Tierney and Richard Conte just seem to be going through the motions by comparison. The film also deals with a lot of pop psychiatrics, including hypnosis... right behind amnesia in terms of hokey plot devices. The cinematography is dull and the score is perfunctory. A watchable story that needs a whole lot more spark to it.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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