Whirlpool - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Whirlpool Reviews

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November 2, 2016
In the end, it's ludicrous - but in some ways that's what makes this film noir from Otto Preminger good. Gene Tierney is a kleptomaniac hiding the fact from her psychoanalyst husband, Richard Conte (badly miscast). Slick and evil hypnotist/astrologer Jose Ferrer finds her out and offers to treat her, by which he means control her and make her do his bidding. About halfway through there is a murder, but Ferrer, the obvious suspect, has an alibi - he's in the hospital for a gall bladder operation. Police Detective Charles Bickford (gruff but lovable) is on the case but doesn't believe for a minute that you could hypnotize yourself not to feel pain. Perhaps the film would have succeeded more if Preminger just cranked it up to 11 and let the weird melodrama take over? As it stands, you aren't quite sure whether the events shown are meant to be believable to the audience or not. Poor Gene Tierney may have seen echoes of her own real life in this character, as she may have been hiding mental illness and alcoholism from her public just as her character hides her own inner troubles from others. However, Ferrer is the only one to really capitalize on the bizarreness here, playing his vile charmer to the hilt. Preminger's other noirs are better (Fallen Angel, Where the Sidewalk Ends).
November 10, 2015
Whirlpool is an intriguing film. It is about a woman secretly suffering from kleptomania is hypnotized in an effort to cure her condition. Gene Tierney and Jose Ferrer give excellent performances. The screenplay is well written. Otto Preminger did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama and mystery.
August 5, 2015
Corny but well crafted noir from director Otto Preminger. Preminger reunites with Gene Tierney after their success with "Laura" but the story here is more than far fetched, telling the story about evil hypnotist Jose Ferrer putting Tierney under his spell and having her carry out crimes. Richard Conte plays Tierney's bowtie wearing husband and the film follows them as their lives begin to unravel over Tierney's crimes. The script is by Ben Hecht who had to use a pseudonym to avoid controversy over comments he'd made at the time about Israel.
½ March 27, 2015
a very good film noir movie i enjoy these movies.
½ April 28, 2013
Although the plot strains credulity, this is an interesting psychological thriller. If Ben Hecht had taken the time to iron out the plot inconsistencies, this may have been a great movie.
½ February 10, 2013
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.
December 30, 2012
I watched this at Hugh Hefner's house with Hef, his bitches, and Robert Culp!
½ May 22, 2012
classified as noir- i don't think so its a great psychological melodrama yes but noir no
February 2, 2012
Ann Sutton (Tierney) is a gorgeous socialite married to an extremely successful psychoanalyst (Conte). After shoplifting a pin due to her kleptomania, she's soon rescued by a mysterious hypnotist, who insists he begin treating her. Unknown to Ann, the man is actually more interested in having her do some illegal favors for him-- which goes great-- until she ends up getting caught in a murder rap. Though he's guilty, she's the prime suspect. Though I thought "Whirlpool" was decent, it is by far my least favorite of the long list of Gene Tierney-Otto Preminger noirs. Psychology was a very big topic back in the '40's-- nobody understood it, and it ended up being on the most money making "genres" back in the '40's. What I did like about "Whirlpool", is that it's so different from the others. Most were other movies of mentally disturbed patients, usually with actresses bent on imitating Olivia de Havilland's grand performance in "The Snake Pit". But this is a different movie. Instead, we have a murderous psychoanalyst, which had not happened yet, and still, the "genre" had still not crossed paths with film noir. With all faults aside, this is almost a groundbreaking movie, in a sense that at the time it was something so new. Forget Tierney's ugly wardrobe, Conte's miscast, and some of the camp, and you'll be seeing an entertaining, sharply directed and written noir that even has great performances to boot. "Whirpool" has many flaws, but it's still worth your time.
September 19, 2011
good stuff kinda noirish though though 20th century markets as such I kinda disagree.
½ April 30, 2011
Not-so-famous Preminger noir, five years after "Laura", re-teaming the director with star Tierney and composer David Raksin. Shades of the classic abound, including a creepy, essential, portrait of a dead lady, but the plot, involving hypnosis as a "perfect murder" weapon, is beyond ridiculous.
March 23, 2011
An old psycho-drama/film noir with a decent cast but an absolutely ludicrous plot.
½ November 13, 2010
Effective film noir psychological thriller directed by Otto Preminger with a tightly woven screenplay adapted from Guy Endore's novel Methinks the Lady. Though some of the content is quite preposterous, Preminger cranks up the tension with consummate skill, to delieve quite an attractive little thriller.
½ October 29, 2010
If you guys are into great film noir..I'm sure you're going to love, Whirlpool with, Gene Tierney...Njoy!!!
Super Reviewer
October 24, 2010
Tierney plays a woman who has kleptomania, and doesn't want her husband to find out. It's very thrilling, I liked it.
April 26, 2010
wow umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.....its got a good cast of actors/actressess thorughout this movie....i think that richard conte, jose ferrer, eduard franz, fortunio bonanova, gene tierney, barbara o neil, charles bickford, constance collier play good roles/parts thorughout this movie,.....i think that gene tierney/jose ferrer were great throughout this movie.....i think that the director of this classics/drama/thriller movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie.....i think that this is a good classics drama movie 2 watch its got a great cast thorughout this movie n its enjoyable movie 2 watch
April 2, 2010
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.
January 30, 2010
The classics are always so great. I loved the themes and how they play out to the resolution.
½ December 27, 2009
Director Otto Preminger's film noir psycho-drama is an uneven old-fashioned melodrama. Jose Ferrer steals the show as a slimy charlatan, and there are a handful of strong moments - but ultimately, it's really nothing special or memorable. Film noir fans may find it moderately entertaining.
October 1, 2009
A superbly tangled psychological noir directed by Otto Preminger, in which Ann Sutton turns to a hypnotist to cure her insomnia because she doesn't want her psychiatrist husband to learn about her frailty. The hypnotist then sets her up to take the fall for a murder. My favorite scene is when the hypnotist makes an on-the-spot diagnosis that a man at a social party suffers from depression, and when asked how he knew, admits that he noticed the scars on the man's wrists from a suicide attempt and the man with the scars and everyone else chattily laugh at the hypnotist's cleverness with no apparent concern about the suicide attempt. The film is a classic of the noir style.
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