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Spiral Staircase [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Dorothy McGuire , George Brent , Robert Siodmak    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.



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Product details

  • Actors: Dorothy McGuire, George Brent, Ethel Barrymore, Kent Smith, Rhonda Fleming
  • Directors: Robert Siodmak
  • Writers: Ethel Lina White, Mel Dinelli
  • Producers: Dore Schary
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: 11 July 2000
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305841969
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,316 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Turn off the lights and get ready for one of the best suspense films of the forties. The Spiral Staircase is perhaps not as well known as some classic Hitchcock movies, but the film is a true gem for aficinados of scary black and white thrillers. I was introduced to the film by my mother who saw it when she was 12 in 1946. It scared the hell out of her then and did the same to us both i 2009. The director is the most underrated Robert Siodmak, proberly best known for The Killers starring Burt Lancaster. The Spiral Staircase has all the ingredienses of a classic suspense film: Insane murderer, creepy old house, several suspects and superb black and white photography. Ethel Barrymore and specially George O'Brian give firstrate performances as two of the main characters in this unforgettable film.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Spiral Staircase 6 July 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you like good old black and white thrillers then this film is worth getting. It stars Dorothy McGuire as a young woman who helps to look after an elderly lady who is dying. A number of women are murdered but at first there is no connection between the murders. Is McGuire in danger and if so from whom? They are the questions which slowly build the suspense, and like the staircase you go round from one suspect to another until the twist at the end.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gothic, Noirish, Hitchcockian Masterpiece. 23 Jan 2011
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Helen Capel was rendered mute in childhood due to a family trauma, now she acts as a companion to the bed ridden Mrs Warren. She's currently fretful because a serial killer is on the loose and he preys on women with afflictions...

Based on Ethel White's novel "Some Must Watch," The Spiral Staircase harks back to the days of the "old dark house" thrillers and encompasses a German expressionist sheen. The setting is an old Gothic mansion in New England at the turn of the century. Directed by Robert Siodmak, not one spooky house thriller genre convention has been neglected here. The tension builds amid creaking doors and gates, whistling winds, flickering candles, blowing curtains and cut-aways to the eyes of the unseen lurking madman waiting to add poor Helen to his roll call of victims. Mirrors, windows and shadows feature prominently as craftsman Siodmak spins his uneasy expressionistic web.

The cast are uniformly strong. Dorothy McGuire gives one of her best and most convincing performances as the under threat Helen. While Ethel Barrymore (nominated for Best Supporting Actress), Elsa Lanchester and George Brent all turn in brilliant performances. But perhaps it's not unfair to say that the real stars here are the technical staff? Siodmak expands his talent and knowing from his work at Universal Pictures (Son Of Dracula/The Suspect), Albert D'Agostino's sets are wondrous period delights and Nicholas Musuraca's deep-focus photography has the ability to make one keep looking over the shoulder to see if something is lurking in the room with us...

There's quite a few changes in this adaptation from the novel, notably the setting was in England and Helen was a cripple and not mute. But few could seriously argue that The Spiral Staircase in silver screen form is anything but a triumphant piece of classic cinema. 10/10
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy gothic chiller. 6 July 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
A genuinely scary film that must have been way ahead of its time. Look out for the 'peeping eye' scenes. Made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!!!!!!!!!! Although the identity of the killer was a tad predictable...this did not detract from the point of the film. Great winter's night viewing!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely entertaining thriller 7 Jun 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This is a clever clever film. It grips from the word go.
All the classic ingredients of gothic melodrama are here - wind, rain, mansions, deranged killer on the loose. Dorothy Maguire's central performance as a traumatised young woman who is unable to speak ratchets up the thrill level without any of the usual campy cliches.
This is a stylish and absorbing film. Beautifully presented and with wonderful central roles. A genuine classic and thoroughly recommended
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than today's cinema 6 Aug 2010
Format:DVD
If your requirements are a good storyline that keeps you interested until the end, decent acting and you don't mind black & white cinematography, this could be the perfect film for late night suspense. Dorothy McGuire is fantastic in this gem of a film that Hitchcock would have been proud of. Atmospheric, haunting with that impending sense of doom, together with tight performances from the supporting cast including the legendary Ethel Barrymore, make this iconic film a one to savour.

Considering the film was made in 1944, the black and white print is exquisite as is the dvds audio.

Grab a truly great film and treat yourself to a wonderful experience that you can return to on those dark winter nights.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good period drama 1 Jan 2011
Format:DVD
I have seen it many times and always find something new to pick up on. The acting is top class and the plot stands watching again and again. A must for b&w buffs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Watching 26 April 2012
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I must admit that over the years I have seen this many times on the telly, so I was more than happy when I decided to see if it was on dvd, and found it. This black and white film is based on the novel ‘Some Must Watch’ (by Ethel Lina White), and was directed by Robert Siodmak.

In a small American town a serial killer seems to be on the loose, his penchant is for young women who have disabilities. Helen Capel who has been a mute since childhood, due to events that she witnessed is an obvious victim for the killer. Helen is a servant in the Warren household, which is pretty much isolated. On a stormy night there is already one murder in the house, will Helen be the next?

Perhaps a bit too melodramatic at times, this is a film that many have enjoyed since it was first shown at the cinema back in 1946. Fans of Hitchcock should enjoy this as it a good little thriller, full of suspense. With gothic undertones and a good cast, this is something that is always worth watching.

The sound and picture quality are good on this, but a warning as to the sound level, you may have to significantly turn up the volume level as it is very quiet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiral Staircase Region 1 US Inport dvd
Just to let everybody know that this Region 1 dvd of The Spiral Staircase is the 1945 film and not the 1975 remake as stated on Amazon ( please take this in account before... Read more
Published 29 days ago by brian
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spiral Staircase
I originally saw this many years ago and felt creepy. I watched it recently, and still felt it was full of suspense.
Published 1 month ago by emerald
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
For the time this film was made it is a really good horror. I believe it is one of the first of its kind made. Read more
Published 2 months ago by AG
4.0 out of 5 stars Things that go bump in the night
Who is killing the women suffering from defects - the first murder we see is of a crippled girl. Actually it comes as no great surprise since we get closeups of the killer's eye... Read more
Published 2 months ago by W. Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars review
I love all the old movies as they have great story lines, I never seem to tire of watching them
Published 3 months ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars 1940s Film Noir At Its Best
A serial killer commits a spate of murders of young women possessing disabilities in turn of the 20th Century New England and a young, mute serving girl (Dorothy McGuire) is the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Copnovelist
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb Hitchcock thriller
Starring George Brent and Dorothy McGuire, this 1945 version is better than the remake, with clever photography in black and white adding to the drama. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Helen Wingate
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Cast Works Well, But House is the Star
THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE, (1946). In this 84 minute, black and white classic film noir, beautiful young Helen Capel, who became mute as a result of childhood trauma, has lived most... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stephanie De Pue
5.0 out of 5 stars a good old classic
a very good film well written. I really enjoy these good old fashioned films , the dvd arrived well packaged, and delivered earlier than expected , a good service altogether... Read more
Published 6 months ago by browser
4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun...
This atmospheric thriller contains everything that would soon become cliches in the Gothic 'girl in danger in dark and creepy house' movies to follow right up to the present day. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Iain C. Davidson
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