Blast From the Past: The Spiral Staircase (1945) Robert Siodmak

TCM is rebroadcasting the nail biting film noir The Spiral Staircase on Thursday at 3:15 PM EST With that in mind, I thought I would highlight my 2010 review of this magnificent film noir.

5 comments on “Blast From the Past: The Spiral Staircase (1945) Robert Siodmak

  1. Jon says:

    I actually just DVR’d this one and am really excited to see it! I like Dorothy McGuire a lot and had been meaning to see it for sometime. Can’t wait! Really nice essay.


  2. John Greco says:

    Thanks Jon, Would be interested to here what you thought after seeing it.


    • Jon says:

      I just watched it last night! Wow it was better than I even expected it to be! I sort of saw it as an early example of a “slasher film” or thriller type rather than film noir, myself, but certainly the lighting by Musuraca and his great cinematography is very reminiscent of noir. I must say I was genuinely freaked out a bit! Those murder sequences are brilliantly staged and feel very much like they may have influenced Hitch himself who wasn’t really doing this sort of thing yet. I feel like I saw things here that pop up in Psycho 15 years later. Very interesting film.


      • John Greco says:


        You’re not alone in thinking the film has noirish qualities but is truly a mixture, still the cinematography, the camera angles make it a strong contender to be called a noir. The murder sequences are brilliantly done, and I also like the opening “movie” sequence, not for any horror but just as an insight in how movies were watched back in those early days. It’s a great little film, one that can be watched repeatedly and you will keep finding new things that were previously missed.


  3. Rick29 says:

    John, great review (as always). THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE is one of my all-time faves. I agree with Jon that it could be considered one of the first (if not “the” first) slasher films. The shots where we see what the killer does are genuinely creepy (and I don’t “creep” easily).


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