Robert Siodmak’s The Spiral Staircase is a classic Hitchcockian thriller set in a shadow-filled Victorian house. The manor’s mute servant girl, Helen (Dorothy McGuire), is threatened by a murderer on the premises—a killer who targets those burdened by afflictions….
Robert Siodmak was a German born American film director. He is best remembered as a thriller specialist and for the series of Hollywood film noirs he made in the 1940s.
Siodmak was born to a Polish Jewish family in Dresden, Germany (the myth of his American birth in Memphis, Tennessee was necessary for him to obtain a visa in Paris). He worked as a stage director and a banker before becoming editor and scenarist for Curtis Bernhardt in 1925. At twenty-six he was hired by his cousin, producer Seymour Nebenzal, to assemble original silent movies from the stock footage of old ones. Siodmak worked at this for two years before he persuaded Nebenzal to finance his first feature, the silent chef d’oeuvre, People on Sunday (Menschen am Sonntag) (1929). The script was written by his younger brother Curt Siodmak, later the screenwriter of The Wolf Man (1941).
With the rise of Nazism he left Germany for Paris and then Hollywood. Siodmak arrived in Hollywood in 1939, where he made… read more
Beautiful cinematography, but far too much romantic melodrama and not enough suspense. The thriller aspects almost felt like an after thought.
Seen with my grandma wich told me that was a great suspense film.. My grandma has a collection of all that films..Hitchcock is her favorite and I begin watch that genre since when I was 8-9 yo. GRANDMA ROCKS!!
Most interesting for me were the shots later "quoted" by Argento--the eye of the killer in the closet, which he reproduced in Deep Red, and the "victim getting dressed struggles with (and is momentarily blinded by) her clothes, which allows the killer to attack"-setup that he used so brilliantly in Tenebrae, in that famous scene with Mirella D'Angelo.