The Spiral Staircase

Discussion in 'Classic' started by dwatts, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    I did a search, and found nothing on this one. So....

    I couldn't find the R1 of this, I guess it's getting scarce. No matter, I found the R2 (UK) for a little less than $10. The cover looks pretty awful though:

    [​IMG]

    This post could get a little sickening, since my praises for this film would go on and on. As a fan of the gothic Universal films, and enjoying the likes of Old Dark House tremendously, I was eager to see this one again after quite a few years missing out. WOW.

    The film has everything, a black gloved killer, and old ghostly house, thunderstorms at night, light-entertainment from a drunken cook, incredible sets, maximum benefit from the black and white palette (use of shadow is extraordinary), a beautiful leading lady (Dorothy McGuire was a babe!), and yeah, a little romance.

    I so enjoyed this one, I couldn't believe I'd missed out so long. This R2 release looks a little.. erm... el cheapo.... however, the transfer as it turns out is immaculate! Of course 4:3, there's barely a nick on a frame. The extras are all text based (bio's on several of the actors, and a film review from The New York Times), and they add a little something.

    If you're into the classics, well, you simply ought to have this one. It's just superb.
     
  2. Franco

    Franco Weekender

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    Well, according to DVD Compare the R2 UK release is the one to go for since it has a few additional extras, even when those extras aren't that important for today's standards.

    - Cast Bios
    - New York Times Review
    - Photo Gallery

    That is unless the AB USA release has better picture quality. I really couldn't say. Anyways, I've added this movie to my wishlist ... Haven't bought B&W in months!
     
  3. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    The AB disc is, apparently, hard to come by and going for big bucks, so I'd just get the R2 if I were you. As for extras, they are there, and they are slightly informative, but they're not really..... too special, you know?
     
  4. Mattster

    Mattster Guest

  5. dwatts

    dwatts New Member

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    Wow, that has less extras than the el-cheapo in R2 :(

    Actually, there are apparently NO extras at all.

    Oh well, for the region crippled that would be a great option, get on it guys and gals!
     
  6. life_o_petey

    life_o_petey Guest

    Robert Siodmak = i will buy. and i love old dark house, so if you're comparing it to that then this sounds right up my alley.
     
  7. Cujo108

    Cujo108 Guest

    I read about this one in one of my horror reference guides a few years back. It sounded great, so I tried tracking down a copy to no avail. I wound up catching a showing on TCM a few years later. This is a classic well deserving of its reputation, but strangely enough, as good a reputation as it has, it seems to be an oddly overlooked film. Either way, the story is unique, especially for its time, and the film just oozes suspense. I was very satisfied with the end result too. I eventually came across the Anchor Bay DVD at K-Mart for a mere price of $4.99, a true steal. Its nice to see it being rereleased though. Its one of those films that deserves to be rediscovered.
     
  8. MaxRenn

    MaxRenn Member

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    Yes this was a good movie although I feel that it just falls short of classic because the killer is too easy to spot and the film's mid-section actually loses suspense after the excellent beginning. However that's just minor. Did anyone else feel that Argento and Bava must have seen this movie? The black gloves, the scene of the killer (I presume) in a black raincoat in the rain, the close-ups of the killer's eye, the murder in the basement, the killer's motivation all reminded me of giallo scenes. Certainly very unusual for a 1940s movie.

    We also get a bulldog, Elsa Lanchester (the Bride of Frankenstein) playing a great part as the amusing cook, and Kent Smith (from Cat People) playing another "sensitive" straight arrow.
     

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