The New Pictures, Feb. 4, 1946

The Spiral Staircase (RKO-Radio), a murder mystery, knowingly paced by Director Robert Siodmak and shrewdly acted by an expert cast, including Ethel Barrymore, is choice, eerie entertainment.

Miss Barrymore has made only two other talking pictures (Rasputin and the Empress in 1932, None but the Lonely Heart in 1944). She spends most of this one propped up in bed. Alternately purring and bellowing in a voice not unlike Brother Lionel's, she is superbly effective as the ailing, aging mistress of a huge plush-and-black-walnut New England mansion. A gay-dog only son and a sobersided professor-stepson (George Brent) make their home with her. Residents...

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