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The Spiral Staircase

The Spiral Staircase – 1975
Peter Collinson

Ethel Lina White – novel
Chris Bryant

Jacqueline Bisset
Christopher Plummer
John Phillip Law



Review by Wayne Malin

Pretty dull,
Remake of the 1946 classic. Helen Mallory (Jacqueline Bisset) has been rendered mute after seeing her husband and only child die in a fire. She is now staying at her uncle’s mansion and getting treatment. However there is a killer on the loose who kills people who have disabilities. Is Helen next?

Pointless redo. The original is a classic–what’s the point or remaking it? I caught this on TV late at night back in the 1970s. I had seen the original and was interested in seeing how this stood up. Sadly it turned out to be pretty bad. Despite a great cast (Bisset, Christopher Plummer, John Phillip Law, Elaine Stritch) this is pretty slow-moving and dull. There’s virtually no suspense or atmosphere and it looks like it was made on a very low budget which hurts. The cast tries their best but even their considerable talents can’t liven this up. You can safely skip this one. See the original.

I give it a 3 because the cast does try and Bisset looks stunning (as always).

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70s Films

A tour through the great and not so great films of the seventies The seventies saw a huge change in styles and genres from the advent of the slasher horror movies like Halloween and the blockbuster summers films started by Jaws. More...

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