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Whirlpool (1949)

Cast: Gene Tierney, Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, more...
Director: Otto Preminger, Otto Preminger
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Foreign, UK
Running Time: 97 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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In this compelling and unusual psychological melodrama Ann Sutton (Gene Tierney), a woman tormented by her secret kleptomania seeks help from a unscrupulous hypnotist David Korvo (Jose Ferrer). Although she is married to a successful psychiatrist (Richard Conte), and has no need to steal the items which she could easily purchase, she finds herself powerless to control her urge. She is finally caught when she attempts to steal a brooch from a department store but she is saved by Korvo who persuades the store not to prosecute. Grateful and desperate for help, Ann allows Korvo to treat her. Korvo, taking advantage of Ann's vulnerability, hypnotizes her and sends her to the home of a former mistress whom he has stolen money from and subsequently murdered when she threatened to turn him in to the police. Ann is charged with the murder. Convinced of his wife's innocence, Richard must crack Korvo's seeming airtight alibi. Richard tricks Korvo into returning to the scene of the crime to find some evidence in the exciting conclusion. This unusual tale of murder and mental illness was written by a blacklisted Ben Hecht under the pseudonym "Lester Barstow" and bears a striking resemblance to another Hecht thriller, Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound. ~ Linda Rasmussen, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Time-Capsule Camp by talltale September 27, 2005 - 7:37 PM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Camp of an unusual order is provided by WHIRLPOOL, the Otto Preminger-directed (screenplay co-written by Ben Hecht!) not-quite-noir, semi-thriller that makes the most of the fashionable ideas (circa 1949) about hypnotism and psychotherapy. Gene Tierney always looked great but rarely delivered when any heavy-duty acting skills were called upon (they are here, and she doesn't). The trouble with Tierney playing a victim of hypnosis is that, no matter what the role, she always appeared a bit spacey. Jose Ferrer provides fun and class as the heavy, and the cinematography is aces. But if you're not doubled up and howling with glee during the self-hypnotizing scene (and elsewhere), I shall be very surprised. Rate this one a four, but bump it up a notch if time-capsule camp is your scene.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 4.80)
5 Votes
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