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Whirlpool (1949-Otto Preminger)

Director(s): Otto Preminger

Theatrical Release: 1949

Cast: Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, Jose Ferrer, Charles Bickford, Eduard Franz, Barbara O'Neil

Genre(s): Thriller, psychological, film noir, melodrama, crime, Dean's List

Countries: USA, United Kingdom


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Running Time: 97m.

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 (Robert 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 (allmovie.com)
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