Pulp Fiction Thursday: Whirlpool

I mentioned my passion for shrink flicks in the segment of the Hitchcock Dozen about Spellbound. Whirlpool features a creepy charlatan shrink played by Jose Ferrer. Gene Tierney plays a kleptomaniac who is hypnotized by Ferrer. She’s trying to cure her psychological malady but ends up unjustly accused of murder.

Whirlpool adheres to the Two Best-Looking People In A Movie Rule as Tierney is married to Nicholas Richard Conte; handsome man and one of my favorite actors of the period. You know him as Richard but his friends called him Nick.

Tierney had her own share of mental health issues, which led to an early retirement after her reign as a Hollywood Brunette Bombshell. She was a vulnerable film noir leading lady as opposed to femme fatales such as Ida Lupino and my cat’s namesake, Claire Trevor. I never get enough of this next image:

Whirlpool has a swell script by the great Ben Hecht and is based on this novel by Guy Endore:

Methinks Whirlpool is a better title.

The movie is tightly directed by Otto Preminger with a score by David Raskin who did the music for Preminger’s finest film, Laura.

The moody cinematography was in the capable hands of Arthur Miller who worked with such stellar directors as John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, and my countryman Elia Kazan.

Grading Time: Whirlpool is a solid but unspectacular film noir, which I like but don’t love. I give it 3 stars and an Adrastos Grade of B. It’s still worth 98 minutes of your time.

Let’s get arty and postery or is that postery and arty? Beats the hell outta me.

Here’s the one sheet poster that adorned theatres back in the day:

I dig lobby cards, especially ones with color pictures promoting a black and white movie. Both of these feature Charles Bickford who was the detective on the case.

We exit lobby card land to watch the trailer:

Finally, Jose Ferrer hypnotizes Gene Tierney:

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