Capital Celluloid 2024 — Day 112: Sun Apr 21

Whirlpool (Preminger, 1950): BFI Southbank, NFT2, 6pm

This film is part of the Gene Tierney season at BFI Southbank and also screens on April 21st. Full details here.

Time Out review:
The same themes and the same cool style as in Laura and Angel Face are at work in this portrait of the wealthy and sophisticated cracking apart at the seams, under pressure from psychological hang-ups, repressed passion, and innocent gullibility. When rich kleptomaniac Gene Tierney turns for help not to her psychoanalyst husband (Richard Conte) but to a hard-hearted hypnotherapist (Jose Ferrer), she finds herself bereft of memory and implicated in a murder. Preminger translates the rather daft story (scripted by a pseudonymous Ben Hecht, loosely adapting Guy Endore's novel Methinks the Lady) into a typically unhysterical and lucid examination of people under stress: as the crime is investigated, currents of distrust, fear, and falsehood disturb the smooth waters of an apparently happy marriage. Content to observe rather than moralise, he creates a world of sympathetically flawed characters, the magnificent exception being the swindling quack, a manipulating charmer whose underplaying by Ferrer suggests credible evil. With its noir themes played out in cold, bright interiors, it's a fine example of the way Preminger, on occasion, managed to deflect routine melodrama into something more personal and profound.
Geoff Andrew

Here (and above) is the trailer.

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