Otto Preminger's Whirlpool begins at a department store where we find Ann Sutton being stopped on her way out the door and accused of stealing a $300 piece of jewelry. Eventually Ann is let go, mainly due to intervention of David Korvo, who explains to the store owner the media firestorm that could engross his store if Ann, the wife of renowned psychoanalyst Bill Sutton, is brought to trial for this minor act of thievery. Ann is tormented by her kleptomania, that she keeps secret from her husband, opting to hire David, a hypnotist, who convinced her he can help her suffering. Taking advantage of Ann's vunerability, David hatches a intricate plan of blackmail, deceit, and murder in an effort to bleed Ann dry financially. Otto Preminger's Whirlpool is a compelling and intricate psychological melodrama thats absurdity is masked by Preminger's haunting look at moral relativism. The psychology aspect of Whirlpool certainly dates the film but it's still a very engaging experience thanks to great performances. Gene Tierney does a great job as this fragile housewife but Jose Fereer steals this film as the smooth, conniving David Korvo. As the film progresses it becomes a game of wits between David Korvo and Bill Sutton, as he tries to prove his wife's innocence for a crime he believes Korvo hypnotized her into committing. Perhaps the most impressive attribute of Whirlpool is Preminger's ability to take a story that could easily fall into melodramatic drivel, making it instead a personal and profound journey of a tortured soul in Ann. Otto Preminger's Whirlpool is an unusually unique story of mental illness and murder which managers to keep the viewer thoroughly engaged from start to finish.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.