Whirlpool is a highly entertaining, exciting melodrama that combines the authentic features of hypnosis.

Ben Hecht and Andrew Solt have tightly woven a screenplay [from a novel by Guy Endore] about the effects of hypnosis on the subconscious, but they, and Otto Preminger in his direction, have eliminated the phoney characteristics that might easily have allowed the picture to slither into becoming just another eerie melodrama.

Their subject is a young wife of a prominent psychiatrist who, since adolescence, has been plagued by kleptomania.

As the young wife, Gene Tierney gives a plausible performance, though at times she fails to achieve the intensity that the entranced woman should have. Richard Conte, as her husband, is a little out of his metier here. The acting honors go to Jose Ferrer as the blackguard hypnotist.


  • Production: 20th Century-Fox. Director Otto Preminger; Producer Otto Preminger; Screenplay Ben Hecht, Andrew Solt; Camera Arthur Miller; Editor Louis Loeffler; Music David Raksin
  • Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1949. Running time: 97 MIN.
  • With: Gene Tierney Richard Conte Jose Ferrer Charles Bickford Barbara O'Neil Fortunio Bonanova