The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946)

Article #558 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-24-2002
Posting date: 2-17-2003

A woman gets a job as a companion to a blind woman in a small town, but strange events make her suspicious.

Despite the title and the presence of Gale Sondergaard, there is no connection between this movie and the Sherlock Holmes opus THE SPIDER WOMAN. It’s actually a pretty standard mad scientist movie of sorts, though actually I found it a fairly interesting one. It’s plotted with a decent amount of mystery; you only find out what’s going on piece by piece, and it reveals its secrets at just the right pace to hold your interest till the end of the movie. It’s also helped by the presence of Sondergaard, an extraordinary character actress who adds a great deal of class to her role. It’s also helped by Rondo Hatton; he had a certain brutish eloquence in the physical aspect of his performances that he couldn’t match vocally; here, playing a mute, he is allowed to play on his strengths as an actor rather than his weaknesses, and it is perhaps his best performance. The ending is somewhat arbitrary, almost as if they never really knew what to do with the story at that point, but overall, this is a pretty decent low-budget programmer.


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