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The Phantom Fiend (1932)

The Lodger (original title)
Passed | | Action, Crime, Romance | 12 December 1932 (UK)
This was the first sound remake of the Hitchcock silent classic inspired by the Jack the Ripper legend. Ivor Novello, who played the title role and headed the team writing the script, was ... See full summary »

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(novel) (as Mrs. Belloc Lowndes), (scenario) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
A.W. Baskcomb ...
Barbara Everest ...
Mrs. Bunting (as Barbara Everst)
...
John Martin
Shayle Gardner ...
Peter Gawthorne ...
Lord Southcliff
Kynaston Reeves ...
Bob Mitchell (as P. Kynaston Reeves)
Drusilla Wills ...
Mrs. Coles
Anthony Holles ...
Silvono
George Merritt ...
Commissioner
Molly Fisher ...
Gladys Sims (as Mollie Fisher)
Andreas Malandrinos ...
Rabinovitch (as Andrea Malandrinas)
Iris Ashley ...
Police Commissioner's Daughter
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Storyline

This was the first sound remake of the Hitchcock silent classic inspired by the Jack the Ripper legend. Ivor Novello, who played the title role and headed the team writing the script, was in the original as well. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

musician | murder | maniac | clue | lodging | See All (31) »


Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 December 1932 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Phantom Fiend  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ivor Novello reprises his lead role from Alfred Hitchcock's silent classic The Lodger (1927). Hitchcock was asked to direct the sound remake of his 1927 film, but declined. See more »

Goofs

Near the end, in the public house scene, Michel (Ivor Novello) overturns his drink of beer and we see the glass fragments spilled onto his table. In the next shot of the table the main piece of broken glass is miraculously upright. Subsequently, the shattered glass reverts back to its original state when a waiter picks up the largest intact piece of glass and places it upright on the table. See more »

Connections

Version of Armchair Mystery Theatre: The Lodger (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
THE LODGER (Maurice Elvey, 1932) **
18 April 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This was actually the shorter (67 mins. as opposed to the full-length 85) version released in the U.S. under the title THE PHANTOM FIEND. While it pales in comparison with Hitchcock's seminal original – a rare expressionist film to emerge from Britain – especially since this has the tendency typical of early Talkies to emphasize dialogue (which is so muffled as to be unintelligible most of the time anyway, a deficiency which unfortunately seems to plague most British films I've seen from this era) at the expense of technique. As a matter of fact, the latter is only apparent during the atmospheric, fog-laden climax in which leading lady Elizabeth Allen mistakes the real Ripper-type murderer for the young man who lodges with her family (Ivor Novello, who reprises his role from the Hitchcock classic!).

Despite its basic purposelessness (though I would guess that a remake was commissioned, so soon after the Silent version, not so much to have a Talkie of the intriguing story – based on a popular novel – but more in response to the American horror boom of the early 30s), the plot is compelling enough to keep one watching…and predictable enough to be followed, so that it could have dispensed with dialogue altogether. The film features an impossibly young Jack Hawkins in one of his earliest roles as a fast-talking reporter (!) and Allen's fiancé, whose jealousy of Novello leads to the latter being targeted as prime suspect of the killings (also because his background, and wardrobe, is strikingly similar to that of the murderer)!

As I said earlier, perhaps the film's best sequence – at least with respect to direction – is its denouement; however, the changes done to the ending from the Hitchcock original are unconvincing and unsatisfying (especially since the romantic triangle at the centre of the plot isn't resolved…though this may very well have been trimmed for the American version, hence its abruptness.


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