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The Lodger (1944)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,562 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 30 critic

A landlady suspects her new lodger is Jack the Ripper.

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(screen play), (from the novel by)
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Title: The Lodger (1944)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Laird Cregar ...
...
Robert Bonting (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
...
Aubrey Mather ...
Superintendent Sutherland
Queenie Leonard ...
Daisy - the Maid
Doris Lloyd ...
Jennie
David Clyde ...
Sergeant Bates
Helena Pickard ...
Edit

Storyline

In late Victorian London, Jack the Ripper has been killing and maiming actresses in the night. The Burtons are forced to take in a lodger due to financial hardship. He seems like a nice young man, but Mrs. Burton suspects him of being the ripper because of some mysterious and suspicious habits, and fears for her beautiful actress niece who lives with them. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

PROBING EYES that marked the woman he loved for death! See more »


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 January 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jack l'éventreur  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

George Sanders also played Inspector Warwick in the 1932 British version, but was uncredited. See more »

Goofs

The police inspector says that a fingerprint was taken from one of the Ripper murder scenes, and the inspector himself carries a vial of fingerprinting powder. However, the Ripper murders took place in 1888; the first criminal identification from fingerprints took place in Argentina in 1892, and the British police did not adopt fingerprinting until 1901. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Old Cockney Man: [reading poster] "Murders being committed in our midst. Police inadequate. We intend offering a substantial reward to anyone, citizen or otherwise, who shall give information bringing the murderer or murderers to justice." Hmm.
See more »

Connections

Remade as Man in the Attic (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

What Cher 'Ria
(ca 1885) (uncredited)
Music by Bessie Bellwood
Lyrics by Will Herbert
Sung a cappella by a mob outside a pub
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A wonderfully atmospheric thriller that contains an unforgettable performance by Laird Cregar…
22 September 2007 | by (Petersburg, Vasaria) – See all my reviews

One of the greatest actors of 1940s cinema, Laird Cregar, delivers a brilliant and tragic performance as Jack the Ripper in this excellent thriller produced by 20th Century-Fox. Sadly, this would be Cregar's penultimate performance—he was often uncomfortable with his weight and decided to take a crash diet in an attempt to earn romantic leading roles…which only lead to his premature death of a heart attack at age 28. This and his last film, HANGOVER SQUARE (1945), will thankfully be released on DVD soon.

Although I saw the film presented on AMC with irritating commercial breaks, THE LODGER is a gripping film containing superb black-and-white cinematography by Lucien Ballard, an effective music score by Hugo Friedhofer (who later earned an Oscar for his score to THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES), and beautiful performances by all under the imaginative direction by John Brahm. Sara Allgood and Sir Cedric Hardwicke play the unsuspecting landlords with perfection and Merle Oberon has seldom been more beautiful in this film. However, George Sanders plays a Scotland Yard detective without his usual witticisms.

The production values capture the foggy, dark streets of Victorian London perfectly and inspire the viewer's imagination of the horrors Jack the Ripper has imposed upon his victims. The viewer is never quite certain of what Jack has done to his victims, making the fear come from a psychological standpoint. This is the most elegant type of fear—fear that stirs the imagination—and this film is an excellent example.

My only problems with the film are that the supporting characters need a little more depth and George Sanders' dialogue cries out for some wit to make his character ascend the level of "dull leading man." However, the real leading man is Laird Cregar. With his paranoid wide eyes, gray hair, and neurotic tone of voice, his Jack the Ripper embodies the true meaning of "creepy."

The climax is unforgettable. Once you see a desperate Laird Cregar crouching in a corner encountering his fate with the eyes of a wild animal, you'll never forget him in THE LODGER.


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