Man in the Attic (1953)

Unrated  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  23 December 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 851 users  
Reviews: 39 user | 13 critic

After an enigmatic, self-described pathologist rents the attic room of a Victorian house, his landlady begins to suspect her lodger is Jack the Ripper.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Barre Lyndon) , 1 more credit »
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Directors: Anatole Litvak, Jean Negulesco
Stars: James Cagney, Ann Sheridan, Frank Craven


Complete credited cast:
Constance Smith ...
Byron Palmer ...
Insp. Paul Warwick
William Harley
Sean McClory ...
Constable #1
Leslie Bradley ...
Constable #2
Tita Phillips ...
Daisy (the maid)
Lester Matthews ...
Chief Insp. Melville (as Lester Mathews)
Harry Cording ...
Detective Sgt. Bates
Lisa Daniels ...
Mary Lenihan


London, 1888: on the night of the third Jack the Ripper killing, soft-spoken Mr. Slade, a research pathologist, takes lodgings with the Harleys, including a gloomy attic room for "experiments." Mrs. Harley finds Slade odd and increasingly suspects the worst; her niece Lily (star of a decidedly Parisian stage revue) finds him interesting and increasingly attractive. Is Lily in danger, or are her aunt's suspicions merely a red herring? Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He loved her and hated her! See more »


Mystery | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der unheimliche Untermieter  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Thames River as seen in the film is obviously a studio tank. It has no current, and when the police enter it to find Slade's body at the conclusion, the depth doesn't rise above their thighs. See more »


It is obvious during the horse and carriage scene that it is a stuntman, not Palance, participating. See more »


Lily Bonner: It's at night that interesting things happen. What kind of work do you do at night, Mr. Slade?
Slade: I doubt if you'd be interested.
Lily Bonner: Do you just work?
Slade: Sometimes I walk close by the river. The river is like liquid night flowing peacefully out to infinity.
See more »


Featured in Horror Hotel: Man in the Attic (2015) See more »


Sung by Lisa Daniels
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Aunt Bea Does London
9 December 2005 | by (West Virginia) – See all my reviews

This is a remake of the 1944 "The Lodger", which was a remake of the early Hitchock silent "The Lodger". This one isn't bad but uses most of the dialogue from the 1944 version. Jack Palance gives an excellent portrayal of the lodger who may or may not be Jack the Ripper. Palance has a certain menace here but yet you feel some sympathy for him. That voice should be trademarked!! Constance Smith plays the part of his object of affection/hatred and there is a good performance from Rhys Williams, a long time character actor, as her uncle. It's a little tough getting by Frances Bavier as Smith's aunt since to most TV viewers she will forever be Aunt Bea from Mayberry. Frankly, she can't hold a candle to Sara Allgood in the 1944 version but she passes muster. I found the 1944 version superior to this film due to the presence of Laird Cregar and George Saunders but this remake is worth watching, especially if you are a Jack Palance fan.

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