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 mother's suspicions merely a red herring? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
In the opening and closing shots which include London Bridge at night, anachronistic cars and buses clearly can be seen crossing the Thames. See more »
This is a frustrating movie although worth a watch if you have the time to spare and the subject interests you. For me it isn't a patch on Hitchcock's early The Lodger which also starred the divine Ivor Novello and is thrilling let alone Novello is a feast to the eyes and so is the charming heroine and the whole movie is compulsive viewing. I very much want to see the slightly different talkie version that Novello made a few years later but it seems unobtainable.
Palance does a good take on the Lodger in Man in the Attic and is far nearer to the original book than Hitchcock's movie, but Palance has a hard time with the general lack of excitement in the movie. It lacks tension and drama although it tries hard. Difficult to say where the problem lies but making the heroine a successful and famous vaudeville star admired by the Prince of Wales really is a disaster, it doesn't work at all, let alone the original heroine Daisy has become just a parlourmaid and there's a new heroine, niece Lilly. The heroine's musical numbers really jar - they are completely irrelevant, and worse, they are rather vulgar, being can-can style dance - great fun in the right kind of movie but quite unsuitable for this one and I fastfowarded through those scenes. The policeman who fancies Lilly isn't as good as he should be somehow.
Given that this movie seems to have been made in Hollywood - the confusion of accents - it does indeed have a good East London feel about it. So worth watching but better if you haven't already seen Hitchcock's excellent and famous movie.
By the way, the book by Marie Belloc-Lowndes is very good reading.
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