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Man in the Attic (1953)

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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Barre Lyndon) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Insp. Paul Warwick
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William Harley
...
Constable #1
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Constable #2
Tita Phillips ...
Daisy
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Chief Insp. Melville (as Lester Mathews)
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Detective Sgt. Bates
Lisa Daniels ...
Mary Lenihan
...
...
Katy
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Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Life...The Loves...The Crimes of Jack the Ripper! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der unheimliche Untermieter  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Inspector Warwick has a thumb print left by Jack the Ripper at the scene of the final murder, he asks that something held by chief suspect 'Slade' be obtained, as the Ripper murders occurred in 1888/89 this is 3 years before the first recorded case of a murderer being caught through finger print analysis as at Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1892, Inspector Eduardo Alvarez made the first criminal fingerprint identification. He was able to identify Francisca Rojas, a woman who murdered her two sons and cut her own throat in an attempt to place blame on another. Her bloody print was left on a door post, proving her identity as the murderer. See more »

Goofs

When Inspector Warwick is showing Slade and Lily around Scotland Yard's "Black Museum" he shows the death mask of a man who was "publicly hanged outside Newgate Prison six months ago". But the last public execution in England was in 1868 while the film is set in 1888. See more »

Quotes

Helen Harley: Did you see that? The little minx wiggled at the Prince of Wales!
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

COME AND DO THE NEW PARISIAN TROT
Written by Lionel Newman, lyrics Eliot Daniel
Sung and danced by Constance Smith and chorus
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Disappointing
28 March 2008 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Curiously tepid re-telling of the Jack the Ripper legend. Jack Palance certainly looks the part. With his rictus-like face, long lean body, and sinister smile, he's the most unusual of figures. However his Ripper comes across as more neurotic than menacing. As his scenes with Smith suggest, he's emotionally vulnerable, soft-spoken, even with a slight unmasculine lisp and a rampant mother-fixation. Now this is an interesting interpretation of the serial killer. Still and all, it works against Palance's appearance and the menace the role needs. In short, it makes for an interesting psychological profile, but not for the imposing personality that would stir an audience. Palance certainly can't be accused of overplaying the role.

There's also too little of the glistening cobblestone streets and alleyways that create the needed background gloom. Likely the budget didn't allow for much of that atmospheric embroidery. Then too, director Hugo Fregonese does't appear to have a stylish feel for the material, which he films in a pretty straightforward unimaginative manner. What the movie does have is a gorgeous Constance Smith in a lively and compelling performance. Whatever happened to her. With her looks and talent, she should qualified for A-list parts, but her career looks a little mysterious, petering out in Italy in the late 50's.

Anyway, it's a good chance to scope out the early Jack Palance in a performance that unfortunately falls short of his absolutely spine-chilling gunfighter in the classic Western Shane (1953).


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