When Watson reads from the newspaper there have been two similar murders near Whitechapel in a few days, Sherlock Holmes' sharp deductive is immediately stimulated to start its merciless method of elimination after observation of every apparently meaningless detail. He guesses right the victims must be street whores, and doesn't need long to work his way trough a pawn shop, an aristocratic family's stately home, a hospital and of course the potential suspects and (even unknowing) witnesses who are the cast of the gradually unraveled story of the murderer and his motive. Written by
In 1888, Sherlock Holmes (JOHN NEVILLE) and Dr Watson (DONALD HOUSTON) discover the identity of the Whitechapel serial killer known as Jack The Ripper.
An enormously enjoyable fictional confrontation between Conan Doyle's most celebrated detective and a true crime, which has caused constant fascination since it occurred over one-hundred years ago. The script writers Donald and Derek Ford came up with an excellent screenplay that succeeds in capturing all the eccentricities and intelligence of Sherlock Holmes and his solution to the Ripper killings are quite believable made up of many facts and myths that surround the case that looks never to be solved. Director James Hill who was more famous for his animal adventures with BORN FREE (1965) and his attempt to take swinging sixties pop to the seaside in EVERY DAY'S A HOLIDAY (1964) shows that he was a most versatile film maker who could generate excellent suspense and disturbing horror sequences. Just check out the last killing which is brilliantly shot from the Ripper's point of view with hand held cameras (presumably!) and gaudy lighting saturated in lurid reds. Hill recreates the Victorian London era with great enthusiasm and he is most ably assisted by cinematographer Desmond Dickinson (who is this author's favourite cameraman) and there are first rate performances from Neville as Holmes and Robert Morley as his brother Mycroft. There is a classic scene where Holmes is probing a clue over his violin and Mycroft asks "Why in all these years have you never learned to play that infernal instrument?".
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