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London, 1949. John Christie is an unassuming, middle-aged man who, along with his wife Ethel, lives in the ground-floor flat at 10 Rillington Place. His demeanor masks the fact of being a serial killer. His modus operandi is to act as a person with a medical background, lure unsuspecting women to his apartment on the pretense of curing them of some ailment, knock them unconscious with carbon monoxide gas, gain his sexual release through contact with the unconscious body, then strangle the victim dead before disposing of the body somewhere in the house or outside area. His next intended target is Beryl Evans, a young woman who has just moved into the top flat in the house. Beryl's husband, Tim Evans, is an illiterate man who likes to put on airs. Already with an infant daughter named Geraldine, the Evanses learn they are going to have another baby, which they cannot afford to have, nor can they afford to abort the pregnancy. This problem, on top of the constant issue of lack of money ... Written by
The film was made and released about nine years after its source non-fiction book of the same title by Ludovic Kennedy had been first published in 1961 though the name of the book used a different spelling it being "Ten Rillington Place". See more »
At the end of the film where Christie is arrested, the police constable leads him away from Putney Bridge (seen in the background). Putney police station is, in fact in the opposite direction in the Upper Richmond Road. The direction the constable takes Christie in the film would only lead down the river towpath towards Hammersmith. See more »
Not sure if anyone has ever made a better film than this?
The zenith of British film making, 10 RILLINGTON PLACE (the location since re-named) is a true story. John Christie (who last time I was there was still a star exhibit at Madame Tussaud's waxworks museum in London) was the mega-ordinary, almost mousy south east Londoner who besides liking a good cuppa tea...killed people in his dingy little residence. Somewhat of a sexual predator (though this is hinted at, rather than depicted) Christie used his very basic scientific knowledge to offer "comfort" to such as pregnant young girls by way of his own in-house abortion that none actually survived. The case of young and fully dim-witted Timothy Evans (so brilliantly played by John Hurt) who comes to lodge and whose pretty young wife (Geeson) becomes another victim of the serial killer Christie represented the height of British injustice when Christie himself was able to manipulate the facts to point the finger of guilt at Evans himself and who was actually hanged for the murder of his wife and child. (The later-bestowed pardon would have been of little consequence I feel....the ultimate "too liitle too late")
The film's bleak depiction of immediate post-war Britain is just stunning, Attenborough deserved the Oscar for his amazing characterisation of Christie...a monster with a facade no-one thought to question. No clear-thinking and perceptive person could possibly watch this movie and not be affected in some way. The horror Is that there IS no horror, just a veneer of respectability and decency. I cannot offhand, nominate a more powerful or credible piece of film-making. We have this film in our library and watch it on average ever two years - it has never aged or been less impactful!
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