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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 picture was filmed at the real-life Rillington Place, at Nos. 7 (for interiors) and No. 10 (but only for exteriors). The street had previously changed its name to Ruston Close in 1954, the year after Christie's execution. Filming took place at No. 7 when the occupants of No. 10 refused to move out to allow filming to take place there. The street was later demolished at the end of 1970 and the area later redeveloped, completed in 1977 as Bartle Road and St Andrew's Square, it now being totally unrecognizable to the way it looked at time John Christie and the other characters in the film (and real life) were residents there. See more »
The position of the manhole cover changes from shot to shot when the police lift its lid after Evans' "confession" - first it is seen (as it was in real life) in the middle of the road opposite No.10 with the front door to the house closed, but in the next close-up shot we see it being lifted up from a position in front of a bay window from a house further down the street, with the front door of (supposedly) No.10 open See more »
There's a whole host of films from the great decade that was the seventies that have gone on to not get the praise that they so rightly deserve, and if one were to make a list of those films; 10 Rillington Place would feature in a prominent position. The film follows the true story of serial killer John Christie, who murdered a series of women in the late forties. His modus operandi is to murder his victims with gas, shortly before having sex with the corpse. Despite this shocking premise, the film always sees fit to focus more on the reality of the situation than the actual murders themselves. Despite not being graphic, this actually makes the film more shocking as we are constantly reminded of the things that go on behind what people allow us to know about ourselves. The murderer in this story is just a normal man. A nice man, in fact. People trust him, and even respect him; yet despite all this, the man is a stone cold killer. The realistic way that the story is approached, combined with the fact that these are real events ensures that 10 Rillington Place is a morbidly fascinating watch.
Richard Attenborough takes the lead role and does fantastically well with it. His calm mannerisms and nonthreatening demeanour clash well with the underlying evil of his character and we really can believe that this man is a maniac. The film was made in the United Kingdom, I'm proud to say, and this is obvious throughout. UK films have a certain atmosphere about them, and although I didn't know that this movie was homegrown before watching it; it soon became apparent. This style bodes well with the theme of the film, as it's downtrodden and makes sure that the film is firmly planted in the land in which the story took place. The idea of an innocent man not only going down, but being killed, for a crime he did not commit is shocking and the cold way that it is presented in this film reflects the fact that it actually happened and also gives it more of a degree of shock. On the whole, 10 Rillington Place is a film that shouldn't be missed by anyone. It's not all that well known, but this is unfair considering the quality of it and I wont hesitate to recommend this movie to people in the future.
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