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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 »
Christie is wearing a police uniform when Muriel Eady comes to the house in the opening scenes but he had already long left the police by this time. Muriel would have known this as she and Christie met when they both worked for the same employer. See more »
Three years after "the Boston strangler" ,Richard Fleischer brilliantly succeeds in transferring to the screen a horrible true story.The two movies do not look like each other though."Boston strangler" was spectacular,making the best use of the split screen I've ever seen."10 RP" is an austere bleak work ,all the more disturbing than its style is bald.Richard Attenborough(an extraordinary performance,on a par with Peter Lorre's"M") portrays one of those serial killers in the first half of last century.Two good examples :Landru ,whose character Charlie Chaplin used in "Monsieur Verdoux " and Claude Chabrol in his eponymous movie,or "Doctor Petiot" who was doing on a small scale (killing Jews to despoil them) what the Nazis were doing on a large one. Christie ,Landru and Petiot are close relatives.They seem harmless,mediocre little men .Not the serial killer we meet in today's thrillers.And Christie is given the adequate treatment by his director:the poor house,the crummy flats ,the pubs ,the no-future of an uneducated generation (Fleischer lays stress on the fact that Tim cannot read and write ).This illiteracy is partly responsible for Tim's unfair revolting fate.
Fleischer's style is plain;the trial scenes,when any director would have his actors overact is a lesson a lot of the current artists should pay attention to.The hanging could not be spookier.One cannot help but think that the last lines about Tim on the screen are a bit ironical.
Matching Attenborough's awesome portrayal,is John Hurt's remarkable Tim:definitely not Gregory Peck as his wife thinks,macho but pitiful,a not very handsome whining lad who cannot hold a candle to his maleficent owner.
You should see "the Boston strangler" and "10 Rillington place" one after the other
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