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10 Rillington Place (1971)

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Based on the real-life case of the British serial killer John Christie, and what happened to his neighbors Tim and Beryl Evans.

Director:

Richard Fleischer

Writers:

Clive Exton (screenplay), Ludovic Kennedy (book)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Attenborough ... Christie
Judy Geeson ... Beryl Evans
John Hurt ... Timothy Evans
Pat Heywood Pat Heywood ... Ethel Christie
Isobel Black ... Alice
Miss Riley Miss Riley ... Baby Geraldine
Phyllis MacMahon ... Muriel Eady (as Phyllis Macmahon)
Ray Barron Ray Barron ... Workman Willis
Douglas Blackwell Douglas Blackwell ... Workman Jones
Gabrielle Daye ... Mrs. Lynch
Jimmy Gardner Jimmy Gardner ... Mr. Lynch
Edward Evans ... Det. Inspector
Tenniel Evans ... Det. Sergeant
David Jackson David Jackson ... Constable
Jack Carr Jack Carr ... Constable
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What happened to the women at 10 Rillington Place? See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 January 1971 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

L'étrangleur de Rillington Place See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released ten years after its source book of the same title by Ludovic Kennedy was published. See more »

Goofs

When Christie is talking to Beryl in the kitchen about abortions , there is no steam coming out of the kettle as he fills the teapot. Presumably the crew did not want to risk anyone getting scalded, but there was no need to include the kettle/teapot in the scene. See more »

Quotes

John Reginald Christie: Who are the police going to believe - you or me that was a special constable for ten years?
Timothy John Evans: Me of course, me!
John Reginald Christie: Alright then Tim, well you go to the police and tell them. Alright then, off you go.
Timothy John Evans: Alright I will, they'll have to believe the truth.
John Reginald Christie: Well you go on then, if you're going.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Prologue to opening credits: "This is a true story Whenever possible the dialogue has been based on official documents" See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film which shows why the death penalty will never return to the UK.
13 July 2000 | by drj-12See all my reviews

10 Rillington Place is more than a classic film. It is frequently referred to whenever the call for the death penalty is made in Britain. The notorious miscarriage of justice i.e the hanging of Timothy Evans, an immature half-wit, for the murder of his wife and child when it is almost universally accepted that they perished at the hands of John "Reg" Christie, is one which will always haunt the British legal system. When Christie was found guilty and hanged as a serial killer of women, the body of Evans was exhumed and reburied in consecrated ground but this did nothing to hide the embarrassment of those who supported the death penalty.

The film itself is a dark and brooding masterpiece which depicts life in post-war London perfectly. The grim, dirty, rain-washed Rillington Place in Notting Hill was a seedy side-street which housed the poor but largely respectable families which had survived the blitz. John Christie had moved down from the North to find work in the capital but ill-health and a penchant for petty crime prevented him from being successful.

Richard Attenborough plays the downtrodden but curiously arrogant Christie to perfection. His voice almost a whisper as he lauds it over London's underclasses. In fact Christie was not a landlord, as many believe, he was merely a tenant who fancied himself to be a landlord and acted accordingly. He also dreamed of being a doctor, with devastating consequences. His treatment of the poor, subnormal Evans (John Hurt) and his beautiful but foolish young wife, Beryl, (Judy Geeson) was centred around their desire for an abortion - illegal in the UK until the late 1960s.

John Hurt is very good as the hapless Evans although his Welsh accent needed refining. His look of wide eyed horror and disbelief is a sight to behold. Geeson pouts and whinges and looks gorgeous: the kind of wife any man would desire and yet the kind destined to irritate intensely.

The key to appreciating 10 Rillington Place is to have some idea of its setting in British history. To wander in clueless will result in disappointment. There is no gore or x-rated content of any kind and its slow pace will infuriate many. Yet, as a snapshot of an England now gone and a reminder of the folly of capital punishment it is a timeless classic worthy of many viewings.


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