In late Victorian London, Jack the Ripper has been killing and maiming actresses in the night. The Burtons are forced to take in a lodger due to financial hardship. He seems like a nice young man, but Mrs. Burton suspects him of being the ripper because of some mysterious and suspicious habits, and fears for her beautiful actress niece who lives with them.Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
One of the first movies to have a point of view shot representing the killer's perception. See more »
The police inspector says that a fingerprint was taken from one of the Ripper murder scenes, and the inspector himself carries a vial of fingerprinting powder. However, the Ripper murders took place in 1888; the first criminal identification from fingerprints took place in Argentina in 1892, and the British police did not adopt fingerprinting until 1901. See more »
Old Cockney Man:
"Murders being committed in our midst. Police inadequate. We intend offering a substantial reward to anyone, citizen or otherwise, who shall give information bringing the murderer or murderers to justice." Hmm.
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The Lodger has been made several times since Alfred Hitchcock directed the original in 1927; and this is the second of the remakes. It's difficult to compare this film to the original as they're fundamentally very different; owing to the fact, of course, that the original was a silent picture and this one has sound. I will, however, say that Alfred Hitchcock's film is the more effective telling of the story and this one has a number of problems, mostly owing to the characters central to the story. The plot is very simple. The scene is set in London during the time of Jack the Ripper. Around the time he's tearing his way through the women of the city, a landlady and landlord have taken in a lodger named Mr Slade. He's a very strange man; a sinister misdemeanour and the fact that he likes to go out walking for seemingly no reason in the middle of the night being just the tip of the iceberg. Naturally, it's not long before Mr Slade's behaviour is likened to Jack the Ripper and his landlady begins to suspect that he's the killer.
All the main characters in this film are far too over the top. Laird Cregar takes the role of the lodger; and while it's undoubtedly a commanding and captivating performance, he's simply too sinister and weird, (not to mention not very good at covering his tracks) and wouldn't have been more suspect if he actually had "Jack the Ripper" tattooed on his forehead. By contrast, his landlords; played by Cedric Hardwicke and Sara Allgood are two of the slowest individuals to grace cinema. Sure they get an inkling of their lodger's true identity fairly early on; but it takes them a long time to come to an all too obvious conclusion. All this stuff really brought the film down for me; but rating purely in terms of cinema, The Lodger fares a little better. Director John Brahm expertly captures the underbelly of London and the film has a really great atmosphere. Naturally, the film is not graphic; but we do get treated to a few unsettling murder scenes also. Overall, I do have to say that I enjoyed this film in spite of my problems with the characters and would rate it as worth seeing.
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