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The Lodger (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Horror, Mystery | 19 January 1944 (USA)
A landlady suspects her new lodger is Jack the Ripper.


John Brahm


Barré Lyndon (screen play), Marie Belloc Lowndes (from the novel by)

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Complete credited cast:
Merle Oberon ... Kitty Langley
George Sanders ... Inspector John Warwick
Laird Cregar ... Mr. Slade
Cedric Hardwicke ... Robert Bonting (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Sara Allgood ... Ellen Bonting
Aubrey Mather ... Superintendent Sutherland
Queenie Leonard ... Daisy - the Maid
Doris Lloyd ... Jennie
David Clyde ... Sergeant Bates
Helena Pickard Helena Pickard ... Annie Rowley / Katie in Opening Sequence


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 <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Story of Jack the Ripper See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

19 January 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jack l'éventreur See more »


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


George Sanders also played Inspector Warwick in the 1932 British version, but was uncredited. See more »


Kitty Langley (Merle Oberon) speaks with an upper class British accent, but sings (dubbed) with an artificial French accent. See more »


[first lines]
Old Cockney Man: [reading poster] "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.
See more »


Version of Armchair Mystery Theatre: The Lodger (1965) See more »


I Married a Wife (I Wish I Was Single Again)
Played at the theater and sung by and unidentified man at the theater
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Your beauty is exquisite.
5 June 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Victorian London, Whitechapple, and some maniac is slaughtering women with stage backgrounds. Could it be, that the mysterious Mr. Slade who has rented the upstairs rooms from Mrs Burton, is the man known as Jack the Ripper? This part of London is cloaked in fog, the cobbled streets damp and bearing witness to unspeakable crimes, the gas lights dimly flicker as the British Bobby searches in vain for Bloody Jack.

The scene is set for what is to me the finest adaptation to deal with the notorious murderer, Jack the Ripper. A remake of the Alfred Hitchcock silent from 1927, this adaptation of the Marie Belloc Lowndes novel not only looks great (Lucien Ballard's photography creating fluid eeriness and film noir fatalism) but also chills the blood without ever actually spilling any. It's a testament to John Brahm's direction that the film constantly feels like a coiled spring waiting to explode, a spring that is realised in the form of Laird Cregar's incredibly unnerving portrayal of Mr Slade.

Laird Cregar, as evidenced here, was a fine actor in the making. Sadly troubled by his weight and yearning to become a true matinée idol, he crashed dieted to such a degree his poor 28 year old heart couldn't cope with the shock. After just 16 films, of which this was his second to last, the movie world was robbed of a truly fine performer, a sad story in a long line of sad incidents that taint the Hollywood story.

George Sanders and Merle Oberon (as police inspector and Slade's infatuation respectively) engage in a less than fully realised romantic strand, and Cedric Hardwicke dominates all the scenes that don't feature the might of Cregar, but really it's the big man's show all the way. Creepily enhanced by Hugo Friedhofer's score, The Lodger is a lesson in how to utilise technical atmospherics.

The moody atmosphere here hangs heavy and the sense of doom is palpable in the extreme, it comes as something of a relief when the ending finally comes, as it's time to reflect and exhale a sigh of relief. Deviating from the novel, something which has over the years annoyed purists, The Lodger shows its hand very much from the off, but it in no way hurts the picture, if anything the exasperation at the supporting characters induces dry humour. The kind that comes in the form of nervous giggles out there in the dark, but rest assured, this is no comedy, it's a creepy classic from a wonderful era of film making. 9/10

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