In 1902 London, unhappily married Philip Marshall meets young Mary Gray, who is unemployed and depressed. Their deepening friendship, though physically innocent, is discovered by Philip's ... See full summary »
A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
Olivia de Havilland,
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kitty Langley (Merle Oberon) speaks with an upper class British accent, but sings (dubbed) with an artificial French accent. 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.
See more »
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
14 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this