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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.

Director:

John Brahm

Writers:

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

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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Story of Jack the Ripper See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jack l'éventreur See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first movies to have a point of view shot representing the killer's perception. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Version of Man in the Attic (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

The Parisian Trot
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Charles Henderson
Sung by Merle Oberon (probably dubbed) and danced by her and chorus girls at a theater
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A great thriller you've never seen
26 August 2009 | by revere-7See all my reviews

This is a great thriller that not enough people have heard of, let alone seen, which is a shame, because it is perhaps the most archetypal black and white Jack-the-Ripper film. The plot is simple but effective - during the Jack-the-Ripper scare, a strange gentleman with a mysterious past rents a room in a London boarding house, to the growing suspicion of the other residents.

This mid forties version of the novel "The Lodger" is the best movie version ever made - which is high praise when you consider that it's been adapted to the screen almost every decade from the silent era to today (a version was just released in 2009 the year of this review), including one by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock himself. Not to mention it's influence on police procedurals (there's a scene at Scotland Yard's Black Museum) and later Ripper films such as "From Hell".

But what makes this version special is that it features strong performances by Laird Cregar as the creepy Mr. Slade, and Merle Oberon as a can-can dancer who comes and goes through the East End at night, just the sort of girl who might fall prey to someone like The Ripper.

Furthermore, this film came out when the film noir style was in full swing, and cinematographers were experimenting with new camera angles and especially the use of low key lighting. Whether or not it can be classified as a bona fide noir or not, it certain shows noir influences, with figures frequently silhouetted in the London fog, and a distinct similarity to the "menaced woman" noir sub-genre typified by films such as "Sorry, Wrong Number".


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