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 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 »
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>
In the scene at the Black Museum, Inspector Warwick mentions the "four murders" but by this point in the film there have been five. 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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You can destroy the things you love...and love what you destroy
Laird Cregar, who died shortly after this film's release, is Mr. Slade aka Jack the Ripper, in 1944's "The Lodger" also starring Merle Oberon, George Sanders, Sara Allgood, and Cedric Hardwicke. As 20th Century Fox often did, they remade this A film as a B film in the '50s as "Man in the Attic" starring Jack Palance. My recollection is that the film followed "The Lodger" frame for frame and word for word. "Man in the Attic" is very good; however, "The Lodger" is superior.
This is the oft-told story of a strange man who claims to be a pathologist taking rooms in a private home in Victorian England. The lady of the house begins to suspect he's Jack the Ripper. Her husband, although fascinated by the case, thinks she's mistaken. Also staying in the house with them is the wife's niece, Lily, a performer who has brought her dance troupe to work in London. When Scotland Yard comes a-calling to question her about a murdered woman who visited her at the theater, there is an instant attraction between her and the inspector in charge of the case.
Although a tall and large-framed man, Cregar came off initially as less frightening than the austere-looking Palance, although both used very gentle voices in the role. He's fantastic as Slade, his violence hidden in a lumbering frame and a soft, slow demeanor. One wonders what would have happened to his career had he lived - it probably would have been tremendous. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 30 as a result of crash dieting. Merle Oberon is radiantly beautiful, lively, and flirtatious as Lily, and Sanders is handsome and effective in the role of the inspector, though he doesn't have much to do. Sara Allgood is excellent as the suspicious Helen, and Cedric Hardwicke appropriately gruff as her husband.
The atmosphere is as thick as the fog in "The Lodger," and the ending is remarkable with its use of unusual lighting and camera angles. This is a marvelous film, all the better for the performance of Laird Cregar, whose career and life ended much too soon.
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