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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:

PROBING EYES that marked the woman he loved for death! 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

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

Goofs

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 »

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

Featured in Concerto Macabre: The Films of John Brahm (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Tink-A-Tin!
(1891) (uncredited)
Music by John Crook
Lyrics by Albert Chevalier
Sung by Merle Oberon (probably dubbed) and danced by her and chorus girls at a theater
Reprised later a cappella by Doris Lloyd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You can destroy the things you love...and love what you destroy
9 March 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

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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