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Man in the Attic (1953)

Unrated | | Mystery, Thriller | 1954 (UK)
After an enigmatic, self-described pathologist rents the attic room of a Victorian house, his landlady begins to suspect her lodger is Jack the Ripper.

Director:

Hugo Fregonese

Writers:

Robert Presnell Jr. (screenplay), Barré Lyndon (screenplay) (as Barre Lyndon) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Palance ... Slade
Constance Smith ... Lily Bonner
Byron Palmer ... Insp. Paul Warwick
Frances Bavier ... Helen Harley
Rhys Williams ... William Harley
Sean McClory ... Constable #1
Leslie Bradley ... Constable #2
Tita Phillips Tita Phillips ... Daisy
Lester Matthews ... Chief Insp. Melville (as Lester Mathews)
Harry Cording ... Detective Sgt. Bates
Lisa Daniels ... Mary Lenihan
Lilian Bond ... Annie Rowley
Isabel Jewell ... Katy
Learn more

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Storyline

London, 1888: on the night of the third Jack the Ripper killing, soft-spoken Mr. Slade, a research pathologist, takes lodgings with the Harleys, including a gloomy attic room for "experiments." Mrs. Harley finds Slade odd and increasingly suspects the worst; her niece Lily (star of a decidedly Parisian stage revue) finds him interesting and increasingly attractive. Is Lily in danger, or are her aunt's suspicions merely a red herring? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Life...The Loves...The Crimes of Jack the Ripper! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is a remake of 20th Century Fox's previous film, The Lodger (1944), starring Laird Cregar as Slade. It was released under Fox's Panoramic Productions label. Barré Lyndon's screenplay for the earlier film was updated for the remake by Robert Presnell Jr., and Hugo Friedhofer's music score from the earlier film is also reused. The movie was shot on the same sets, and reuses footage from the earlier film of the police pursuing Jack the Ripper through the streets and over the rooftops of London. See more »

Goofs

Much is made of anyone with a black leather bag or satchel falling under suspicion as the Ripper. In reality, anyone seen wearing a leather apron in the fall of 1888 in London was suspected of being the Ripper. See more »

Quotes

Slade: Yes, I will tell you. My mother was an actress. She was one of the most angelically beautiful women who ever lived, exquisitely graceful, talented, and captivating. I loved her deeply... deeply. She had the face of heaven and the wretched heart of Jezebel. For every aspect of beauty she possessed, she contained a double portion of evil. I hated her!
Lily Bonner: But I thought you said you loved her?
Slade: I can love the beauty and hate the evil. Didn't you know that, Miss Bonner?
See more »

Connections

Version of The Lodger (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Liebestod
from "Tristan und Isolde" (uncredited)
Composed by Richard Wagner (1857 - 1859)
Ostensibly dubbed by unknown pianist for onscreen Jack Palance
See more »

User Reviews

 
Is Jack Palance Jack the Ripper??
17 September 2006 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

Fairly stylish and suspenseful 50's remake of "The Lodger", a story set during Jack the Ripper's reign of terror in London near the end of the 19th century. In one of his earliest film roles, the tall and handsome Jack Palance portrays a quiet and introvert pathologist on the lookout for a room in the center of London. He finds one in the house of Helen and William Harley where he spends most of the time working in the attic. His behavior becomes increasingly strange, especially when he falls in love with the singer/showgirl niece of his landlords. Suspicions arise that the distinguished Mr. Slade is the feared maniac Jack the Ripper. There's very little action in "Man in the Attic", but it's atmospheric and both acted & directed with devotion. Palance looks menacing and mysterious and he receives excellent feedback from his supportive cast, most notably from Rhys Williams as the cynical Mr. Harley. Too bad the film also features two overlong cabaret-like musical sequences, which are really misplaced, and I personally would have preferred some more info and details regarding the Ripper-killings. Not for nowadays horror-audiences, but worth a look in case you're a fan of classy, tension-driven thrillers.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1954 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Der unheimliche Untermieter See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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