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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 Lisa Daniels ... Mary Lenihan
Lilian Bond ... Annie Rowley
Isabel Jewell ... Katy
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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:

He loved her and hated her! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sixth and last victim of the Ripper in the film is Irish immigrant Mary Lenihan, who is killed in her one room flat. Her dying screams alert nearby constables who narrowly miss catching the serial killer. In reality, the last of the Ripper's five, not six, canonical victims was Irish immigrant Mary Kelly, killed and disemboweled in her one room flat, the only one of the victims killed indoors. Kelly's screams, if any, went unheard, and the Ripper mutilated her at his leisure throughout the night. The ghastly sight was not discovered until the morning when a rent collector saw the ghastly scene through her window at 10:45 a.m. See more »

Goofs

It is obvious during the horse and carriage scene that it is a stuntman, not Palance, participating. See more »

Quotes

Helen Harley: Did you see that? The little minx wiggled at the Prince of Wales!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) See more »

Soundtracks

COME AND DO THE NEW PARISIAN TROT
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Eliot Daniel
Sung and danced by Constance Smith and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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