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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:

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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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 failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

Goofs

The card that accompanied Inspector Warwick's flowers had the word "theatre" (British spelling) spelled as "theater" (American spelling). Victorian London did not spell any words in the American style, let alone "theatre". See more »

Quotes

Lily Bonner: Is there anything I can do?
Slade: We must each live with ourselves.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Lodger (1944) 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

 
Not as good as Hitchcock's version
10 April 2007 | by RossSee all my reviews

This is a frustrating movie although worth a watch if you have the time to spare and the subject interests you. For me it isn't a patch on Hitchcock's early The Lodger which also starred the divine Ivor Novello and is thrilling let alone Novello is a feast to the eyes and so is the charming heroine and the whole movie is compulsive viewing. I very much want to see the slightly different talkie version that Novello made a few years later but it seems unobtainable.

Palance does a good take on the Lodger in Man in the Attic and is far nearer to the original book than Hitchcock's movie, but Palance has a hard time with the general lack of excitement in the movie. It lacks tension and drama although it tries hard. Difficult to say where the problem lies but making the heroine a successful and famous vaudeville star admired by the Prince of Wales really is a disaster, it doesn't work at all, let alone the original heroine Daisy has become just a parlourmaid and there's a new heroine, niece Lilly. The heroine's musical numbers really jar - they are completely irrelevant, and worse, they are rather vulgar, being can-can style dance - great fun in the right kind of movie but quite unsuitable for this one and I fastfowarded through those scenes. The policeman who fancies Lilly isn't as good as he should be somehow.

Given that this movie seems to have been made in Hollywood - the confusion of accents - it does indeed have a good East London feel about it. So worth watching but better if you haven't already seen Hitchcock's excellent and famous movie.

By the way, the book by Marie Belloc-Lowndes is very good reading.


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