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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
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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 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

In the opening and closing shots which include London Bridge at night, anachronistic cars and buses clearly can be seen crossing the Thames. See more »

Quotes

Chief Insp. Melville: [Referring to the police dragnet] Can't get out of this if he's human.
Insp. Paul Warwick: Afraid he isn't human... not and do what he did to that girl.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

YOU'RE IN LOVE
(uncredited)
Music by Lionel Newman
Lyrics by Eliot Daniel
Sung and danced by Constance Smith and chorus
See more »

User Reviews

 
Decent Jack the Ripper yarn
14 October 2007 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

There is no shortage of films based on London's most notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper, but in spite of this fact: Man in the Attic is a welcome addition to the list of films concerning The Ripper. It can't be said that Man in the Attic is a great film, but it's certainly a good one and did everything I had hoped it would do. The plot here is basically the same one featured in Hitchcock's silent classic 'The Lodger', as well as a whole host of other films. We follow the plot as a mysterious man moves into a house owned by an elderly coupled and co-habited by their actress niece. The Jack the Ripper murders are happening around the same time, and it's not long before the lodger's strange nature leads the lady of the couple to believe that they may be renting their spare room to a serial killer! Director Hugo Fregonese gives the film a great atmosphere; the smoky streets of London look superb and really give this story a good place to take place in. There's also a great score that helps to add to the atmosphere. The film focuses more on Jack the Ripper himself and his situation, and there are very little details of the actual killings, and certainly no gore...which is something of a shame, but the way that the film sets its focus and sticks to it is to its advantage. The plot moves fairly slowly and the mystery is never overly exciting; but it's not too much of a problem because the characters are interesting and Jack Palance is spot on as the reclusive killer. Overall, Man in the Attic is a wholly satisfying yarn that entertains despite not being brilliant.


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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:

Man in the Attic See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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