6.2/10
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42 user 19 critic

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

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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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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

The "new" can-can dance routine from Paris mentioned in a theatre brochure had been around since the 1840s and, as the film is set in 1888/89, the dance was hardly "new". When it comes to the actual dance they perform, it is the French can-can, a style that was not made popular until the 1920s. See more »

Quotes

Slade: [In desperation] I need you Lily! Only you can save me!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Phantom Fiend (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

THE DEAR LITTLE SHAMROCK
(uncredited)
Sung by Lisa Daniels
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not as good as Hitchcock's version
10 April 2007 | by rosianSee 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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