7.6/10
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52 user 17 critic

Jack the Ripper 

TV-PG | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | TV Mini-Series (1988)
A Scotland Yard police inspector, battling the booze, investigates the Jack the Ripper murders and discovers a conspiracy that leads all the way up to the Queen.
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Popularity
4,680 ( 233)

On Disc

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1988  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Michael Caine ...  Inspector Frederick Abberline 2 episodes, 1988
Armand Assante ...  Richard Mansfield 2 episodes, 1988
Ray McAnally ...  Sir William Gull 2 episodes, 1988
Lewis Collins ...  Sergeant George Godley 2 episodes, 1988
Ken Bones ...  Robert James Lees 2 episodes, 1988
Susan George ...  Catherine Eddowes 2 episodes, 1988
Jane Seymour ...  Emma 2 episodes, 1988
Harry Andrews ...  Coroner Wynne Baxter 2 episodes, 1988
Lysette Anthony ...  Mary Jane Kelly 2 episodes, 1988
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ...  Rodman 2 episodes, 1988
Peter Armitage ...  Sergeant Kerby 2 episodes, 1988
Desmond Askew ...  Copy Boy 2 episodes, 1988
Trevor Baxter ...  Lanyon 2 episodes, 1988
Mike Carnell Mike Carnell ...  Newsvendor 2 episodes, 1988
Ann Castle Ann Castle ...  Lady Gull 2 episodes, 1988
Deirdre Costello Deirdre Costello ...  Annie Chapman 2 episodes, 1988
Jon Croft Jon Croft ...  Mr. Thackeray 2 episodes, 1988
Angela Crow Angela Crow ...  Liz Stride 2 episodes, 1988
Kelly Cryer ...  Annette 2 episodes, 1988
Marc Culwick Marc Culwick ...  Prince Albert Victor 2 episodes, 1988
John Dair John Dair ...  Isenschmid 2 episodes, 1988
Roy Evans Roy Evans ...  Doorkeeper 2 episodes, 1988
John Fletcher John Fletcher ...  P.C. Watkins 2 episodes, 1988
Sheridan Forbes Sheridan Forbes ...  Millie 2 episodes, 1988
Hugh Fraser ...  Sir Charles Warren 2 episodes, 1988
Martin Friend ...  Newsvendor 2 episodes, 1988
Christopher Fulford ...  Beggar / ... 2 episodes, 1988
Michael Gothard ...  George Lusk 2 episodes, 1988
Bruce Green Bruce Green ...  Pizer 2 episodes, 1988
Ricci Harnett ...  Pickpocket 2 episodes, 1988
Ronald Hines Ronald Hines ...  Henry Matthews 2 episodes, 1988
Denys Hawthorne Denys Hawthorne ...  Assistant Commissioner 2 episodes, 1988
Michael Hughes Michael Hughes ...  Dr. Llewellyn 2 episodes, 1988
Peter Hughes Peter Hughes ...  Mr. Paulson 2 episodes, 1988
Frank Jarvis Frank Jarvis ...  1st Passer by 2 episodes, 1988
Edward Judd ...  DCS Arnold 2 episodes, 1988
Gertan Klauber Gertan Klauber ...  Diemschutz 2 episodes, 1988
Jon Laurimore ...  Inspector Spratling 2 episodes, 1988
Mike Lewin Mike Lewin ...  Duty Guard 2 episodes, 1988
Rod Lewis Rod Lewis ...  Mortician 2 episodes, 1988
Gary Love ...  Derek 2 episodes, 1988
George Malpas ...  Old Man 2 episodes, 1988
Eric Mason Eric Mason ...  Publican 2 episodes, 1988
Bernadette Milnes Bernadette Milnes ...  Woman in Doorway 2 episodes, 1988
Jonathan Moore Jonathan Moore ...  Benjamin Bates 2 episodes, 1988
Richard Morant ...  Dr. Acland 2 episodes, 1988
T.P. McKenna ...  O'Connor 2 episodes, 1988
John Normington ...  Dresser 2 episodes, 1988
Ronald Nunnery Ronald Nunnery ...  Davis 2 episodes, 1988
Sandra Payne Sandra Payne ...  Mrs. Acland 2 episodes, 1988
Neville Phillips Neville Phillips ...  Cabinet Secretary 2 episodes, 1988
Iain Rattray Iain Rattray ...  Tough Cop 2 episodes, 1988
David Ryall ...  Bowyer 2 episodes, 1988
Gary Shail Gary Shail ...  Pimp 2 episodes, 1988
Gerald Sim ...  Dr. Bagster Phillips 2 episodes, 1988
George Sweeney ...  John Netley 2 episodes, 1988
David Swift ...  Lord Salisbury 2 episodes, 1988
Norman Warwick Norman Warwick ...  Richardson 2 episodes, 1988
Brian Weske ...  Porter 2 episodes, 1988
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Storyline

During the latter half of 1888, a notorious serial killer nicknamed Jack the Ripper terrorises the East End of London by murdering prostitutes in a terribly violent way. Public outrage follows. Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline is assigned to the case, but finds that it is not just a simple murder enquiry. Based on a real-life event, this movie claims to have had access to top secret Home Office files and believe that their ending is the correct solution to the age old mystery. Written by Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The hunt is on for the world's most infamous murderer.


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jack el destripador See more »

Filming Locations:

Belper, Derbyshire, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2 parts) | (2 parts) (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ripper victim Elizabeth "Long Liz" Stride was Swedish and would have spoken with a Swedish accent. See more »

Goofs

An ad for Nestle's condensed milk can be seen on a double decker coach early in the second half. Alhough Nestle's is thought of as a Swiss company, its origins of the product go back as early as 1866 -1867 when American Charles Page, U.S.-Swiss consul, and his brother George Page,established the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Cham, Switzerland. Their first British operation was opened at Chippenham, Wiltshire, in 1873. It eventually merged and evolved into Nestle's Milk Chocolate in 1904-1905. See more »

Quotes

Chief Insp. Frederick Abberline: [referring to the killer] He's playing with us, George. Some people are so damn cocky they think they can't be caught.
Sgt. George Godley: What's the motive? There's still no motive.
Chief Insp. Frederick Abberline: There's got to be a motive. There's never been a murder without one.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Shown as a 2-part drama (2 x 100 min) in the UK, and as a 4-part mini-series (4 x 50 min) in the US. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Jack the Ripper: Phantom of Death (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Hanson Place
(a.k.a. "Gather at the River") (uncredited)
American hymn composed by Robert Lowry (1864)
instrumental version heard a Lusk's vigilantes march
See more »

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User Reviews

Past Imperfect
29 August 2002 | by rmax304823See all my reviews

Well, it's not perfect, but what is? This one is a cut above the others I've seen, in some of which the victims were all "dance hall girls" or whatever. I thought Michael Caine was a good as he usually is, which is to say, pretty good. The other performances were also above average. (I thought Lysette Anthony was Helena Bonham Carter grown inexplicably more mature with the receding years.) Armand Assante does a great job of turning into Mr. Hyde on stage. Jane Seymour is beautiful but takes up screen time that otherwise could be put to better use, granted that three and a half hours constitutes a lot of screen time. A problem, though is that there are too many red herrings, too many dead ends gone into at length, at the expense of more interesting material. Every theory dreamed up by any manque criminologist with a pulp sensibility has been dragged into the story, and some made up that have never before been proposed. (How about: Jack was an alien from outer space?) I'd like to have known more details about the cases -- the sign about the "Juwes" and the bag of "cashous" found by Nichols' body.

On the plus side, the crowded streets of 1888 London were colorfully evoked. The second murder took place in the small scruffy backyard of a tenement, next to a wooden fence, and to judge from the look of the scene the production designer worked directly from contemporary photographs. At least one of the props, a horse-drawn trolley with a Nestle ad, showed up virtually unchanged on Sherlock Holmes' Baker Street in the later Jeremy Brett series. Of course this isn't the REAL city. The London of the time would have been almost repellant as the lingering shots of the dismembered bodies which are mercifully absent from this film. This was industrial-strength capitalism in its most untrammeled form. What was glamorized as London "fog" we would nowadays call "smog" or simply "industrial smoke." In the absence of toilets, Whitechapel would have smelled like an outhouse.

Why did all those women go out alone at night? One reason may be similar to the one than prompts people to live in large coastal cities in California. Oh, I know it's going to happen, but it won't happen to me. Another is that they may not have had much choice in the matter at a point in history with no social security or unemployment or medicare. If a man lost his arm at work, he was fired and was out on the streets. If a woman with no skills and no independent means lost her husband, she was out on the streets too, wearing the signature apron of her trade. For a few minutes unpleasantness in a dark corner she might earn enough for a drink of gin or a flea-ridden bed. Failing that she might find a seat in the lowest of flophouses, where there were no beds at all, just parallel lines of chairs with long ropes strung in front of them for sleeping patrons to lean across. Most of the poor looked like hell. And felt like it too, what with debilitating infectious illnesses and decaying teeth. It wasn't a good time to be broke.

The problem with Ripper stories is that there is no satisfactory narrative conclusion, no neat ending, because the murderer was never discovered, let alone caught. Structurally it's a kind of coitus interruptus. So over the years we've pretended to solve it, using upstairs lodgers or effete royalty. The case file still exists but it's been so pared down over the years, through pilferage, loss, and souvenier hunting, that there are only a few original pages left.

My bet? In the FBI typology he was a disorganized murderer, operating impromptu. As someone said in another comment, he was probably a local nonentity. He probably lived alone and kept to himself. If anyone noticed him at all, they probably thought of him as slightly goofy for talking to himself, believing in magic, or whatever.


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