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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

Film debut of Lisa Daniels. See more »

Goofs

Much is made of anyone with a black leather bag or satchel falling under suspicion as the Ripper. In reality, anyone seen wearing a leather apron in the fall of 1888 in London was suspected of being the Ripper. 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

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

Soundtracks

Liebestod
from "Tristan und Isolde" (uncredited)
Composed by Richard Wagner (1857 - 1859)
Ostensibly dubbed by unknown pianist for onscreen Jack Palance
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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