The Lodger – USA, 1944 – reviews

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The Lodger is a 1944 horror film about Jack the Ripper, based on the novel of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes. It stars Merle Oberon, George Sanders and Laird Cregar, features Sir Cedric Hardwicke and was directed by John Brahm (The Mad MagicianThe Undying Monster; Hangover Square) from a screenplay by Barré Lyndon.

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Lowndes’ story had previously been filmed in 1926 as a silent film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and with sound in 1932 as The Lodger. It was remade again in 1953 as Man in the Attic, starring Jack Palance, and again in 2009 by David Ondaatje.

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On December 13, 2016, Kino Lorber are releasing the film in North America on Blu-ray with the following special features:

Audio Commentary by Film Historian Gregory William Mank | Audio Commentary by Film Historians Alain Silver and James Ursini | The Man In The Attic: The Making of The Lodger Featurette | The Lodger Vintage Radio Show Performed by Vincent Price and Cathy Lewis | Restoration Comparison | Trailers

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Buy: Amazon.com

Plot:

Slade, a serial killer, is a lodger in a 19th Century family’s London home. So is a singer, Kitty Langley, who definitely has caught Slade’s eye.

Women are being killed in the Whitechapel district, brutally. Scotland Yard is investigating and a detective, John Warwick, begins to cast his suspicions in Slade’s directions. Warwick, meanwhile, has also developed an attraction to Langley.

Slade goes to see her perform at a cabaret. He goes backstage afterward and tries to make her his next victim, but Warwick’s men get there just in time. Unwilling to be taken into police custody, Slade flees to the riverbank and leaps to his death…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“It’s Cregar who is unforgettable here. It would have been a career-making performance had he wanted to play psychos; unfortunately, his desperate attempts to remake himself as a romantic lead caused him to embark on a dieting regiment that would cost him his life.” Dave Sindelar, Fantastic Movie Musings and Rumblings

“Thanks to a fantastically sinister portrayal of the murderous fiend by Laird Creger and some fine direction, lighting, and camerawork by the team of Brahm and Ballard, The Lodger is a nice modern compliment to Hitchcock’s first take on the Jack the Ripper character…” Bryan, Crazy Film Guy

The Lodger

Buy: Amazon.com

“It is both heavily influenced and influential, a remake and an original interpretation, with B-movie sensibilities and an A-level final product. Those few in the audience in 1944 who were of an age to remember the real 1888 murders must have regarded them, in a sense, as less reality than bad dream, and though the film is historically accurate in regard to the crimes, the Ripper is no more real than the fictitious characters of classic horror that are referenced throughout.” Stacia, She Blogged By Night

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