The Lodger (1944 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Brahm|
|Produced by||Robert Bassler|
|Screenplay by||Barré Lyndon|
|Based on||the novel The Lodger
by Marie Belloc Lowndes
|Music by||Hugo Friedhofer|
|Edited by||J. Watson Webb Jr.|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||84 minutes|
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 from a screenplay by Barré Lyndon.
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.
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.
- Merle Oberon as Kitty Langley
- Laird Cregar as Mr. Slade, the lodger
- George Sanders as Inspector John Warwick
- Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Robert Bonting
- Sara Allgood as Ellen Bonting
- Aubrey Mather as Superintendent Sutherland
- Queenie Leonard as Daisy, the maid
- Doris Lloyd as Jennie
- David Clyde as Detective Sergeant Bates
- Helena Pickard as Annie Rowley
- Gerald Hamer as The Milkmen
The New York Times gave the film a positive review, "If The Lodger was designed to chill the spine—as indeed it must have been, considering all the mayhem Mr. Cregar is called upon to commit as the mysterious, psychopathic pathologist of the title—then something is wrong with the picture. But, if it was intended as a sly travesty on the melodramatic technique of ponderously piling suspicion upon suspicion (and wrapping the whole in a cloak of brooding photographic effects), then The Lodger is eminently successful. Anyway, the picture has been handsomely produced, and it does give Merle Oberon her most attractive role in a long while. The Lady is altogether delightful in a couple of music-hall sequences as a Parisian coquette.
More recently critic Dennis Schwartz wrote, "An evocative, atmospheric mood piece that is brilliantly photographed by Lucien Ballard, set in the fogbound and shadowy London streets of Whitechapel during the 1880s. It is the fictional story of Jack the Ripper, the third film version adapted from the book by Marie Belloc-Lowndes (a remake of Alfred Hitchcock's 1925 film of the same name). This strange tale is noted for its riveting performance by Laird Cregar as the strangler ... The film had a strange fascination. Laird Cregar's performance was brilliantly disturbing."
- The Lodger at the Internet Movie Database
- The Lodger at AllMovie
- The Lodger at the TCM Movie Database
- The Lodge film trailer on YouTube