The Lodger (1944 film)

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The Lodger
Thelodger1944.jpg
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
Starring Merle Oberon
George Sanders
Laird Cregar
Music by Hugo Friedhofer
Cinematography Lucien Ballard
Edited by J. Watson Webb Jr.
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • January 19, 1944 (1944-01-19) (United States)
Running time 84 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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.[1]

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.

Plot[edit]

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 brutally killed in the Whitechapel district. Scotland Yard is investigating and a detective, John Warwick, begins to cast his suspicions in Slade's direction. 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.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

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.[2]

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."[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Lodger at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ The New York Times, film review, January 20, 1944. Accessed: July 4, 2013.
  3. ^ Schwartz, Dennis, film review, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, May 9, 2001. Accessed: July 4, 2013.

External links[edit]