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Man In The Attic (1953)


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$9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Man In The Attic (1953) + Jack The Ripper
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Editorial Reviews

A quiet pathologist rents out the attic apartment of a family in Victorian London. A series of murders involving showgirls has gripped the community and the landlady has her suspicions about the boarder. In the meantime, the family's daughter, herself a leading performer in a Parisian-style revue, becomes enamored with the shy pathologist

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Writers: Robert Presnell R.m Barre Lyndon
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Synergy Ent
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2007
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VSMUOA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,838 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Man In The Attic (1953)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 16, 2005
Format: DVD
A mysterious pathologist named Slade (Jack Palance) takes a room in a boarding house in London, run by a woman (Frances "Aunt B" Bavier) and her husband. Of course, this happens during the infamous Jack The Ripper murder spree, which adds menace and suspicion to the proceedings. Slade not only takes a room, but also works on secret projects in the attic! He comes and goes like a shadow and stays out all night "working". Could he be the Ripper? Scotland Yard is stumped and 5,000 cops can't catch the fiend. Is he right under their collective noses? Palance is restrained and enigmatic as Slade. He is like a seething predator under a cloak of calm. I liked him in this. The story isn't historically correct, but is enjoyable enough for late night viewing...
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Format: DVD
"Jack the Ripper...what a revolting, stupid name!" says Mr. Slade. He has every reason to be offended. Note that while elements of the plot are discussed, almost everything is laid out for the viewer in the film's first 15 minutes. It's 1888 and Jack has been at work off and on for several weeks. His victims are all women who have been entertainers at one time or another. Jack's knives leave messy leftovers.

Late one night with the London fog swirling around the gaslit streets, Mr. and Mrs. Harley (Rhys Williams and Frances Bavier) hear a knock on their door. It's a Mr. Slade (Jack Palance) who is answering their notice of a room to let. He not only takes the room but also their small, third floor attic. He needs it, he tells Mrs. Harley, so that he can conduct his experiments. Mr. Slade is a pathologist. He seems nice enough, the Harley's dog takes to him at once and he pays a month in advance. When he learns that the Harley's niece, Lily Bonner (Constance Smith), will be staying in the house, and that she is a showgirl on the stage, he is obviously distracted. Her act, Lily Bonner and Her Girls, is getting a lot of notice. We even get to see her do two full numbers. Prince Edward is seen clapping approvingly. But the swirling fog keeps blanketing the city, more women are found brutally cut to death, and Mr. Slade keeps returning home at very late hours. The police put every resource they can into the hunt. Queen Victoria makes it clear that no married man could be capable of such crimes and recommends that all bachelors be rounded up. The police investigation is led by Inspector Paul Warwick (Byron Palmer), a smart copper who is attracted to Lily as soon as he meets her. And it seems that Slade is attracted to Lily, too.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 14, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This VCI disc has clean sound and a clear picture. No extras provided beyond chapter access.

Hugo Fregonese's serious take on the Jack the Ripper story, MAN IN THE ATTIC (1953) has a curiously campy ooh-la-la number 20 minutes in. While a bevy of cuties gaily warbled "You're in Love" and sashayed their stuff on screen, cash registers at theater refreshment counters all over America probably rang with equal gaiety. And there's two more such interruptions later on. Argentine-born Fregonese, husband of Faith Domergue, broke new ground here with his amalgam of the serial killer and musical genres; unfortunately, "Attic" doesn't have the panache, melodic appeal or element integration of Tim Burton's SWEENEY TODD (USA/UK-2007).

The story opens with promise: a nicely executed foggy night scene where a reeling floozy is snuffed almost in sight of two "crushers" who patrol eerily vacant Whitechapel streets. Next, Mr. Slade (Jack Palance), a self-proclaimed pathologist, rents two rooms and a chazerai-cluttered attic from Helen Harley (Frances Bavier) and her husband William (Rhys Williams). Shades of previous "Lodger" films when Slade objects to wall art; the eyes of ladies depicted "follow" him, you see.

The Harleys' niece, Lily Bonner (Constance Smith) is introduced immediately after, as is a time-padding popcorn-pushing stage number.

Palance nicely underplays his role of the suspected Ripper, adding just a smidgen of neurosis. Even so, Hitchcock's silent version of THE LODGER (UK-1927) is superior to this one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on August 14, 2004
Format: DVD
THE MAN IN THE ATTIC was the fourth film based on Marie Belloc-Lowndes' 1912 novel "The Lodger," a fictionalized account of Jack the Ripper. Alfred Hitchcock filmed it first as a silent and years later as a sound film, and English director Maurice Elvey surveyed it once in 1932.

This 1953 version, by Argentinean director Hugo Fregonese, is pure Hollywood hokum. The actors, who are supposed to be Victorian Londoners, sound more East St. Louis than East Side. The murders bear only the most superficial similarities to Ripper murders. In other words, the two that occur during film time occur in Whitechapel and the victims are women. Worst (if you're into historical accuracy), or best (if you're into entertainment value), are the two musical production numbers, which are pure 50's-era Hollywood schmaltz. The songs, "You're in Love" and "The Parisian Trot," were written by musical director Lionel Newman, whose score adds its weight in gold to the tense atmosphere.

Jack Palance stars as the mysterious young man who arrives late one night to rent rooms from an eccentric older couple. Palance plays Slade, a young pathologist who craves solitude, comes and goes at the oddest hours, and generally behaves in a manner that has everyone wondering where he was when the latest Whitechapel murder occurred. With his high, bony cheekbones and narrow, deep set eyes underneath a brooding brow the young Palance is able to convey sinister menace without softly hissing a line of dialogue. It's a good thing, too, considering the fluff he's surrounded with. The prettiest fluff sticks to young Constance Smith, a transcendentally naïve young woman, the daughter of Slade's landlord and a music hall star who at one point through a continental bump and grind at Prince Albert.

THE MAN IN THE ATTIC is too silly to be much of a thriller, although it does have its moments of high tension.
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