Reviews for The Lodger ( 1944 ) 1080p

Very good Jack the Ripper story

By: preppy-3
This is a fictional tale of Jack the Ripper. It takes place in London in 1888. Jack the Ripper (Laird Cregar) is hiding out under the name Mr. Slade. He kills actresses only. He's renting two rooms from an elderly couple. Then he meets their young niece Kitty (Merle Oberon) who happens to be a dance hall girl. Will he kill her or can he be stopped?

VERY atmospheric with excellent direction by John Brahm. He makes great use of light and darkness and shoots this almost like a film noir. It looks great even though it was made on a low budget. The acting is great. Cregar is tall, imposing and menacing as the Ripper...but you also feel sorry for him. Oberon is excellent as Kitty. It's short (84 minutes) and well-done. Only one complaint (and it's minor)--You know Cregar is the Ripper from the very beginning so it robs any sense of mystery the story might have had. Still it's well worth seeing.

Discover the Soft-Spoken Laird Cregar

By: JLRMovieReviews
Merle Oberon, George Sanders, Sara Allgood, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, and Laird Cregar (as the title role) star in what must be the definitive film adaptation of this story, claiming to be based on the Jack the Ripper legend. I remember seeing the Hitchcock silent, and while it was good, it didn't capture the London-at-night atmosphere and the dark shadows, and it didn't have Laird Cregar, and his intense desperation. He was excellent! I can only imagine that he was probably a nice guy in real life, but his disturbing performance is practically the whole show. Merle Oberon is lovely and all, but her role is really a thankless or throw-away role, with very little to do but to just be there.

Laird Cregar (and the movie) allows us to enter his mind and understand his motivations and even to sympathize with him. We're allowed to see things through his eyes. Especially at the end, when he's cornered by the crowd, when he looks so demented to the crowd, we see the crowd from his perspective. They must look so frightening to him.

One quick note: Sara Allgood also was in "How Green was My Valley," and she deserves some recognition for her great part in "The Lodger" and her prolific career. She was an actress who worked without much fanfare, but always gave great performances.

See this version of "The Lodger" and don't be taken in or fooled by imitations. Stay away from the new one, and don't even be curious about "Man in the Attic" with Jack Palance, a vastly inferior rip-off. "The Lodger" can be found on a Fox Horror 3-movie collection, and on TCM from time to time. Discover this version of "The Lodger," and you won't be disappointed, unless you want today's blood and gore. Its less-is-more technique goes a long, shiny way with your imagination.

A great thriller you've never seen

By: revere-7
This is a great thriller that not enough people have heard of, let alone seen, which is a shame, because it is perhaps the most archetypal black and white Jack-the-Ripper film. The plot is simple but effective - during the Jack-the-Ripper scare, a strange gentleman with a mysterious past rents a room in a London boarding house, to the growing suspicion of the other residents.

This mid forties version of the novel "The Lodger" is the best movie version ever made - which is high praise when you consider that it's been adapted to the screen almost every decade from the silent era to today (a version was just released in 2009 the year of this review), including one by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock himself. Not to mention it's influence on police procedurals (there's a scene at Scotland Yard's Black Museum) and later Ripper films such as "From Hell".

But what makes this version special is that it features strong performances by Laird Cregar as the creepy Mr. Slade, and Merle Oberon as a can-can dancer who comes and goes through the East End at night, just the sort of girl who might fall prey to someone like The Ripper.

Furthermore, this film came out when the film noir style was in full swing, and cinematographers were experimenting with new camera angles and especially the use of low key lighting. Whether or not it can be classified as a bona fide noir or not, it certain shows noir influences, with figures frequently silhouetted in the London fog, and a distinct similarity to the "menaced woman" noir sub-genre typified by films such as "Sorry, Wrong Number".

Good atmosphere but unbelievable characters

By: The_Void
The Lodger has been made several times since Alfred Hitchcock directed the original in 1927; and this is the second of the remakes. It's difficult to compare this film to the original as they're fundamentally very different; owing to the fact, of course, that the original was a silent picture and this one has sound. I will, however, say that Alfred Hitchcock's film is the more effective telling of the story and this one has a number of problems, mostly owing to the characters central to the story. The plot is very simple. The scene is set in London during the time of Jack the Ripper. Around the time he's tearing his way through the women of the city, a landlady and landlord have taken in a lodger named Mr Slade. He's a very strange man; a sinister misdemeanour and the fact that he likes to go out walking for seemingly no reason in the middle of the night being just the tip of the iceberg. Naturally, it's not long before Mr Slade's behaviour is likened to Jack the Ripper and his landlady begins to suspect that he's the killer.

All the main characters in this film are far too over the top. Laird Cregar takes the role of the lodger; and while it's undoubtedly a commanding and captivating performance, he's simply too sinister and weird, (not to mention not very good at covering his tracks) and wouldn't have been more suspect if he actually had "Jack the Ripper" tattooed on his forehead. By contrast, his landlords; played by Cedric Hardwicke and Sara Allgood are two of the slowest individuals to grace cinema. Sure they get an inkling of their lodger's true identity fairly early on; but it takes them a long time to come to an all too obvious conclusion. All this stuff really brought the film down for me; but rating purely in terms of cinema, The Lodger fares a little better. Director John Brahm expertly captures the underbelly of London and the film has a really great atmosphere. Naturally, the film is not graphic; but we do get treated to a few unsettling murder scenes also. Overall, I do have to say that I enjoyed this film in spite of my problems with the characters and would rate it as worth seeing.

Your beauty is exquisite.

By: Spikeopath
Victorian London, Whitechapple, and some maniac is slaughtering women with stage backgrounds. Could it be, that the mysterious Mr. Slade who has rented the upstairs rooms from Mrs Burton, is the man known as Jack the Ripper? This part of London is cloaked in fog, the cobbled streets damp and bearing witness to unspeakable crimes, the gas lights dimly flicker as the British Bobby searches in vain for Bloody Jack.

The scene is set for what is to me the finest adaptation to deal with the notorious murderer, Jack the Ripper. A remake of the Alfred Hitchcock silent from 1927, this adaptation of the Marie Belloc Lowndes novel not only looks great (Lucien Ballard's photography creating fluid eeriness and film noir fatalism) but also chills the blood without ever actually spilling any. It's a testament to John Brahm's direction that the film constantly feels like a coiled spring waiting to explode, a spring that is realised in the form of Laird Cregar's incredibly unnerving portrayal of Mr Slade.

Laird Cregar, as evidenced here, was a fine actor in the making. Sadly troubled by his weight and yearning to become a true matinée idol, he crashed dieted to such a degree his poor 28 year old heart couldn't cope with the shock. After just 16 films, of which this was his second to last, the movie world was robbed of a truly fine performer, a sad story in a long line of sad incidents that taint the Hollywood story.

George Sanders and Merle Oberon (as police inspector and Slade's infatuation respectively) engage in a less than fully realised romantic strand, and Cedric Hardwicke dominates all the scenes that don't feature the might of Cregar, but really it's the big man's show all the way. Creepily enhanced by Hugo Friedhofer's score, The Lodger is a lesson in how to utilise technical atmospherics.

The moody atmosphere here hangs heavy and the sense of doom is palpable in the extreme, it comes as something of a relief when the ending finally comes, as it's time to reflect and exhale a sigh of relief. Deviating from the novel, something which has over the years annoyed purists, The Lodger shows its hand very much from the off, but it in no way hurts the picture, if anything the exasperation at the supporting characters induces dry humour. The kind that comes in the form of nervous giggles out there in the dark, but rest assured, this is no comedy, it's a creepy classic from a wonderful era of film making. 9/10

You can destroy the things you love...and love what you destroy

By: blanche-2
Laird Cregar, who died shortly after this film's release, is Mr. Slade aka Jack the Ripper, in 1944's "The Lodger" also starring Merle Oberon, George Sanders, Sara Allgood, and Cedric Hardwicke. As 20th Century Fox often did, they remade this A film as a B film in the '50s as "Man in the Attic" starring Jack Palance. My recollection is that the film followed "The Lodger" frame for frame and word for word. "Man in the Attic" is very good; however, "The Lodger" is superior.

This is the oft-told story of a strange man who claims to be a pathologist taking rooms in a private home in Victorian England. The lady of the house begins to suspect he's Jack the Ripper. Her husband, although fascinated by the case, thinks she's mistaken. Also staying in the house with them is the wife's niece, Lily, a performer who has brought her dance troupe to work in London. When Scotland Yard comes a-calling to question her about a murdered woman who visited her at the theater, there is an instant attraction between her and the inspector in charge of the case.

Although a tall and large-framed man, Cregar came off initially as less frightening than the austere-looking Palance, although both used very gentle voices in the role. He's fantastic as Slade, his violence hidden in a lumbering frame and a soft, slow demeanor. One wonders what would have happened to his career had he lived - it probably would have been tremendous. Unfortunately, he died at the age of 30 as a result of crash dieting. Merle Oberon is radiantly beautiful, lively, and flirtatious as Lily, and Sanders is handsome and effective in the role of the inspector, though he doesn't have much to do. Sara Allgood is excellent as the suspicious Helen, and Cedric Hardwicke appropriately gruff as her husband.

The atmosphere is as thick as the fog in "The Lodger," and the ending is remarkable with its use of unusual lighting and camera angles. This is a marvelous film, all the better for the performance of Laird Cregar, whose career and life ended much too soon.

It's a Goody!

By: Bucs1960
A tight, terse little black and white film about.....well, about Jack the Ripper. Prostitute victims are transformed into actresses for the film (and obviously for the Code) but it follows somewhat the modus operandi of Jack. You never see the violence, it is only implied and that works for this film.

Laird Cregar is absolutely marvelous as the strange, sweating lodger who may or may not be the murderer. He was perfect for the part, with those great, brooding eyes. Sadly, he died at a very early age.....he could have gone on to greater things. Merle Oberon is lovely, of course, but in the real world she certainly would have not made it on the musical stage....can't sing (obviously dubbed), can't dance,...but that's irrelevant in the scheme of things. George Sanders, that most wonderful gentleman, doesn't get to be too suave in his part as the Scotland Yard inspector, but he is, as he always was, very good. And who could ever fault Sara Allgood, as Oberon's aunt......she never gave a bad performance in her long career.....just marvelous. This film is worth watching and you will agree that Laird Cregar is as good as it gets playing a very edgy man with some big problems!!

Mrs. Lowndes' evergreen tale of the Ripper finds a memorable exemplar in Laird Cregar

By: bmacv
It's London's autumn of terror ? 1888 ? when Jack the Ripper stalked the slums of Whitechapel to eviscerate gin-soaked prostitutes and shake the capital of the British Empire to its foundations. John Brahm's movie opens on the gas-lit and fog-wreathed cobblestones, evocatively shot by Lucien Ballard, in this umpteenth recension of Marie Belloc Lowndes' evergreen chiller The Lodger (Alfred Hitchcock did a silent treatment in 1927, and Jack Palance would star in Man in the Attic in 1954 , to name but two of its closest cousins).

The crafty Mrs. Lowndes may have been the first to use that surefire scare tactic `the call is coming from inside the house!' The gimmick of her story is that the fiend has a respectable face and may have taken lodgings under a respectable roof while its respectable occupants remain oblivious but imperiled.

Brahm's choice of lodger is Laird Cregar, whose enormous bulk ? he was six-three and 300 pounds ? made him look perpetually 45, though he was only 28 when he died, shortly after making this movie. (His last, released posthumously the following year, was the somewhat similar Hangover Square, which Brahm also directed). The rooms he takes (including an attic `laboratory' complete with gas fire for his experiments) belong to Cedric Hardwicke and Sara Allgood, whose niece Merle Oberon, a music-hall star, lives there as well.

When Laird is invited to attend one of Oberon's can-can numbers, he rants and raves about painted and powdered woman and finally erupts: `I can show you something more beautiful than a beautiful woman,' whereupon he produces a photograph of his dead brother, who came to ruin through consorting with wicked women (there's the merest insinuation of syphilitic insanity). Clearly, the lodger has unresolved issues.

The Ripper legend and Lowndes' telling of it are so familiar it needs no retracing, save to note that George Sanders plays the smitten Scotland Yard Detective and that Brahm delivers all the expected chills. But then this German emigrant always fared better with the spooky and the Victorian than with the hard-boiled and American. The Lodger counts among his finer hours-and-a-half.

Mania, Murder & Melodrama

By: Ron Oliver
With all England horrified by the fiendish exploits of Jack the Ripper, a London family slowly becomes concerned by the strange habits of THE LODGER who has rented rooms upstairs...

Atmospheric & creepy, this is one of the great suspense films. Based on the celebrated 1913 horror novel of Marie Belloc Lowndes, the movie memorably captures the panic & paranoia which reigned in London during the Ripper crimes. Using the full palette of shades available to black & white cinematography, the movie creates a chilling, eerie, atmosphere in which one can walk Whitechapel's narrow streets with the murderer.

Laird Cregar mesmerizes in the title role, his great, strange eyes following the viewer like those in the portraits he detests. He is the very picture of obsession & madness. Although lovely Merle Oberon & stalwart George Sanders do very well as the romantic leads, it is Cregar, his tremendous bulk moving silently through the shadows, who will remain in viewers' imaginations.

As the landlords, Sara Allgood & Sir Cedric Hardwicke are exceptional, portraying basically quiet people who come to the alarming conclusion that all is not right in their household. A solid group of character actors - Queenie Leonard, Helena Pickard, Anita Sharp-Bolster, Lumsden Hare - also give vivid performances. Movie mavens will recognize uncredited turns by Billy Bevan as a bartender and, behind the mustache, little Charlie Hall, veteran of many a Laurel & Hardy comedy, as the music hall comedian whose song is interrupted by the Ripper's last attack.

Special mention should be made of British Doris Lloyd (1896-1968), an excellent actress usually seen only in tiny bit roles, often uncredited. Here, unforgettably, she gets to deliver a short, sharp lesson in utter terror as the last of the Ripper's victims. Arriving in Hollywood during the Silent Era, Miss Lloyd would continue to grace small movie moments for decades to come.

Laird Cregar is one of the great What Ifs? of American cinema. Arising out of obscurity, this young actor quickly showed a remarkable talent and was quite soon given featured & starring roles, of which THE LODGER is the most memorable. Alas, his star was to blink out as fast as it rose. Wishing to move into leading & romantic parts, he subjected his 300-pound frame to an extreme crash diet. His body responded with a massive heart attack, killing him only a few months after THE LODGER's release. He was 28 years old.

The film gives a somewhat fictionalized account of the depredations of Jack the Ripper, his identity & the true names of his victims being the most obvious changes. From August 7th to November 10th, 1888, a killer who would become known as Jack the Ripper horrifically butchered seven prostitutes in London's East End, committing acts of such barbaric savagery on the bodies as to be positively bestial. He was never caught, despite a huge public outcry and tremendous efforts from Scotland Yard. In the intervening years there have been numerous suggestive solutions to his identity put forward, some quite fanciful, but no proofs have ever been posited. Jack took his terrible secrets with him to the grave.

a great victorian melodrama

By: SkippyDevereaux
This is a great Victorian melodrama. Everything about this film is superb. The late Laird Cregar is just outstanding in the title role and Merle Oberon has never looked lovelier It's funny how you can see a film when you are about twelve years old and it sticks in your brain because it is so good and this one is one of the best. I highly recommend this film.
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