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Eight strangers are invited to spend the night in a penthouse apartment. After being wined and dined, a voice on the radio informs them that they will be murdered unless they manage to outwit the ninth guest: Death.
Roy William Neill
In late Victorian London, Jack the Ripper has been killing and maiming actresses in the night. The Burtons are forced to take in a lodger due to financial hardship. He seems like a nice young man, but Mrs. Burton suspects him of being the ripper because of some mysterious and suspicious habits, and fears for her beautiful actress niece who lives with them.Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Old Cockney Man:
"Murders being committed in our midst. Police inadequate. We intend offering a substantial reward to anyone, citizen or otherwise, who shall give information bringing the murderer or murderers to justice." Hmm.
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From the first few frames, as the title credits wash in and out like the tide, this is a superb film, full of fog, shadows, suspense, and great performances from Cregar (brilliant in this), Oberon, Hardwicke and others. It manages to be chilling and moving at the same time, and the ending seems incredibly sad and poetic after what has gone before. This makes it all the more memorable. Sadly not on video at the moment unless you dig around, but deserves to be better known than perhaps it is. In comparison with the silent version by Hitchcock, this is more deranged and evil than Novello's cuckoo clocks and wild eyes, and also has a more logical conclusion that the viewer was sure of from early on. The strongest scene is the one in Oberon's dressing room quite near the end, which gives the viewer as much of a fright as it gives her. After that it is somehow reminiscent of Phantom of the Opera, not without advantage. Well worth a look.
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