27 October 2001 | boris-26
Rather fun war-time chiller
This is the first HOLLYWOOD lensing of the Jack The Ripper tale (Alfred Hitchcock choos ehtis material for his first film thriller in 1926, and there was a rather talky British remake in 1932) The film is a testimony to a great actor, Laird Cregar. He plays a tenant in a rooming house set in the middle of the Ripper murder sites. Cregar gives a wonderful performance, looking trapped when Scotland Yard detective George Sanders (always a treat) is around, or when his landlord's lovely niece (played by the beautiful Merle Oberon) is nearby. The best performance Cregar gives when all is closing in on him. Director John Brahm's camera catches him in close-up, savoring every bead of paniced sweat. Sadly, since Cregar was vastly over weight, only sinister roles came his way. Trying to crash diet, he died of a heart attack at the youthful age of 28. Had he lived, we would seen him become a more famous actors, taking roles probably well into the 1990's.