The man who won't go away

Ripper1Marie Belloc Lowndes (1888 – 1947), an English novelist, wrote a novel in 1913 – The Lodger – based on Jack the Ripper murders. Little did she know her novel would eventually be adapted for the screen five times, beginning with a silent version made in London in 1927, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, followed by another London production in 1932. The third was a major American film. The high production values of Twentieth Century Fox studio ensured a faithful replica of Victorian London, complete with swirling fog.

What carried the film was a great performance by a relative newcomer to pictures, Laird Cregar, (see photo) as the Ripper. This film version is considered by many to be the best. Next one up, 1953, had the title changed to The Man in the Attic. No great shakes, but the one following, 2009, with original title restored, saw a change in locale, with the Ripper murdering prostitutes along Hollywood Boulevard. Panned by the critics, and after a limited release, went straight to the video bin.

The bridge that wasn’t there

Ripper2In the 1944 version the climax of the film saw the Ripper jumping off Tower Bridge, which at the time of the murders, 1888, was beginning to be constructed. The foundations were in the process of being laid beneath the river, the actual structure had yet to be erected, being finally completed and opened in 1894. So how did Jack scale a bridge that wasn’t there yet? Someone call for Sherlock Holmes.

Then again, those involved in the mystique of who the Ripper was do come up with some logical theories. Most, if not all, surround the involvement of Royalty.

Back in October 2011, I wrote an article on this site, based on a book – Jack the Ripper – The Final Solution – written by Steven Knight, in which he puts forward a theory I think is worthy of consideration. Yes, he does have Royalty involved, expanding it to the artist, Walter Sickert, and the world of that part of London, then known as Bohemia. The book has rave reviews by readers and is still available to buy on the net at a very reasonable price. I recommend it.

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