From Whitechapel to Hollywood – Jack the Ripper Inspired Movies

DATED: 13.07.17

The most unbelievable stories are the ones that turn out to be true, so it should be no surprise that the Jack the Ripper murders have been the inspiration for many a cinematic blockbuster.

Film directors have always taken inspiration from real events to thrust onto the big screen, and the events that unfolded under the cloak of darkness in Whitechapel in 1888 are no exception.

Numerous portrayals of the murders and the proceeding investigation exist in film, with some better received than others. In the films, unlike in reality, Jack the Ripper is almost always caught and unmasked, sparking great debate amongst Ripperologists.

From Hell (2001)

Before he was Captain Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp played the role of Inspector Frederick Abberline in the 2001 film ‘From Hell’. Starring alongside Heather Graham, Depp is a sympathetic police officer that dreams the scenes of the murders as a result of an opium addiction.

The film is an adaption of the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, produced in serial form from 1989 to 1996.

A Study in Terror (1965)

There have been a number of works placing Conan-Arthur Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr John Watson on the case of Jack the Ripper. We ourselves have pondered the question as to whether Holmes would have cracked the case.

In the 1965 movie ‘A Study in Terror’ Holmes, played by John Neville, does indeed get his man and quashes the mystery of Whitechapel. This gripping film sees the boys of Baker Street’s investigation take them all the way to the top of British aristocracy.

The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, the 1927 silent film ‘The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog’ and is widely considered to be some of his best work. This film introduced themes that Hitchcock would continue to utilise throughout his distinguished career, often seeing him referred to as ‘The Master of Suspense’.

The plot of the film sees Ivor Novello play the shifty figure who is suspected of being a Jack the Ripper-like murderer by his landlady, played by Marie Ault.

Curious as to how the Ripper became the most revered serial killer in history and what inspired film directors to create such gripping adaptions? Join us on our Jack the Ripper Tour by booking your place today.


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