The Lodger (1944)

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 8/10

A little better than Hitchcock's version

Wish there was more mystery and suspense

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Lodger

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Horror

Release Date(s):  January 19, 1944

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated


Yes, I can-can-can!

Jack the Ripper is terrorizing London, and the police have no suspects.  As the murders continue, a strange man named Mr. Slade (Laird Cregar) moves into the home of Robert and Ellen Bonting (Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Sara Allgood).  Slade is a surgeon and comes and goes at all hours of the night.  As Slade seems to become more and more obsessed with budding actress Kitty Langley (Merle Oberon), Inspector John Warwick (George Sanders) begins to suspect that Slade could be the killer that they are looking for.

Directed by John Brahm, The Lodger was previously made by Alfred Hitchcock in 1927 and again in 1932 (also known as The Phantom Fiend).  The film was well received and also generally liked better than Alfred Hitchcock’s version.  The movie adapts the 1913 book of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes.


Get those legs higher ladies! We have a slasher to impress!!!

While Alfred Hitchcock’s version of the film was more about suspense, this movie is more about horror.  The imagery and the style of the film are more classic horror.  The last few minutes of the film felt almost like a slasher picture with Slade’s attempt to kill. I do like that the movie did go for the darker ending.  Slade isn’t just a victim of mistaken identity and everything doesn’t end up working out great.  Slade is crazy.

Visually, the movie is very nice, but it feels like a few missed opportunities.  Jack the Ripper lived in darkness and the shadows and fog.  While there is some of this, I do wish that the director had tapped a bit into what Hitchcock found in the story.  It was nice to throw in the can-can number because it does lighten up the film at a point at which it is pretty dark…plus Laird is great in the scene.


Me…the Ripper? Why do you say that?

Visually that is what really works in the film:  Laird Cregar.  He’s big, imposing, and scary.  Cregar really does a great job embodying a monster for this film.  Scenes where he’s paired with the much smaller Merle Oberon show how he just dwarfs her.  Plus you add in his insanely crazed look in the final sequence, I wish the actor who died later in 1944 had lived to do more stuff.

The Lodger is a pretty good horror thriller type movie.  It has that classic feel with the black-and-white look but still feels a bit more modern than something like Dracula or Frankenstein.  If you get a chance, check it out and check out Hitchcock’s version too to compare the stylistic versions of the two films.

Related Links:

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

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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