Numerous movies have been made about the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, who was responsible for a string of murders in the Whitechapel district of London in 1888. His modus operandi was to kill sex workers and mutilate their bodies, and despite police efforts, he was never caught.
This has contributed to his notoriety and has led to numerous adaptations of his story on both the big and small screens. The first movies about Jack the Ripper were made shortly after the last documented murder in 1891 and have continued to be popular to this day.
Even Alfred Hitchcock, a famous director from the silent era, made a movie about the infamous killer. Many of these films were based on the 1913 novel The Lodger by Marie Belloc Lowndes, which was itself based on the Whitechapel Murders.
Whether it’s a retelling of the original Jack the Ripper story or a story about copycat killers, there are numerous movies available for those interested in this dark chapter of history.
In addition to movies, there have also been documentaries attempting to uncover the true identity of Jack the Ripper, making him a subject of fascination for many people.
From Hell (2001)
“From Hell” is a 2001 movie directed by the Hughes brothers and starring Johnny Depp as Inspector Frederick Abberline, a police detective tasked with finding the Ripper.
The movie is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell streaming on HBO Max. The film combines a fictional love story with a fictionalized account of the Ripper murders, and features impressive visuals and a gripping plot.
The movie’s plot is centered around Inspector Abberline, who is tasked with investigating the gruesome murders of several women in the Whitechapel area.
As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers a dark conspiracy involving the highest echelons of society, and realizes that the murders are part of a larger scheme to cover up a terrible secret.
One of the standout features of “From Hell” is Johnny Depp’s performance as Abberline. Depp delivers a nuanced and engaging performance as the tormented detective, who is haunted by his own demons as he races against time to catch the killer.
|Lead Cast||Johnny Depp, Heather Graham, |
Ian Holm, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927)
The film was released at a time when Hitchcock was still honing his directorial skills, and it is widely regarded as one of his early masterpieces. “The Lodger” was Hitchcock’s third film and his first thriller streaming on HBO Max & Criterion Channel, and it laid the foundation for his later works that would come to define the genre.
The movie was also notable for its innovative use of visual storytelling techniques, such as the use of intertitles and close-ups. Hitchcock used these techniques to build tension and create a sense of unease throughout the film, culminating in a suspenseful climax.
The cast of “The Lodger” included Ivor Novello in the lead role, alongside Malcolm Keen, Marie Ault, and Arthur Chesney. Novello’s performance was particularly praised, and helped establish him as a leading actor in British cinema at the time.
Despite being a silent film, “The Lodger” has remained relevant and influential over the years. It has been remade multiple times, and its themes of suspicion, paranoia, and psychological terror continue to resonate with audiences today.
|Lead Cast||Marie Ault, Arthur Chesney,|
June Tripp, Malcolm Keen, Ivor Novello
Time After Time (1979)
“Time After Time” is a science fiction thriller movie from 1979, directed by Nicholas Meyer and starring Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen. The movie is loosely based on the Jack the Ripper murders and tells the story of H.G.
Wells, a famous author who invents a time machine and uses it to track down Jack the Ripper in modern-day San Francisco. In the movie, Wells pursues the Ripper across time and must also adapt to the modern world, which proves to be challenging for him.
The film features a gripping plot that combines science fiction and thriller elements and explores the themes of time travel, morality, and the consequences of actions.
Malcolm McDowell delivers a brilliant performance as H.G. Wells, portraying the character as a curious and idealistic inventor who becomes obsessed with stopping the Ripper’s reign of terror. Mary Steenburgen also shines in her role as Amy, a modern-day woman who becomes romantically involved with Wells.
The film received positive reviews from critics, who praised its imaginative plot, strong performances, and seamless blending of genres. “Time After Time” is a unique take on the Jack the Ripper story that offers an intriguing blend of science fiction and thriller elements.
|Lead Cast||Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen, |
Charles Cioffi, Kent Williams
Murder by Decree (1979)
“Murder by Decree” is a 1979 film directed by Bob Clark and starring Christopher Plummer in the role of legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. The film is based on a conspiracy theory that suggests that the Jack the Ripper murders were part of a larger cover-up orchestrated by the British government.
This theory has been a popular one among Ripperologists, a group of enthusiasts who study and speculate on the identity and motives of the killer.
The movie is notable for its impressive production design, which includes recreations of the Whitechapel district of London in the late 19th century. The film also features strong performances from its cast, with Plummer’s portrayal of Holmes being particularly praised.
The film’s story follows Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson as they investigate the murders and uncover evidence that suggests the involvement of high-ranking government officials.
The movie has been well received by critics and Ripper enthusiasts alike, with many praising its attention to historical detail and its compelling portrayal of one of history’s most notorious unsolved mysteries.
|Lead Cast||Christopher Plummer, James Mason, |
David Hemmings, Susan Clark
Jack the Ripper (1988)
The 1988 TV movie “Jack the Ripper” was directed by David Wickes and stars Michael Caine in the role of Inspector Abberline. This movie offers a more traditional take on the story of the Ripper murders, without any fictionalized elements or alternative theories.
The focus is solely on the murders and the investigation that followed. Michael Caine delivers a strong performance as the detective trying to catch the elusive killer, and the supporting cast, which includes actors like Armand Assante and Susan George, also shines in their respective roles.
The movie was well-received by both critics and audiences, who appreciated its adherence to the historical record and its effective portrayal of the gruesome killings.
|Lead Cast||Michael Caine, Armand Assante, Ray McAnally, |
Lewis Collins, Ken Bones
Jack the Ripper is a subject that continues to fascinate people, and there have been many movies made about him over the years. From the silent era to the present day, filmmakers have found ways to tell the story of the Whitechapel murders in compelling and creative ways.
Whether you prefer a fictionalized account like “From Hell,” a more traditional mystery like “Jack the Ripper,” or a science fiction thriller like “Time After Time,” there is a Jack the Ripper movie out there for you.