The Lodger : The Book - The Film
'Extra! Extra! Read all about it. The Avenger has struck again. This shrouded figure has killed yet another blond-haired beauty on the streets of old
town tonight'. London
Hey! Did you hear that? But who could this madman be I wonder? Surely not one the lodgers' frequenting Mrs. Bunting's (Marie Ault) boarding house?
No. Not, Joe Chandler (Malcolm Keen). This very dapper looking chap is actually one of the policemen assigned to this case! Also, he is very sweat on Mrs. Bunting's pretty young daughter, Daisy (June Tripp), too.
Of course I'm referring to that other fella. The suspicious one that has a lot of cash to splash. Jonathan Drew (Ivor Novello). Because for some strange reason he's ordered Mrs. Bunting to take down all those pictures of blond-haired ladies in his bedroom.
Yeah! I'm not messing about! Moreover, Mrs. Bunting heard him sneak home one night after a subsequent murder. And let's not forget that Jonathan appears quite sweat on Daisy as well. To the chagrin of her bulbous father, Mr. Bunting (Arthur Chesney).
Still, that's most probably why what next transpires commences when Joe breaks up a secret rendezvous between Jonathan and Daisy. As a landlady scream's like a banshee - who would like a nice cup of tea - a dead sister is found to be the key - plus murderers and lovers live on in infamy.
Now if you ever want to watch 'The Lodge: A Story Of The London Fog' -- like I have -- there are a number of factors you have to take into consideration beforehand. Firstly, it's a silent film, accompanied by orchestral music and caption-cards to elevate the overall tale. Secondly, although this film is supposed to be based on the 'Jack the Ripper' murders, don't expect to find a realistic portrayal of this grizzly event within it. Thirdly, the acting in this piece is rather mannered and slow, with most of the performances either very intense, or very bold, depending on the intent of the scene. Fourthly, please note that this is a very old movie, so the quality of what you see on screen isn't always that clear, sometimes bordering on the blurred. And fifthly, if you are a comic book lover like I am, try to think of this flick as a 'live-action' tale published by the 'Vertigo' imprint, full of grainy and stark visuals of the suspenseful variety.
Phew! Now that I've got that off of my chest, I'm sure you're wondering to yourself if I liked watching 'The Lodger: A Story Of The London Fog' or not? Well, if truth be told, I did. Personally speaking, if a film can tell a coherent tale -- like this one managed to -- then it's a good film in my book. The suspense was suspenseful. The overall through-line made perfect sense. The acting was clear and to the point. And on occasion, I did find the camera-work quite inspiring, considering when it was made.
Granted, to juxtapose my positively, I have a feeling that this film wouldn't be everybody's cup of tea. So if you've read my proceedings five point summary at the start of this piece -- plus is the type of a person who can't 'cope' with silent-films -- then this one is definitely not for you.
It's a shame really. Because you're missing out on a slice of cinema history; and something that will live on and on and one, like our buddy, Jack... Jack the Ripper.
Good movie; and unquestionably one for movie-buffs, Ripperologists, and fans of cinema's yesteryear. Smashing.