Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. United Kingdom/Canada, 1979. Canadian Film Development Corporation, Famous Players, Highlight, Murder by Decree Productions. Screenplay by John Hopkins, based on the book The Ripper File by Elwyn Jones, John Lloyd, from characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Cinematography by Reginald H. Morris. Produced by Bob Clark, Rene Dupont, Robert A. Goldston. Music by Paul Zaza, Carl Zittrer. Production Design by Harry Pottle. Costume Design by Judy Moorcroft. Film Editing by Stan Cole.
Fans of Victorian horror stories will find much to enjoy in this delightful Sherlock Holmes mystery that seeks to unravel the legend behind Jack The Ripper. Ripper was a murderer who killed a number of prostitutes in late-19th century London in a brutal manner and is considered to be the first serial killer on record (a mystery still unsolved). Holmes (Christopher Plummer) and Dr. Watson (James Mason) follow the trail of evidence throughout the city in the hopes of discovering who the real culprit is (if you want a hint, the more recent From Hell starring Johnny Depp treads on the same theory). The performances are wonderful, including Genevieve Bujold as an asylum inmate, and the period is brought to life with a bone-chilling sense of atmosphere: everywhere you turn there is thick fog and a dirty cobblestone street. A fine film that makes a worthy companion to The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Without A Clue.