Pros: Well written and directed, good attention to details from the era
Cons: The mystery is never truly solved
I picked this up for one reason, Patrick Bergin, and I wasn't disappointed. Since seeing him in Sleeping with the Enemy, I have tried to locate other movies that he has been in, acting in equal type roles. While his performance in The Ripper is as Inspector Jim Hansen, I still found just enough of that edgy undercurrent of evil sexuality that he showed in Sleeping, etc..
The Ripper, of course, is the story of the infamous Jack the Ripper that stalked the ~whores and back alleys of London during another era (sorry, I am dumb founded to think of the exact time frame!). In truth Jack the Ripper, like the Boston Strangler, has never been caught, but in the movie he was portrayed as Prince Albert - perhaps it was.
Inspector Hansen (Bergin) falls for the ~whore Florry Lewis (Gabrielle Anwar), as he watches over her to protect her. She was witness to one of the slashings and now her life is in peril. They begin a tumultuous love affair that lasted throughout the movie, and perhaps until their death, who knows? The story was not about a love affair (although had James Cameron been directing the damn thing, the Ripper would have been as forgotten as the Titanic was), but about Jack the Ripper, a most corrosive serial killer and the acceptance of Inspector Hansen into the royal court.
I found the story, as presented, to be very decent. I find a lot of these English period pieces to be a little tawdry, but this production by writer Robert Rodat, was delightfully filmed. The story turns out to be better by having a scapegoat in Price Albert Victor (Samuel West), who it seems was driven to his killings due to his insanity caused by syphilis. He puts on a remarkable performance as the psychotic killer that has no control over his urges, while also simpering around town in his normal day dress as the pompous man that would some day be King.
One thing that truly ruffled my feathers, but they are easily ruffled, was the throw-off attitude about the murders. "They are just ~whores, not women" seemed to be the general outlook during this era of history. Not realizing that even the aristocrats prostitute themselves daily to remain in good graces with the reigning royalty, in fact, most people are in that category in their lives. Selling their morals, beliefs and attitudes for the company store'.
This movie was made in 1997 and particular detail was paid to authenticity of the times including dress, scenery, attitude, language, music and continuity. I am a big stickler for continuity in any movie and the scenes flowed in this one quite well, not jumping from idea to idea and leaving out important details.
Directed by Janet Meyers and cinematographer Martin McGrath. Too many producers to mention (why IS that?) And original music by Mason Daring. A commendable movie, I highly recommend it! Also staring Michael York as Sir Charles Warren.
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Susi Dawson (SusiDee34)
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It is 1888, and London is a city in the grip of fear. Women are being strangled and murdered by a madman who can't be found, a serial killer who strikes with ruthless precision. It's up to Scotland Yard's top investigator to stop the relentless murderer and protect his only witness - the woman he loves.