Hands of the Ripper


1h 25m 1971
Hands of the Ripper

Brief Synopsis

The daughter of Jack the Ripper continues his grisly legacy.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Horror/Science-Fiction
Horror
Thriller
Release Date
1971
Production Company
Hammer Films
Distribution Company
Rank Film Distributors Ltd

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Synopsis

The infant daughter of Jack the Ripper is witness to the brutal murder of her mother by her father. Fifteen years later she is a troubled young woman who is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her father. While in a trance she continues his murderous killing spree but has no recollection of the events afterwards. A sympathetic psychiatrist takes her in and is convinced he can cure her condition. Soon, however, he regrets his decision.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
R
Genre
Horror/Science-Fiction
Horror
Thriller
Release Date
1971
Production Company
Hammer Films
Distribution Company
Rank Film Distributors Ltd

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 25m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)

Articles

Hands of the Ripper


Always looking to add another monster to its repertory, Great Britain's Hammer Film Productions broached the subject of Jack the Ripper (though not for the first time) with Peter Sasdy's Hands of the Ripper (1971). This distinctly Freudian spin on the serial killer mythos focuses not on the Fiend of Whitechapel himself but on his orphaned daughter (Angharad Rees), sole heir to a legacy of violence and horror. Innovative and forward-looking, Hands of the Ripper occupies linchpin status between Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) - a genre game-changer to which Hammer paid homage via a series of nervy black-and-white psychological thrillers - and the slasher cycle kicked off by John Carpenter's Halloween (1978); there are intriguing points of comparison between the Sasdy and Carpenter films, from the image of a traumatized child shocked into a glassy-eyed fugue state to the butterfly pinning of a victim to the back of a door to the symbiotic relationship between the killer and a doctor (here played by Forsyte Saga star Eric Porter) racing to stop her before she kills again. Director Sasdy was able to recreate Edwardian England on the backlot of Pinewood Studios by reusing leftover sets from Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1971) - though a climactic suspense setpiece set in the domed Whispering Gallery of St. Paul's Cathedral in London was faked by placing the actors in front of frame blow-ups of the interior of the historical edifice.

By Richard Harland Smith
Hands Of The Ripper

Hands of the Ripper

Always looking to add another monster to its repertory, Great Britain's Hammer Film Productions broached the subject of Jack the Ripper (though not for the first time) with Peter Sasdy's Hands of the Ripper (1971). This distinctly Freudian spin on the serial killer mythos focuses not on the Fiend of Whitechapel himself but on his orphaned daughter (Angharad Rees), sole heir to a legacy of violence and horror. Innovative and forward-looking, Hands of the Ripper occupies linchpin status between Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) - a genre game-changer to which Hammer paid homage via a series of nervy black-and-white psychological thrillers - and the slasher cycle kicked off by John Carpenter's Halloween (1978); there are intriguing points of comparison between the Sasdy and Carpenter films, from the image of a traumatized child shocked into a glassy-eyed fugue state to the butterfly pinning of a victim to the back of a door to the symbiotic relationship between the killer and a doctor (here played by Forsyte Saga star Eric Porter) racing to stop her before she kills again. Director Sasdy was able to recreate Edwardian England on the backlot of Pinewood Studios by reusing leftover sets from Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1971) - though a climactic suspense setpiece set in the domed Whispering Gallery of St. Paul's Cathedral in London was faked by placing the actors in front of frame blow-ups of the interior of the historical edifice. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Lynda Baron's character is named after one of Jack the Ripper's real-life victims, Elizabeth Stride, whose nickname was "Long Liz".

For the climactic scenes in St Paul's Cathedral - permission was requested and turned down to film on location. A replica was built instead.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1971

Released in United States 1971