Film Notes: 10 Rillington Place (1971) directed by Richard Fleisher


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

This is a contribution to the #1971 Challenge being run by Rich Westwood at Past Offences.

UK-USA / 111 minutes / Colour / Genesis Productions Ltd. Columbia Pictures Industires, Inc. and Filmways Ltd. Dir: Richard Fleischer Pr: Leslie Linder and Martin Ransohoff Scr: Clive Exton Story: based on Ten Rillington Place by Ludovic Kennedy Cine: Denys Coop Mus: John Dankworth Cast: Richard Attenborough (John Reginald Christie), Judy Geeson (Beryl Evans), John Hurt (Timothy John Evans), Pat Heywood (Ethel Christie), Isobel Black (Alice), Phyllis MacMahon (Muriel Eady), Ray Barron (Workman Willis), Douglas Blackwell (Workman Jones), Gabrielle Daye (Mrs. Lynch), Jimmy Gardner (Mr. Lynch), Edward Evans (Detective Inspector), Tenniel Evans (Detective Sergeant), David Jackson (Police Constable), George Lee (Police Constable), Richard Coleman (Police Constable who arrests Christie), André Morell (Judge Lewis), Robert Hardy (Malcolm Morris), Geoffrey Chater (Christmas Humphreys), Basil Dignam (Member of the Medical Board), Edward Burnham (Member of the Medical Board), Edwin Brown (Hangman), Sam Kydd (Furniture Dealer), Rudolph Walker (West Indian man 1), Tommy Ansah (West Indian man 2), Reg Lye (Tramp), Norma Shebbeare (woman in cafe) Release Date: 10 February 1971 (UK)

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Summary Plot: London, 1944. During The Blitz, a woman arrives at number 10 Rillington Place in London. John Christie (Richard Attenborough) opens the door and lets her in. He wears a police uniform. With the excuse of treating her of bronchitis, Christie forces her to breathe a certain amount of gas before strangling her. Afterwards, he buries her body in the back garden. Five years later Timothy Evans (John Hurt), an illiterate young man, rents the apartment on the top floor, together with his wife Beryl (Judy Geeson) and their baby daughter Geraldine. Evans works as a lorry driver and has a low IQ.

The film gives a dramatised account of a true story. The story of John Reginald Christie, a serial murderer who committed many of his crimes in a London terraced house, and of a miscarriage of justice involving his neighbour Timothy Evans. Unfortunately the film did not had at its time the success it deserved and was only recognised as a great film some years later. It has a good script, an excellent cinematography, and an exquisite film direction, but if there’s something worth mentioning this is the superb interpretation of Richard Attenborough, without detriment of an excellent John Hurt who received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Wikipedia offers plenty of information about the film and the real events in which it is based.

Richard Attenborough and ’10 Rillington Place’

Notas de Cine: El estrangulador de Rillington Place (1971) dirigida por Richard Fleisher

Argumento: Londres, 1944. Durante los bombardeos, una mujer llega al número 10 de Rillington Place en Londres. John Christie (Richard Attenborough) abre la puerta y la deja entrar. Lleva un uniforme de policía. Con la excusa de tratarla de bronquitis, Christie la obliga a respirar una cierta cantidad de gas antes de estrangularla. Luego, entierra su cuerpo en el jardín trasero. Cinco años más tarde, Timothy Evans (John Hurt), un joven analfabeto, alquila el apartamento en la planta superior, junto con su esposa Beryl (Judy Geeson) y su pequeña hija Geraldine. Evans trabaja como conductor de camión y tiene un coeficiente intelectual bajo.

La película ofrece un relato dramatizado de una historia real. La historia de John Reginald Christie, un asesino en serie que cometió muchos de sus crímenes en una casa adosada de Londres, y de un error judicial en el que se vio involucrado su vecino Timothy Evans. Por desgracia, la película no tuvo en su momento el éxito que merecía y sólo fue reconocida como una gran película algunos años más tarde. Cuenta con un buen guión, una excelente fotografía y una dirección cinematográfica exquisita, pero si hay algo que vale la pena destacar es la soberbia interpretación de Richard Attenborough, sin perjuicio de un excelente John Hurt que recibió una nominación al Premio BAFTA como Mejor Actor de Reparto .

Wikipedia ofrece multitud de información sobre la película y sobre los hechos reales en los que se basa.

8 thoughts on “Film Notes: 10 Rillington Place (1971) directed by Richard Fleisher

  1. Useful notes. I saw this during its first London run and was absolutely chilled — most of all, in fact, by the execution of Timothy Evans. Brilliant performances by Attenborough and Hurt. The movie’s one of the all-time greats.

    Unfortunately the film did not had at its time the success it deserved and was only recognised as a great film some years later.

    I may be wrong, but my recollection is that it was very successful in the UK on release. Perhaps it was just in the US that it didn’t fare so well.

    1. Thanks for your comment John. Maybe I have not been able to express myself well. I think I remember reading somewhere that the film is now better considered than when it was released in 1971,

  2. I re-watched this film following Richard Attenborough’s death and found it even more chilling this time. His performance was so well-judged.

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