Sunday Cult Film corner: “10 Rillington Place (1971)”

03 Apr

Well even though it’s getting late, we all need a bit of a late movie fix now and again. And after last weeks rather shocking dereliction of duty by not giving you your celluloid treat, i really need to ensure that things get back to a proper setting.

So for this weeks movie, I’m heading back to the wonderful genre of the Serial Killer movies, but one that is a chilling and underrated study of the banality of evil. Ladies and Gentlemen, i give you 10 RILLINGTON PLACE.

10 Rillington Place is a dramatisation of the life of John Reginald Christie. Christie was a boring man who spoke in a whisper and lived in London’s Notting Hill after the Second World War, as was a pillar of the local community as a special constable. He also had a criminal record for theft and killed several woman by rendering them unconsciousness and strangling them, before having sex with their corpses. The film details the mans life, his crimes and how he was able to cover them up, including getting another man falsely convicted for killing his wife. Starring Richard Attenborough and John Hurt, the film depicts the grimy realities of life in ’50s London. Dirty street and air, outside toilets, backstreet abortions and grinding poverty. Everything is drab and people live quiet desperate lives.

The main driver in the film is Attenborough. People nowadays think of him a grand old luvvie who directed Gandhi, was in the Jurassic Park movies and played father christmas., but it’s worth remembering that he was a powerful actor who had quite a range. He gives Christie the veneer of outward respectability, while inside experiencing the inner turmoil of a man bubbling with barely contained rage. The film was also shot entire on location, which adds to the air of bleakness.

So if you want to see a brilliant character study of  a man with a facade of decency that hides a monster, then turn off the lights and enjoy this film.

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Posted by on April 3, 2011 in Film


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