There has never really been a Hollywood film about Jack the Ripper that has just stuck with the facts of the case, stayed within the perimeter of what is known. Such is the nature of movies, I suppose. This film, Man in the Attic (1953), is certainly flawed in that respect, but if taken on it's own merit, is quite enjoyable... even by today's standards.
Jack Palance plays a shady pathologist seeking lodgings in the home of a couple who have decided to rent out some of their space due to hard economic times.
At first his weird habits are viewed as nothing more than being mildly quirky and eccentric, and he is quite welcome.
He has the habit of staying out until the wee hours of the morning, but he attests that it is essential to his work, and early suspicions are dismissed. However, a string of gruesome murders has been terrifying the White chapel district, with the murderer, Jack the Ripper, preying on low-life women, whores and malcontents.
The lady of the house has her lovely young niece, who is an actress in a sexy dance stage-revue, stay with them. Palance's lodger is smitten with her and while courting her, confides in her regarding his love/hate relationship with his mother, who used men, drove his father to suicide, and ended up a prostitute.
More murders take place, and the lady of the house begins to suspect Palance of being the Ripper after he burns his surgical bag and some clothing covered in blood. Scotland Yard is closing in, thanks in part to the detective who has eyes for the pretty actress as well. The walls seem to be closing in on Palance...
Will his true identity be discovered, or, as many in the film think, will the Ripper never be caught?
Man in the Attic- movie trailer