Review: 10 Rillington Place
Blu-ray: 10 Rillington Place (1971)
To a generation of moviegoers, Richard Attenborough will always be Professor John Hammond; creator of Jurassic Park. Some may not even be aware of his award winning career as a Director, or the fantastic body of work he left behind as an actor. It is his softly spoken and chilling performance as John Reginald Christie in 10 Rillington Place that always comes to my mind whenever his name is spoken, and it is presented in no better way than through this new release from PowerHouse films and their ‘Indicator’ series.
Set in London at the tail end of the 1940’s, Britain is still recovering from the ravages of World War 2. Christie (known as ‘Reg’ to all of his acquaintances) and his wife Ethel live in a ground floor flat at 10 Rillington Place; a gloomy and sparse building that is the starting point for couples trying to get on the property ladder as the country rebuilds after the war.
Tim and Beryl Evans move into one of the top floor flats along with their infant Daughter Geraldine. Finding it hard to make ends meet, Tim is shocked to hear that Beryl is expecting another child; one which they can not afford to have. On hand is Reg; a man who masquerades as having a medical background, and he offers to help them. It has already been shown that this is just a cover for him to knock unsuspecting women unconscious with gas, while assuring them that he is going to cure them of their ailments. This is just an excuse to gain sexual release over their listless bodies before strangling them and hiding their bodies in and around the house.
Based on a true story, this case is often used when debating capital punishment. Not to give too much of the story away for those that may not be familiar with it, there are a series of events that are both shocking and heartbreaking. You will be thinking about this movie for a long time after the end credits have rolled.
Richard Attenborough is superb in this, and never has being offered a cup of tea seemed as scary! John Hurt as Timothy Evans conveys the spiralling nightmare his character finds himself in with aplomb. Not a highly intelligent man, Tim finds himself ever more controlled by the higher intellect of Reg. Judy Geeson as Tim’s wife Beryl is also to be commended; her emotional conflict is performed in such a way that you can not help but be drawn into the struggles that she is facing.
Powerhouse films have surpassed themselves with this release (which is only 1 of their 2nd wave of ‘Indicator’ series releases) and the superlative picture and sound is accompanied by a fantastic set of special features.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:
• 4K restoration
• Audio commentary with actress Judy Geeson and film historians Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman
• Audio commentary with acclaimed actor John Hurt
• Introduction by Sir Richard Attenborough (2 mins): an appreciation by the great actor
• Interview with Sir Richard Attenborough (20 mins): Attenborough discusses many aspects of the film
• Being Beryl (2016, 22 mins): new interview with Judy Geeson
• Isolated score track
• Image gallery: promotional photography
• Original theatrical trailer
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Thirza Wakefield and archival reprints
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 5,000 copies
• UK Blu-ray premiere
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from a disc kindly supplied by PowerHouse Films.