Directed by: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Richard Attenborough (John Christie), John Hurt (Timothy Evans), Judy Geeson (Beryl), Pat Heywood (Ethel Christie)
Country: UK; Effed Up European Films
Language: English (Optional Eng Subs)
Genres: Serial Killers, Sexual-Violence against Women, Based on a True Story
Plot – Spoilers:
Based on British serial killer John Christie, this covers some of his killings, but is more dedicated to the travesty involving Timothy Evans, whom Christie managed to successfully blame for some of his work. The real Christie’s necrophilia is also avoided here.
The beautiful opening scene of a woman walking to her death on a 1940s street that’s lit only by her torchlight, while being waited on by a creepy man peering through his slightly open curtains sets the tone for a film that critically examines the manipulation of people’s trust, particularly when they’re vulnerable and suffering a medical condition.
John Christie lives with his blind-eyed wife at 10, Rillington Place, where he murders most of his female victims, pretending to be an almost-doctor. Christie is semi-educated and able to convincingly act grand enough around his victims, who are too uneducated to see through the mistakes he makes while pompously delivering lines like, The liquid takes out the carbon monoxide, or CO2, as we call it.
Richard Attenborough plays John Christie with a calm grace that makes it believable that a fraud could actually convince the unsuspecting about his qualifications. Wouldn’t be surprising at all, if Anthony Hopkins watched 10 Rillington Place while prepping for his role as Hannibal Lecter.
If you enjoyed this, you might want to have a look at director Richard Fleischer’s other serial killer film, The Boston Strangler.