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Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper(1960)

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In London in 1888, a string of prostitute slayings by an elusive murderer dubbed "Jack The Ripper" leads conscientious Inspector O'Neill to assign all his men to solve the case. However, after weeks of futile police investigation, the distrustful public turns to accusing strangers of the crime, resulting in O'Neill's friend, visiting New York policeman Sam Lowry, being subjected to a fistfight at a local pub. After O'Neill saves Sam from a beating, he agrees to allow the American to accompany him on the investigation. That evening, another woman is attacked by The Ripper, who asks, as he has done before, "Are you Mary Clarke?" before killing her. Just minutes after the murder, chief surgeon Dr. Tranter arrives late for his operation on patient Kitty Knowles at Mercy Hospital for Women. The Ripper's victim is also sent to the hospital, where hospital governor Sir David Rogers performs an autopsy, concluding that, as with the other murders, the wounds are consistent with someone familiar with the medical profession. Meanwhile, Tranter's ward, Anne Ford, has taken the position as head of hospital charity cases, even though Tranter disapproves of her work with the lower classes and dismisses the latest Ripper victim as another "drab," unworthy of his time. When Tranter and Anne try to leave the hospital that night, an angry mob protesting the police's poor handling of the murders attacks them, prompting O'Neill and Sam to quickly save them from harm. The next day, Anne sadly admits to Sam that because the victims are of questionable background, she believes the deaths have been disregarded, and agrees to help him retrace some of the victims' last steps. When Anne tells her father she is going out with Sam later that evening to a chamber concert, he orders her to stop her association with the policeman, but Anne ignores the advice and takes Sam to the East End nightclub that employed one of The Ripper's victims. After a crowd-pleasing can-can dance act, the dance hall manager sends new dancer Hazel, with veteran Margaret, to "entertain" two wealthy gentlemen in a private room. When one of the men molests Hazel, she flees the building, horrified that she must prostitute herself. Dance hall worker Harry is sent after her and passes by a cloaked stranger, but does not find Hazel until after The Ripper has killed her. Outside the club, Anne and Sam find Tranter, who claims to have been following them and demands that Anne return home. Sam goes to the scene of the crime, where an angry mob accuses the hospital's hunchbacked assistant, Louis Benz, of the crime when he drops his hospital bag filled with scalpels on the street. As dozens of men corner Louis, O'Neill steps in to prevent them from stabbing the innocent man. Later, O'Neill announces that Louis is in protective custody, despite the commissioner's and the public's conviction that he is guilty. When an infuriated Sir David tells the commissioner that his staff is required to carry medical tools and demands charges be dropped, the embarrassed commissioner relents. Later, O'Neill learns that Harry had overheard the cloaked stranger ask, "Is your name Mary Clarke?" just before Hazel's death. O'Neill then finds Mary Clarke's father, who is unable to tell them where Mary is, but does reveal that another "posh" fellow carrying a doctor's bag asked for her location several months ago. After Kitty is released from the hospital, Anne visits her at her apartment and learns that Kitty's fiancé, a prospective surgeon, committed suicide after learning of Kitty's promiscuous past. Finding the woman's cupboards bare, Anne takes Kitty's birth certificate to register her for the parish food service. Leaving the apartment at night, Anne hides when she suddenly suspects The Ripper is following her, but her footsteps alert Sir David, who finds Anne and claims to have been following her for her own protection. Later at the hospital, when Tranter shows disinterest in saving another "drab," Louis protests and calls Sir David into the operating room to save the woman. Meanwhile, as Anne is transcribing the details from Kitty's birth certificate, she learns that the young woman's given name was Mary Clarke. Soon after in Anne's office, Tranter, disturbed by his own neglect of duties, offers his resignation to Sir David, who kindly suggests he take a vacation instead. That night, Anne returns Kitty's apartment to deliver some food. Because Kitty is not there, Anne enters the pantry to store the food and is locked in by The Ripper before she can identify him. Soon after, Kitty returns home and finds The Ripper, Sir David, waiting for her. When he calls her "Mary Clarke," Kitty admits her real identity, prompting him to accuse her of killing his son, who was engaged to Kitty, by turning a promising surgeon into a man obsessed with a "slut." As he pulls out a scalpel from a medicine bag, Kitty struggles for her life, but Sir David kills her. Realizing that the same fate awaits her, Anne barricades herself in the pantry. Meanwhile, Sam spots the birth certificate in Anne's office, rushes to Kitty's address and, hearing Anne's screams, breaks down the door. Sir David flees out the window before either Anne or Sam can identify him. Proceeding to the hospital, Sir David then stabs the guard who notes Sir David's bloody clothes. Sam rushes to the hospital with the doctor's bag belonging to the killer and tells Sir David that he believes The Ripper is in the hospital. O'Neill then attempts to trick Sir David into admitting to the murders by lying that the guard is still alive and demanding that Sir David operate on him. Fearing that the guard can identify him, Sir David escapes into the elevator shaft. While others search the building, two orderlies descend in the elevator to the ground floor with guard's dead body, inadvertently crushing Sir David. Later, O'Neill and Sam admit to Anne that because they cannot prove Sir David's guilt, the case will remain officially "unsolved" indefinitely.