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From Hell (film)

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From Hell (film)

From Hell
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Albert Hughes
Allen Hughes
Produced by Don Murphy
Jane Hamsher
Screenplay by Terry Hayes
Rafael Yglesias
Based on From Hell 
by Alan Moore
Eddie Campbell
Starring Johnny Depp
Heather Graham
Ian Holm
Robbie Coltrane
Ian Richardson
Jason Flemyng
Music by Trevor Jones
Cinematography Peter Deming
Edited by George Bowers
Dan Lebental
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • October 19, 2001 (2001-10-19)
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million
Box office $74,558,115[1]

From Hell is a 2001 American horror mystery film directed by the Hughes brothers and loosely based on the graphic novel From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell about the Jack the Ripper murders.

Plot

In 1888, Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) and her small group of London prostitutes trudge through unrelenting daily misery. When their friend Ann Crook is kidnapped, they are drawn into a conspiracy with links higher up than they could possibly imagine. The kidnapping is soon followed by the gruesome murder of another woman, Martha Tabram (Samantha Spiro), and it becomes apparent that they are being hunted down, one by one as various prostitutes are murdered and mutilated post mortem.

The murder of Martha and her companions grabs the attention of Whitechapel Police Inspector Frederick Abberline (Johnny Depp), a brilliant yet troubled man whose police work is often aided by his psychic "visions." Abberline's investigations reveal that the murders, while gruesome, imply that an educated person is responsible due to the precise and almost surgical method used. Ann is found a few days later in a workhouse having been lobotomized after officials and doctors supposedly found her to be insane. It is implied this was done to silence her. Abberline consults Sir William Gull (Ian Holm), a physician to the Royal Family, drawing on his experience and knowledge of medicine. These findings, coupled with his superiors impeding his investigations, point to a darker and organized conspiracy. Abberline becomes deeply involved with the case, which takes on personal meaning to him when he and Mary begin to fall in love.

Abberline deduces that Freemason influence is definitely present in these crimes. His superior, a high ranking Freemason himself, then makes direct intervention and suspends Abberline. It is then revealed that Gull is the killer. He has been killing the witnesses to painter Albert Sickert (Mark Dexter)'s forbidden Catholic marriage to Crook (Joanna Page), who bore his legitimate daughter Alice. Sickert is actually Prince Edward, grandson of reigning Queen Victoria (Liz Moscrop), and therefore Alice is heiress to the British throne. Gull himself is a Freemason and his increasingly sinister behavior lends an insight into his murderous, but calculated, mind. Rather than publicly charge Gull, the Freemasons decide to lobotomize Gull to protect the Freemasons and the Royal Family from the scandal. Gull defiantly states he has no equal among men, remaining unrepentant up to his lobotomy, resulting in him becoming invalid just as Ann had been. Mary Kelly does not die; Gull earlier mistook Ada, whom Liz said was from France (but is from Brussels in Belgium), for Mary and he kills her instead. Mary lives with Alice in a cottage on a cliff by the sea. Abberline is found dead of an opium overdose, knowing he can never see Mary again without endangering her.

Cast

Production

The part of Sir William Gull was originally going to be played by Nigel Hawthorne, but when his cancer prevented him from working on the film he was replaced by Ian Holm. The disparity in height between Hawthorne and the much shorter Holm led to some of the scenes being changed.

Reception

The film received mixed reviews from critics. Ebert and Roeper gave the film a "two-thumbs up". It currently holds a 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 148 reviews.[2] E! Online stated it is "two hours of gory murders, non-sequitur scenes, and an undeveloped romance" and gave the film a C-. The New York Post called it a "gripping and stylish thriller". Leonard Maltin gave the film three stars, calling it "colorful and entertaining; an impressive showing for the Hughes Brothers”.[3]

The original comic's writer, Alan Moore, did not have anything good to say about the film. He was reportedly disgusted that his "gruff" version of Frederick Abberline was replaced with an "absinthe-swigging dandy" and that the story was changed from an existentialist historical fiction into a mundane "whodunit". This, being the first of the film adaptations of Moore's books, was his first step towards disavowing all film adaptations of his work.

Box office

The film grossed $31,602,566 in the United States and $74,558,115 worldwide.

See also

References

  1. ^ From Hell (2010). Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  2. ^ From Hell Movie Reviews, Pictures. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
  3. ^ Maltin, Leonard (2009), p. 501. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. ISBN 1-101-10660-3. Signet Books. Accessed May 9, 2012

External links

Preceded by
Training Day
Box office number-one films of 2001 (USA)
October 21
Succeeded by
K-PAX
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