From Hell (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Albert Hughes
|Produced by||Don Murphy
|Screenplay by||Terry Hayes
|Based on||From Hell
by Alan Moore
|Music by||Trevor Jones|
|Editing by||George Bowers
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||October 19, 2001|
|Running time||122 minutes|
From Hell is a 2001 American/British crime drama horror mystery film directed by the Hughes brothers and loosely based on the comic book series of the same name by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell about the Jack the Ripper murders.
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 Masonic 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 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 doesn't die; Gull earlier mistook Ada, whom Liz said was from France (but is from "Bruxelles" - 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.
- Johnny Depp as Inspector Frederick Abberline, the visionary and sympathetic police officer who has to investigate the murder series. The consumption of drugs makes him dream scenes from the murders, but he conducts the investigation on a conclusive line of thought.
- Heather Graham as Mary Kelly, a young prostitute or "bangtail" who builds up a relationship to Abberline and eventually falls in love with him.
- Ian Holm as Sir William Gull, a fine gentleman, retired surgeon and physician ordinary to Queen Victoria, now teaching at the Royal London Hospital. Because of his expertise in anatomy and the soul, he becomes the scientific adviser of Abberline.
- Robbie Coltrane as Sergeant Peter Godley, the humorous and literary-minded subordinate assistant and friend of Abberline. The character is based on Sgt. George Godley.
- Ian Richardson as Sir Charles Warren, a stiff bureaucrat and Abberline's superior.
- Jason Flemyng as Netley, the coachman and stooge of the murderer.
- Katrin Cartlidge as Annie Chapman, aka Dark Annie, prostitute and gullible 3rd victim of the murderer.
- Terence Harvey as Ben Kidney, the head of the Special Branch of the Metropolitan Police.
- Susan Lynch as Liz Stride, the spirited prostitute and 4th victim that "wasn't finished".
- Paul Rhys as Dr. Ferral, an ambitious young doctor and specialist in treatment of dementia.
- Lesley Sharp as Kate Eddowes, the mothering prostitute and 5th victim.
- Estelle Skornik as Ada, the old friend of Liz from Bruxelles, 6th victim of the murderer.
- Nicholas McGaughey as Officer Bolt
- Annabelle Apsion as Polly Nichols, the 2nd victim of the murderer.
- Joanna Page as Ann Crook, an ex-prostitute and now wife to Albert and young mother of a daughter.
- Mark Dexter as Albert Sickert/Prince Edward, husband to Ann Crook and grandson of Queen Victoria. A composite character based on Walter Sickert and Prince Albert Victor.
- Danny Midwinter as Constable Withers, a cheeky member of the task force led by Abberline.
- Samantha Spiro as Martha Tabram, the 1st victim of the murderer.
- David Schofield as McQueen, a crook who extorts the prostitutes.
- Bryon Fear as Robert Best, a reporter.
- Peter Eyre as Lord Hallsham, a confidential servant of Queen Victoria and judge of...
- Cliff Parisi as Mac Bartender
- Sophia Myles as Victoria Abberline, dead wife of Fred Abberline who appears in one of his dreams.
- Ralph Ineson as Gordie, a stooge of McQueen.
- Liz Moscrop as Queen Victoria
- Ian McNeice as the coroner Robert Drudge.
- Vincent Franklin as George Lusk
- Anthony Parker as Joseph Merrick then known as John the Elephant Man.
- Simon Harrison as Thomas Bond.
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.
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.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”.
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.
The film grossed $31,602,566 domestically (in the United States?) and $74,558,115 worldwide.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: From Hell (film)|
- From Hell at the Internet Movie Database
- From Hell at AllRovi
- From Hell at Rotten Tomatoes
- From Hell at Box Office Mojo
|Box office number-one films of 2001 (USA)