Hands of the Ripper

Hands of the Ripper is a 1971 British horror film, directed by Peter Sasdy for Hammer Film Productions. It was written by L. W. Davidson from a story by Edward Spencer Shew, and produced by Aida Young.

Hands of the Ripper
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Sasdy
Produced byAida Young
Written byL.W. Davidson
Edward Spencer Shew
StarringEric Porter
Angharad Rees
Jane Merrow
Keith Bell
Derek Godfrey
Music byChristopher Gunning
CinematographyKenneth Talbot
Edited byChris Barnes
Distributed byRank Film Distributors (U.K.)
Universal Pictures (U.S.)
Release date
3 October 1971 (U.K.)
Running time
85 minutes


The infant daughter of Jack the Ripper is witness to the brutal murder of her mother by her father. Fifteen years later, she is a troubled young woman who is seemingly possessed by the spirit of her late father. While in a trance she continues his murderous killing spree, but has no recollection of the events afterwards. A sympathetic psychiatrist takes her in and is convinced he can cure her condition. However, he soon regrets his decision...



The film features veteran British actor Eric Porter as the doctor, and also stars Jane Merrow, Keith Bell and Derek Godfrey. It has an early starring role for Angharad Rees.

It was filmed at Pinewood Studios, with some location work at St. Paul's Cathedral, London.

Critical reception

Film critic Leonard Maltin gave the film 2 1/2 out of a possible 4 stars. In his review he stated that the film had "[a] good atmosphere and solid performances, but after a good start, dissolves into a series of bloody murders."[1] The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films wrote that the film "expertly mixes the sophistication expect of Hammer's films with the gore its new audiences demanded."[2] Andy Boot considers the film "flawed, and so close to the fag end of Gothic that it could almost be a parody", but that it is "nonetheless a film well worth watching". He opines that Peter Sasdy "atoned for his appalling Countess Dracula with a much pacier handling of this story."[3] Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 83%, based on six reviews, with a rating average of 7.1/10.[4]


  1. Maltin, Leonard; Carson, Darwyn; Sader, Luke. Leonard Maltin's 2014 Movie Guide. Penguin Press. p. 582. ISBN 978-0-451-41810-4.
  2. Hearn & Barnes 2007, p. 147.
  3. Andy Boot. Fragments of Fear: An Illustrated History of British Horror Films. London: Creation Books, 1996, pp 117-19.
  4. "Hands of the Ripper (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 10 June 2019.


  • Hearn, Marcus; Barnes, Alan (September 2007). "Hands of the Ripper". The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films (limited ed.). Titan Books. ISBN 1 84576 185 5.
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