|10 Rillington Place|
|Directed by||Richard Fleischer|
|Screenplay by||Clive Exton|
|Based on||Ten Rillington Place|
by Ludovic Kennedy
|Edited by||Ernest Walter|
|Music by||John Dankworth|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
10 Rillington Place is a 1971 British crime film. The film stars Richard Attenborough, Judy Geeson, John Hurt and Pat Heywood and was directed by Richard Fleischer, produced by Leslie Linder and Martin Ransohoff. It was adapted by Clive Exton from the book Ten Rillington Place by Ludovic Kennedy (who also acted as technical advisor to the production).
The film dramatises the case of British serial killer John Christie, who committed many of his crimes in the titular London terraced house, and the miscarriage of justice involving his neighbour Timothy Evans. Hurt received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Evans.
The film begins in 1944 with John Christie murdering an acquaintance called Muriel Eady, he lures her to his flat in 10 Rillington Place by promising to cure her bronchitis with a "special mixture", then incapacitates her with Town Gas, strangles her with a piece of rope, and (it is implied) has sex with her corpse. He buries her in his flat block's communal garden, and whilst digging the grave he accidentally uncovers Ruth Fuerst, one of his previous victims.
In 1949, Tim and Beryl Evans move into 10 Rillington Place, west London, with their infant daughter Geraldine. Beryl is pregnant again and attempts an abortion by taking some pills. When she informs Tim, they have a violent argument, which Christie breaks up. Soon after, Christie offers to help Beryl terminate the pregnancy. He pretends to read a medical textbook one day in an effort to convince Tim of his expertise. Tim is essentially illiterate and cannot tell that Christie is lying. The Evanses agree to let Christie perform the procedure.
Christie occupies his wife, Ethel, by sending her to his place of work with some paperwork. He grabs his killing tools, makes a cup of tea, and heads upstairs to Beryl. He is interrupted by a couple of builders who arrive to renovate the outbuilding. He lets them in, and when he sees they are well-occupied, he pours a new cup of tea and heads back upstairs. Beryl has a violent reaction to the gas, and Christie punches her in the face to knock her out. He then strangles and sexually assaults her.
When Tim returns, Christie tells him that Beryl died of complications from the procedure. Tim wants to go to the police, but Christie convinces him that he will be seen as an accessory before the fact. Christie suggests that Tim leave town that night, while Christie disposes of Beryl's body. He promises that he will place the baby in the care of a childless couple from East Acton. Tim reluctantly agrees, and leaves the house in the middle of the night. Christie then strangles Geraldine with a tie.
Tim hides out with his aunt and uncle in Merthyr Tydfil, pretending that he is in town on business. He claims that Beryl and the baby are visiting her family in Brighton. Tim's relatives send a letter to Beryl's father, who sends a telegram in response to say that he has not seen Beryl in months. When confronted by his relatives, Tim pretends Beryl had run away with a rich man and then visits the local police station. He confesses to disposing of Beryl's body in the sewer after the botched abortion. Three London police officers lift the manhole, but do not find Beryl's body. A search of 10 Rillington Place eventually uncovers the bodies of Beryl and the baby in the washroom, where Christie hid them.
When Tim is brought back to London, he is charged with the murders of his wife and daughter. In shock, and despondent over the news, he confesses to both crimes, though he is guilty of neither. During his trial, Christie is a key witness. Tim's defence shreds Christie's credibility by revealing that he has a history of theft and violence. Nevertheless, Tim is found guilty and hanged.
Two years after the trial, Ethel begins to fear her husband, and informs Christie she will move out to stay with relatives. When he begs her not to leave him, Ethel implies that he should be in prison. Christie murders her that night and hides her body under the floorboards in their front room. Later, he meets a woman suffering from a migraine in a café. He pretends to be an ex-doctor and promises her a cure. He is next seen putting fresh wallpaper on a wall in his kitchen; it is implied that he has hidden the woman's body in the space behind the wall.
In 1953, Christie is living in a dosshouse. Meanwhile, new tenant Beresford Brown is moving into the Christies' flat. There is an awful smell in the Christies' kitchen and Beresford Brown peels off the wallpaper to find a space behind the wall, where he finds three of Christie's victims. Soon afterwards, Christie is noticed by a police officer in Putney and arrested. The film ends with an intertitle explaining that Christie was hanged and Tim was posthumously pardoned and reinterred in consecrated ground.
The film was adapted by Clive Exton from the book Ten Rillington Place by Ludovic Kennedy.  The film relies on the same argument advanced by Kennedy that Evans was innocent of the murders and was framed by Christie. That argument was accepted by the Crown and Evans was officially pardoned by Home Secretary Roy Jenkins in 1966. The case is one of the first major miscarriages of justice known to have occurred in the immediate postwar period. Most of the script, narrative and character development of it was drawn up in the 1960s. 
In 1954, the year after Christie's execution, Rillington Place in Notting Hill, west London, was renamed Ruston Close, but number 10 continued to be occupied. In 1958, a Mr. King moved into the flat the Christies had occupied. King is reported to have said he was often woken in the night sensing an oppressive, dark energy of a woman in the room; he bought incense in an attempt to cleanse number 10. In the 2016 documentary Being Beryl on the UK Blu-ray, actress Judy Geeson revealed that the family living at number 10 in 1970 were too afraid to move out temporarily in fear of not being allowed back, so exterior scenes and window shots were filmed at the nearby number 7. Only Richard Attenborough filmed inside no.10 (the scene where London police officers lift the manhole in the street and Christie is seen looking out of the bay window). Interior sets were used at Shepperton Studios in London. The house and street were demolished shortly after the film was completed  and the area redeveloped beyond all recognition. A small communal garden occupies a spot directly in front of the former number 10 location, whilst apartments built in the late 1970s  cover its exact location, (the apartments were built on where the kitchen, wash house and back garden of number 10 once stood), residents living there have often reported problems with the electrics etc going wrong.  None of the roadways today follow what was Rillington Place.
Filming also took place in the village of Merthyr Vale, the real life hometown of Timothy Evans. The pub scenes were filmed at the Victoria Hotel on Burdett Road in east London. The pub was subsequently demolished as part of the redevelopment of the area in 1972–73.
Richard Attenborough, who played Christie in the film, spoke of his reluctance to accept the role: "I do not like playing the part, but I accepted it at once without seeing the script. I have never felt so totally involved in any part as this. It is a most devastating statement on capital punishment."  The film was produced by Leslie Linder and Martin Ransohoff.  Hangman Albert Pierrepoint, who had hanged both Evans and Christie, served as an uncredited technical advisor on the film to ensure the authenticity of the hanging scene. 
At the time of the film's release, reviews were mixed. Variety 's critic wrote: "Richard Fleischer has turned out an authenticated documentary-feature which is an absorbing and disturbing picture. But the film has the serious flaw of not even attempting to probe the reasons that turned a man into a monstrous pervert." Praise went to John Hurt for his "remarkably subtle and fascinating performance as the bewildered young man who plays into the hands of both the murderer and the police."  Vincent Canby of The New York Times described 10 Rillington Place as "a solemn, earnest polemic of a movie, one with very little vulgar suspense ... The problem with the film is very much the problem with the actual case, which involved small, unimaginative people." 
The film has since risen in stature with critics. In a 2009 review, J. Hoberman of The Village Voice wrote: "More highly regarded these days than when it was released in 1971, Richard Fleischer's 10 Rillington Place is a grimly efficient treatment of a once-notorious case".  The same year, Keith Uhlich of Time Out gave the film a 5-star review and described it as an "underseen gem". 
In an interview with Robert K. Elder in his book The Best Film You've Never Seen , director Sean Durkin states that 10 Rillington Place "depicts this story the way that a piece of journalism might, as opposed to worrying about preconceived notions of what a film should achieve."  Tom Hardy of the British Film Institute observed Attenborough had the ability of "getting into the flesh of the paranoid and the distressed", describing the film as a "detailed account of life under the shadow of World War II [which] is powerful and compelling". 
John Hurt received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. 
Albert Pierrepoint was an English hangman who executed between 435 and 600 people in a 25-year career that ended in 1956. His father Henry and uncle Thomas were official hangmen before him.
Timothy John Evans was a Welshman who was wrongfully accused of murdering his wife (Beryl) and infant daughter (Geraldine) at their residence in Notting Hill, London. In January 1950, Evans was tried and convicted of the murder of his daughter, and on 9 March he was executed by hanging.
The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play by Agatha Christie. The Mousetrap opened in London's West End in 1952 and ran continuously until 16 March 2020, when the stage performances had to be temporarily discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic. It then re-opened on 17 May 2021. The longest-running West End show, it has by far the longest run of any play in the world, with its 28,915th performance having taken place as of November 2022. Attendees at St Martin's Theatre often get their photo taken beside the wooden counter in the theatre foyer. As of 2022 the play has been seen by 10 million people in London.
Francis Edward Camps, FRCP, FRCPath was an English pathologist notable for his work on the cases of serial killer John Christie and suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams.
Richard O. Fleischer was an American film director whose career spanned more than four decades, beginning at the height of the Golden Age of Hollywood and lasting through the American New Wave.
John Reginald Halliday Christie, known to his family and friends as Reg Christie, was an English serial killer and alleged necrophile active during the 1940s and early 1950s. Christie murdered at least eight people—including his wife, Ethel—by strangling them in his flat at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, London. The bodies of three of Christie's victims were found in a wallpaper-covered kitchen alcove soon after he had moved out of Rillington Place during March 1953. The remains of two more victims were discovered in the garden, and his wife's body was found beneath the floorboards of the front room. Christie was arrested and convicted of his wife's murder, for which he was hanged.
Clive Exton was a British television and film screenwriter who wrote scripts for the series Poirot,Jeeves and Wooster, and Rosemary & Thyme.
Judith Amanda Geeson is an English film, stage, and television actress. She began her career primarily working on British television series, with a leading role on The Newcomers from 1965 to 1967, before making her major film debut in To Sir, with Love (1967). She starred in a range of films throughout the 1970s, from crime pictures to thriller and horror films, including The Executioner (1970), Fear in the Night (1972), Brannigan (1975) and The Eagle Has Landed (1976).
Sir Ludovic Henry Coverley Kennedy was a Scottish journalist, broadcaster, humanist and author best known for re-examining cases such as the Lindbergh kidnapping and the murder convictions of Timothy Evans and Derek Bentley, and for his role in the abolition of the death penalty in the United Kingdom.
Sheila Beryl Grant Sim, Baroness Attenborough was an English film and theatre actress. She was also the wife of the actor, director and peer Richard Attenborough.
Walter Tenniel Evans was a British actor and, latterly, clergyman.
Merthyr Vale railway station is a railway station serving the villages of Merthyr Vale and Aberfan in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. It is located on the Merthyr branch of the Merthyr Line. Passenger services are provided by Transport for Wales.
Brannigan is a 1975 British action thriller film directed by Douglas Hickox and starring John Wayne and Richard Attenborough filmed in Panavision and DeLuxe Color. One of the screenwriters was Dalton Trumbo's son, Christopher Trumbo.
Merthyr Vale is a linear village and community in the Welsh county borough of Merthyr Tydfil. Lying on the A4054 road it is on the east bank of the River Taff.
Malcolm John Morris QC was an English lawyer. He was involved in many high-profile cases, such as the prosecutions of suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams and pop star Mick Jagger, and the defence of Timothy Evans.
Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough was an English actor, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. He was the president of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), as well as life president of the Premier League club Chelsea. He joined the Royal Air Force during the World War II and served in the film unit, going on several bombing raids over Europe and filming the action from the rear gunner's position. He was the older brother of broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and motor executive John Attenborough. He was married to actress Sheila Sim from 1945 until his death.
Sir Daniel James Brabin MC was a judge of the High Court of England from 1962 until his death.
Phyllis MacMahon is an Irish actress. She is known for her work in films such as 10 Rillington Place (1971) in which she played Muriel Eady, the first woman murdered in the film by Richard Attenborough's John Christie, Leo the Last (1970), I Don't Want to Be Born (1975), The Magdalene Sisters (2002) and Shaun of the Dead (2004). She also played an Irish nurse in John Mackenzie's Made (1972). She typically plays nuns, prostitutes or old aunts.
Rillington Place is a three-part biographical crime drama about the real life case of serial killer John Christie, and the subsequent wrongful execution of Timothy Evans. It premiered on 29 November 2016 on BBC One.
See How They Run is a 2022 comedy mystery film directed by Tom George, written by Mark Chappell and produced by Damian Jones and Gina Carter. The film stars Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Harris Dickinson and David Oyelowo.