Hands of the Ripper (1971)

35mm, Eastmancolor
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Peter Sasdy. In the UK it was released on a double bill with Twins of Evil (1971).

Plot Summary

As a baby, Anna sees her mother brutally murdered by her father, . Years later, as a young woman, she is haunted by the last memory of her father, of his embrace as light from his knife reflected on her face. Now, whenever these conditions are recreated, she becomes wildly homicidal. She's taken in by Freudian psychologist Dr Pritchard who recognises her father's inheritance but fails to recognise the trigger for her murderous behaviour.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Peter Sasdy
© MCMLXXI [1971] Hammer Film Productions Ltd.
The Rank Organisation presents a Hammer production. Distributed by Rank Film Distributors Limited
Produced by: Aida Young
Production Manager: Christopher Sutton
Screenplay by: L.W. Davidson
From an original story by Edward Spencer Shew
Assistant Director: Ariel Levy
Continuity: Gladys Goldsmith
Director of Photography: Kenneth Talbot
Editor: Christopher Barnes
Processed by: Rank Film Laboratories
Music Composed by: Christopher Gunning
Musical Supervisor: Philip Martell
Sound Recordist: Kevin Sutton
Sound Editor: Frank Goulding
Dubbing Mixer: Ken Barker
Wardrobe Supervisor: Rosemary Burrows
Wardrobe Mistress: Eileen Sullivan
Make-up Supervisor: Bunty Phillips
Hairdressing Supervisor: Pat McDermott
Special Make Up Effects: Roy Ashton *
Special Effects: Cliff Culley
Art Director: Roy Stannard
Construction Manager: Arthur Banks
Made at: Pinewood Studios, London, England

Eric Porter (Dr John Pritchard)
Jane Merrow (Laura)
Derek Godfrey (Dysart)
Angharad Rees (Anna)
Marjorie Rhodes (Mrs Bryant)
Keith Bell (Michael Pritchard)
Margaret Rawlings (Madame Bullard)
Lynda Barron (Long Liz)
Marjie Lawrence (Dolly)
Norman Bird (police inspector)
Elizabeth MacLennan (Mrs Wilson)
A.J. Brown (Reverend Anderson)
Barry Lowe (Mr Wilson)
Dora Bryan (Mrs Golding)
April Wilding (Catherine)
Anne Clune (1st cell whore)
Vicki Woolf (2nd cell whore)
Katya Wyeth (1st pub whore)
Beulah Hughes (2nd pub whore)
Tallulah Miller (3rd pub whore)
Peter Munt (peasant)
Philip Ryan (police constable)
Molly Weir (maid)
Charles Lamb (guard)
Ann Way [seamstress – uncredited]
Danny Lyons [Jack the Ripper – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Gli artigli dello squartatore – Italy
De Blodiga händerna – Sweden
Las manos del destripador – Spain

Production Notes

For an R rating in the US, the murders of Long Liz and the housemaid were trimmed, notably the second stab to the latter.


Today's Cinema no.9946 (8 October 1971) p.25
When it comes to making the fantastically impossible seem not only credible but almost logical, you can't do better than select a cast of actors well versed in the art of portraying characters in depth even when there isn't much depth provided in the script. Hands of the Ripper has the flimsiest of plots, one that could be reduced to shreds by the lightest puff of derision. It holds together because the actors play it for real with magnificent unawareness of the sublime daftness of it all. Eric Porter, writhing in agony as he hooks the swordhilt round the door handle in order to drag the weapon out of his body, is a sight for the sorest of eyes. – from a review by Marjorie Bilbow



  • Cinema of the '70s no.1 (2020) pp.49-68 – illustrated article (Straight on till '79: A decade of Hammer horror by Ian Taylor)
  • CinemaTV Today no.9961 1 January 1972 p.33 – note (Horror abroad)
  • Filmfacts vol.15 no.12 (1972) pp.277-278 – reprinted reviews
  • Films and Filming vol.18 no.4 (January 1972) p.61 – credits, review
  • Halls of Horror no.27 p.32 – note
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.215 no.28 (26 March 1971) p.14 – credits
  • The House That Hammer Built no.8 (April 1998) pp.414-416 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Kine Weekly no.3305 (13 February 1971) p.71 – credits
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.38 no.453 (October 1971) pp.196-197 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Starburst vol.9 no.11 (July 1986) pp.18-21 – article
  • Today's Cinema no.9877 (2 February 1971) p.8 – credits
  • Today's Cinema no.9879 (9 February 1971) pp.8-9 – credits
  • Today's Cinema no.9940 (17 September 1971) p.15 – note (General releases; Trade shows)
  • Today's Cinema no.9946 (8 October 1971) pp.2; 25; 27 – illustrated note (Double horror is the draw in Victoria); credits, review (by Marjorie Bilbow); note about UK release date
  • Today's Cinema no.9951 (26 October 1971) p.8 – (Helping Hammer's horrors)
  • Variety 13 October 1971 p.16 – credits, review
  • Video Junkie no.1 p.21 – review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.234 – illustrated credits, review
  • English Gothic (2nd edition) by Jonathan Rigby pp.183-184 – illustrated credits, review
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.320
  • Film Review 1972-73 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.221
  • Hammer Complete: The films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.371-374 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Hammer Films: The Elstree Studio Years by Wayne Kinsey pp.256-260; 277-278
  • The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films by Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes 146-147; 181 – illustrated article, review
  • The Hammer Vault by Marcus Hearn pp.134-135
  • Hands of the Ripper by Guy Adams pp.v-viii – note (Foreward by Jonathan Rigby)
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.163
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.13-14; 18 – credits, review
  • by Walt Lee p.182 – credits
  • Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography by Robert Cetti p.193-194
  • Ten Years of Terror pp.106-108 – illustrated credits, review (by Tim Greaves)
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith pp.120-121