The Veil – Jack the Ripper (1958)

vjackripper1Walter Durst is scheduled to give his final lecture on clairvoyance.  His wife Judith is angry that the tiny ad in the newspaper would need a clairvoyant to find it.  He is a clairvoyant of the kind you see only on TV — genuine.  He is concerned that he dreamed of a murder last night.

He dreamed he walked along an alley in the East End and witnessed a murder.  He looked in the window of a pub.  A clock ticked loudly, and he noticed the time.  He looked up and saw a sign reading Bucks Row East.  He wishes he knew what it meant.

Judith tells him of the newspaper story of the murder of Mary Nichols whose body was just found in Bucks Row.  The police say she was butchered with surgical skill.  Police believe she was murdered by the same person who killed Martha Turner three weeks earlier.  Both women were prostitutes although, judging by their pictures, they might have just starved to death. [1]

Judith thinks it would be swell if Walter told the police where the next murder would occur, but he doesn’t want to get involved.  She convinces him that he could save countless lives, so he gives in.  When Walter offers his services to the police, he is shown to the bench where all the other nuts clairvoyants seeking the reward are seated.  It’s a pretty good gag undermined by the score and direction.  Walter walks out, passing an hysterical woman who claims her little girl is clairvoyant.  Oh, what a good Alfred Hitchcock Presents director could have done with this!

vjackripper2A few days later, Walter has a vision.  Somehow the vision has left him with a bloody hand although damn if I can figure out why.  Judith suggests he might want to wash his hands, but he would rather call Scotland Yard.  Possessing super-vision, Judith concludes that it is Walter’s own blood.

On the way to Scotland Yard, Walter gets the willies, suggesting that the killer is near.  They get off the bus and follow a man into the park.  They lose him, so continue to Scotland Yard.  Walter informs them that a woman will be found the next day with her ears severed from her head.  The inspector asks for a sample of his handwriting.  The inspector produces letter from Jack the Ripper in the same handwriting, so locks Walter up.

Luckily for Walter, an earless woman is found murdered while he is in jail.  Walter says he knows how to find the killer.  The next night, he takes the inspector to the park.  Half in a trance, he leads them on a walk, ending at a door he proclaims to be Jack the Ripper’s house.  Unfortunately, the owner of the house croaked the night before.

Blah, blah, blah.  It is all so deadly dull that it’s not worth mentioning.  I literally fell asleep the first three times I attempted to watch this episode.  How do you take a story about Jack the Ripper, filled with murder and prostitutes, and make it so dull?

Feh, good riddance to The Veil.


  • [1] See, because they didn’t make much money, being so unattractive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.