From Hell (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

From Hell is a 2001 American thriller film about the Jack the Ripper murders, loosely based on the graphic novel of the same title by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. It was directed by the Hughes brothers, the first film that they directed outside of the hood film genre. It was first released on October 19, 2001.


It is 1888 in London, and the poor lead horrifying lives in the East End's Whitechapel district. Harassed by gangs and forced to work the streets for a living, Mary Kelly (Heather Graham) and her small group of prostitutes trudge on through this daily misery, their only consolation being that things can't get any worse.

Yet things somehow do when their friend Ann is kidnapped and 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, and it becomes apparent that they are being hunted down, one by one as the various prostitutes are murdered and mutilated post mortem.

Sinister even by Whitechapel standards, the murder of Martha and her companions grabs the attention of 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 asylum 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.

After 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 Sir William Gull is the killer. He has been killing the witnesses to Prince Eddy's forbidden Catholic marriage to Ann (Joanna Page), the prostitute who bore his legitimate daughter (Alice), who is therefore the heir 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 without guilt right up to his lobotomy, resulting in him becoming invalid just as Ann had been. Mary Kelly doesn't die; Gull earlier mistook Ada, the Belgian girl, for Mary and he kills her instead. Mary lives happily ever after with Alice in a cottage on a cliff by the sea. Inspector Frederick 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 literate 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 Albert Victor, husband to Ann 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

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "From Hell (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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