The Limehouse Golem

I have been told by the film buffs in my family that I shouldn’t admit to having enjoyed the Limehouse Golem, owing to the hamminess of much of the acting (much is wilfully exaggerated) and the absurdity of the inclusion of Karl Marx (this is a feature of the original novel).   But I did enjoy it.   It was partly due to the complexities of the plot, which I half remember from the original 1994 Peter Ackroyd novel – half a parody of Conan Doyle in just the way that Ackroyd specialises.   Then, I found it an interesting evocation of the world of the late nineteenth-century music hall.   Dan Leno (the real one) first performed in Foresters’ Music Hall in Mile End and later in The Queen’s Theatre in Poplar.   The fact that it was about music hall surely permits a degree of parody and burlesque.   And I also thought it conveyed something of the roughness and brutality of the late Victorian docks – the Limehouse opium dens, the murders on Ratcliffe Highway, the prostitution on Cable Street.   So, I’m not supposed to recommend it, but I do.

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5 thoughts on “The Limehouse Golem

  1. Dick Humphreys says:

    I thought it good too.
    Marx however – ‘fraid I think he was poisonous in any context.
    Even though he was a doting Dad.

  2. Joan says:

    Haven’t seen it yet but it does feature the excellent Eddie Marsan. Eddie lived in the council flat a couple of floors above my grandad in Bethnal Green in the 1990s. He was a struggling actor then and put himself out enormously to help look after my 100 year old grandad in his final months. My grandad was what is euphemistically called a character (a merchant seaman with spells spent in jail in a number of continents, bird seller in Club Row) and Eddie claimed that having observed him was a great help in some of his acting roles.

    On the film front it is probably equally naff to admit that I found the Giacometti exhibition at the Tate much more enjoyable having seen the recent film ‘Final Portrait’!

  3. Pam Roberts says:

    I wanted to see this film too as loved the quirkiness of the book & everyone needs to see a hammy or cheesy film now & then. And Bill Nighy! What’s not to like?

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