: : : Murder by Decree

Story

Murder by Decree has the distinction of being not only one of the best Sherlock Holmes films, but one of the best pastiches (i.e., a Holmes fiction created by someone other than author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) featuring the late-Victorian Era detective. Christopher Plummer is very good as Holmes, and James Mason redeems the many mishandled screen portrayals of Dr. John Watson with a rare, insightful performance. The story may not be unique in post-Doyle Holmes adventures--the private investigator pursues Jack the Ripper during the latter's reign of monstrous murders in foggy London--but the script by John Hopkins (Thunderball) is keenly intelligent, developing concentric circles of power and evil with great subtlety. Before losing himself in Porky's, director Bob Clark did a masterful job of surprising audiences with Murder by Decree, convincing viewers they were watching one kind of drama but then unleashing something very different, very unsettling. --Tom Keogh

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Widescreen

Cast

Christopher PlummerSherlock Holmes
James MasonDr. John H. Watson
David HemmingsInspector Foxborough
Susan ClarkMary Kelly
Anthony QuayleSir Charles Warren
John GielgudPrime Minister Lord Salisbury
Frank FinlayInspector Lestrade
Donald SutherlandRobert Lees
Geneviève BujoldAnnie Crook

  • Genre: Mystery Movies
  • Director: Bob Clark (III)
  • Producer: Anchor Bay
  • Length: 124 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaFeb 9, 1979
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG
    Europe15
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJan 21, 2003
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