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A Murder Of Quality [DVD]

Denholm Elliott , Joss Ackland , Gavin Millar    Parental Guidance   DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: £24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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A Murder Of Quality [DVD] + The Deadly Affair [1966] [DVD] [2006] + The Looking Glass War [DVD] [2005]
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Product details

  • Actors: Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, Glenda Jackson, Billie Whitelaw, David Threlfall
  • Directors: Gavin Millar
  • Writers: John le Carré
  • Producers: Brian Walcroft, Eric Abraham
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Metrodome
  • DVD Release Date: 19 July 2004
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001V013E
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,551 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

A return of John le Carré's secret agent George Smiley (Denholm Elliott). Now living in retirement, Smiley receives a letter from a teacher at a boarding school who fears her husband is planning to murder her, but by the time he decides to phone her he is too late. Consequently he becomes drawn into a murder investigation and discovers a murky world of abuse and secret societies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Drama Of Quality 29 Jun 2004
When casting this drama ITV, in a casting coup, were determind to get Alec Guinness to reprise the role of George Smiley. For once the character of George Smiley isn't investigating spies or dark state secrets but the mysterious death and goings on at a private school where an old friend of his now works. ITV certainly assembled a very strong cast for the film, Ronald Pickup, Glenda Jackson, Joss Ackland and in one of her earliest, and most revealing roles, Samantha Janus.
Unfortunately they couldn't persuade Guinness to reprise part and cast Denholm Elliot instead.
While unable to convey the sad and sweet blankness that Guinness brought to the character Elliot instead plays Smiley as a seedier, angrier man. The bitterness on the surface. A man determind to find the truth, no matter what the cost.
Performances from all the cast are excellent. Ronald Pickup is especially good and Samantha Janus is sweet in this early performance.
It's only the story, a simple tale of murder and betrayal that is the problem. It is slighter and less complex tale than audiences expected. So unlike 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' and 'Smiley's People' it is largely forgotten.
However fans of Le Carre and such murder mystery series as 'Midsomer Murders' and 'Inspector Morse' will find much to enjoy here.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant on all levels 23 Feb 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
sharp writing, well that's kind of a given; casting first class with Denhom Elliott, Joss Ackland - who steals the show with his larger than life hair and presence - Glenda Jackson, and David Threfall to name just a few of the understated right on the money performances. the school is a seething mess of nasty undercurrents, jealousy and contempt and Smiley with his usual nondescript doggedness, digs up the canker and exposes the rot. This was written before Tinker Tailor and sets the stage for the Smiley that is to come. BTW it features and young and talented, Christian Bale :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Smiley 11 Nov 2009
It's no surprise that John Le Carre's adaptation of his own novel makes good viewing. No one has a better handle on character and psycology, and all too often screne adaptations have gone all out for plot without understanding that for J le C plot and character are as interchageable as matter and energy. Better still is Denholm Elliot's portrail of George Smiley. Alec Guiness's enterpretation of the same character was to many as definitive as Sean Connery's Bond, but in many ways it was just as wrong. Guiness's Smiley had far too much authority and presence for the froggy, self-effacing little spy of Le Carre's novels. Denholm Elliot captures Smiley perfectly, embewing him also with the kindness and compassion missing from Guiness's portrail. The supporting cast also create fully rounded personalities; even Glenda Jackson manages not to be annoying, while Billie Whitelaw's Mad Jane is poignantly real. (I work in mental health, so I know). Gavin Millar's direction recreats the rural early-sixties setting with a great sense of atmosphere. The plot may not be as dazzlingly clever as those of other mystery thrillers today, but it's not so much about who done it as why, and that, as any Le Carre fan will tell you, is where the story really starts.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Stella Rode, the wife of the new junior master at Carne School, just doesn't fit in. Carne is a British prep school with a history of preparing the sons of the upper class for lives of service and privilege. The teachers at Carne are part of this upper-class world, smug in their superiority and condescending toward those who don't fit in. Stella Rode wears her Christian beliefs on her sleeve. She does good works, collects clothes for the needy, often has a superior air about her. She also searches out secrets, uses gossip and anonymous letters to bring retribution, and doesn't hesitate to destroy a career. One night, she is beaten to death.

Days before, she wrote to Ailsa Brimley (Glenda Jackson), a relative who had experience in the war, that she feared for her life and that she suspected her husband. Ailsa contacted a colleague who, like Ailsa, was now retired, but who had also done things in the war which people didn't refer to. His name is George Smiley (Denholm Elliot).

Ailsa convinces George to go to Carne and see what is worrying Stella Rode. By the time he arrives, Rode has been killed and the police suspect her husband. Smiley isn't so sure and decides to stay a few days. He is cooly welcomed by the other masters, including house master Terence Fielding (Joss Ackland) who is shortly to retire. Smiley, a quiet, middle-aged man who is easy to underestimate, begins noticing things. What happened to the bloody outer garments the murderer must have worn? What exactly was used to beat Stella Rode to death? Where exactly did Stanley Rode leave his briefcase that night, and why did it seem so heavy? What are the relationships between some of the teachers, and, perhaps, between some of the teachers and the boys they teach?
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Smiley goes to school.. 3 Jun 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was attracted to this piece as I'd missed it first time round and hadn't read the book though I'd owned it for some years. John LeCarre's "breathtakingly ordinary" spymaster forsakes the murky world of espionage to investigate the violent death of a tutor's wife at an ancient seat of learning. The book is intellectually-driven, progressing through meetings, interviews and conversations until punctuated by a second murder, that of a pupil who proves an unwelcome obstruction to the killer's agenda. It all works out quite cleverly and logically as Smiley doggedly pursues a trail through a set of revelations - including the fact that the 'innocent victim' was nothing of the sort - leading to a swift bleak and incisive finish.
It was LeCarre's second novel, first published nearly fifty years ago, and the author himself adapted it for Thames Television in 1991. Unfortunately, watching it now for the first time, you're all too aware of how often these particular precincts have been visited in the intervening years by just about every other sleuth on ITV's bulging payroll. Unfair perhaps but there it is. Deja vu sets in early with an opening shot of the luckless pupil cycling along at night through a snowfall, then we get intercut glimpses of the first murder, a la PSYCHO, a local bag-lady who becomes a suspect and the full panoply of jealousy, bitchiness, class-snobbery, clandestine sex (with a spot of nudity), homosexual allusions and tired-looking coppers. The book's been 'opened-out' all right but in a way that lessens its interest and surprise. Even the actors fall familiarly into place and there's not much doubt who the murderer's going to be.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shooting this excellent film with its cast of eminent actors at this...
One shouldn't miss the point that large part of this film was shot at Sherborne Boarding School for boys in Dorset, -a school which John le Carre attended and which -by its harsh,... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Sven Jahnsen
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Don't know as DVD wouldn't' play here.!!!
Published 2 months ago by Anne Lasckey
1.0 out of 5 stars Would not play. Wrong region though this was not ...
Would not play. Wrong region though this was not made clear at time of purchase.
Published 2 months ago by R M MEYER
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by ann levy
1.0 out of 5 stars This came to me in the form of the American ...
This came to me in the form of the American system and I returned it to your depot in Fife, some weeks ago, I have heard nothing since. Can you tell me what happened to it?
Published 2 months ago by Wilf Walker
2.0 out of 5 stars don't buy this if you live in the UK
product arrived today. I was excited to finally get it. However was bitterly disappointed that it won't play on a UK DVD played.
Published 4 months ago by Eilis Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A great drama from the Thames Television archive
In this adaptation of John Le Carre's novel "A Murder of Quality", Denholm Elliott played the accomplished spy master George Smiley, the role previously played by Sir Alec... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mr. A. J. Tennant
4.0 out of 5 stars not quite
Within the constraints of turning John LeCarre's precisely written prose and depth of characterisation into a ilm length scipt this works fairly well. Read more
Published 19 months ago by D. C. Raithby
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing whodunit
"A Murder of Quality" was ITV's attempt to keep up with the licence-funded Joneses and find another Smiley they could put up in the wake of Alec Guinness's tour-de-force in... Read more
Published on 12 Mar 2010 by Peter Scott-presland
4.0 out of 5 stars A very English type Murder
Good cast with some excellant and quirky plot lines. Do yourself a favour and watch it. If you however are after swearing ,gory blood splattered scenes etc then this ain't for you.
Published on 23 July 2009 by Mr. B. J. Walker
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