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Murder By Decree (Sherlock Holmes) [DVD]

Christopher Plummer , James Mason , Reginald H. Morris    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
Price: 9.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Murder By Decree (Sherlock Holmes) [DVD] + The Seven Per Cent Solution [1976] [DVD] + The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Donald Sutherland, Genevieve Bujold, Susan Clark
  • Directors: Reginald H. Morris
  • Producers: Paul J. Zaza, Rene Dupont
  • 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: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 2 April 2012
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006C1CJR8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,558 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

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 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 murderous reign 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

Product Description

In Victorian London, famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) and his trusty sidekick Doctor Watson (James Mason) set out to investigate the case of Jack the Ripper as it is happening, and in so doing stumble across a Masonic mystery at the highest levels of society.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reason run riot, justice howling at the moon... 12 Jan 2007
Format:DVD
Though by no means a perfect Sherlock Holmes film, Bob Clark's Murder By Decree is an intelligent pastiche in which the Great Detective tracks down real-life murderer Jack the Ripper. This premise also informed the earlier A Study in Terror (1965), though this later movie is far more effective in terms of both suspenseful storytelling and emotional impact. That is manages to achieve this whilst subscribing to the most outlandish and unlikely of Ripper theories (it goes for the hoary `Royals and Freemasons' angle) makes it even more impressive. Those who write about this movie seem to either love or hate it; they either take exception to the characterisation of Sherlock Holmes and the attempts to weave him in amongst real-life events, or praise the opulent sets, direction, witty script, and outstanding performances. And though a Holmes fan, I can say that I fall firmly into the latter category; although Christopher Plummer doesn't look or talk like the more obviously faithful portrayals by Peter Cushing or Jeremy Brett, the fact is that their interpretations simply wouldn't have worked within the context of this story, in which Holmes is required to display a social conscience and feel outrage at the authority figures he holds responsible for the Ripper murders. Also, the film scores highly with an absolutely first-rate Dr. Watson from James Mason, who not only avoids making the character a figure of fun, but also invests him with an innate, old-world decency that increases in importance as the movie progresses. Fine performances are given by Frank Finlay as Lestrade, David Hemmings, and Anthony Quayle, and though Donald Sutherland is rather oddly cast as an introverted medium, he is nowhere near as bad as some writers would have you think. Read more ›
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot better than it looks 9 April 2003
By Mick E
Format:DVD
I can imagine that ‘Murder By Decree’ looks a bit ropey on paper. A Sherlock Holmes flick about the Whitechapel murders? But it does work. The plot mixes fiction with fact well, Holmes being brought in to investigate the handiwork of Jack the Ripper by a bunch of locals, concerned about the damage that the crimes may do to local businesses as well as public safety. Holmes and Watson are drawn into a world of political intrigue, clairvoyance, prostitution, anti-Semitism and secret societies in their search for the Ripper in an excellent, twisting plot.
There are some really good performances here; Christopher Plummer and James Mason are in top form as Holmes and Watson, Anthony Quayle snarls through his role as Charles Warren and David Hemmings is good too as Foxburgh but it’s the cameos that really grabbed my attention. John Gielgud is great as the Prime Minister and Donald Sutherland is brilliantly creepy as the medium, Robert Lees. But the scene-stealer is Genevieve Bujold in her brief, moving performance as Annie Crook that makes for the best scene in the whole film. Only niggles are some over-the-top Cockney accents by some of the supporting cast and extras and one or two poor sets. On the whole though, this is a really good view: a thriller that takes one of the most famous crimes in history and adds a touch of dash with the most famous fictional detective in history. Thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder By Decree - Sherlock Holmes 30 Nov 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Murder By Decree what a great Sherlock Holmes movie, thrilling to the very end. Christopher Plummer makes a great Sherlock Holmes tring to solve the Jack the Ripper murders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes Vs Jack The Ripper 25 Oct 2010
Format:DVD
Unquestionably a "MUST BUY" for Holes fans, this is perhaps a forgotten classic of Holmes stories. Whilst not adapted from any 'official' Conan Doyle story, the film does capture the heart and soul of the times. The foggy street, the grimy underbelly of humanity and the cheapness of life on the streets all play out here.

With a totally stellar cast, the two stand out performances are by the leads, Christopher Plummer and James Mason. These are two old friends that know each other inside and out, played pitch perfect by the stars. But if that is not enough, you have the likes of David Hemmings, Anthony Quayle, Sir John Gielgud, Genevieve Bujold and Donald Sutherland to fill out the other main roles.

I am not giving the end away if you have not seen it, but the theory behind the murders here, is a quite well known but still satisfactory one, coupled with a powerhouse performance by Plummer, as his Holmes makes a terrible realisation.

Top stuff and a good film. The disc is quite well presented though the image is a little soft at times. I doubt it will look this good again until a re-master (unlikely due to the cost) or the probably equally unlikely Bluray.

A great price for a good film. Don't miss it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best Holmes movie ever made 2 May 2003
By Darren Harrison VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
The New York Daily Post referred to this movie as the "greatest Sherlock Holmes movie ever made" and who am I to disagree with their esteemed reviewer. Well, I write reviews for a large metropolitcan newspaper also, but I have to say I can find no qualms with their opinion.
I grew up watching the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes movies on quiet Saturday mornings on BBC2 in my native Scotland, so I am probably always going to enjoy sitting down to a couple of hours with my longtime detective friend and his faithful sidekick Dr. Watson. Although for me Rathbone will always be the definitive Sherlock Holmes (never really cared for Jeremy Brett)I have to admit to finding Christopher Plummer as an entertaining, if somewhat unusual, Holmes in this late 1970s movie.
Based not on one of the Conan Doyle books but on a notion that the Baker Street detective investigated the Jack the Ripper murders (much like in the lesser production "Study in Terror" a decade earlier) this sceenplay moves along at a fair speed and examines the actual evidence collected at the time to weave together a theory not unlike that of the more recent Johnny Depp movie "From Hell."
What really makes this movie stand out is the quite incredible cast that Clark (yes, incredibly the same guy behind "Porky's") put together in this Canadian production. Alongside Plummer is none other than James Mason as Watson. We also have Anthony Quayle, John Gielgud, Donald Sutherland, Susan Clark, Frank Finley and Genevieve Bujold. Put these actors in a handsomly presented production design (quite incredible actually) and combine it with the intriguing and fast paced script and you have what (I would have to concur with the Post is the best Holmes movie ever put to film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning plot
most of the theorys in the ripper case mentions the eddie (son of the prince of wales, grandson
to queen victoria) i dont believe for one minute that he was personaly... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Cambria
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD.
A great version of Sherlock Holmes on the "Jack The Ripper" case. Christopher Plummer is great as Sherlock. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Jean (Dolly)
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric, creepy as hell and absolutely brilliant
I can't understand why this film isn't more famous, more talked about etc. Absolutely everything about it is top notch. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pandora
4.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes meets Jack the Ripper
A very underrated Sherlock Holmes film. Christopher Plummer brings a certain presence to the role. Also a very good storyline. Great buy
Published 3 months ago by Azrael
5.0 out of 5 stars A hidden gem
Although it is not clear from the title this is a story of Sherlock Holmes investigating Jack the Ripper and I think that this is the best Holmes film ever. Read more
Published 3 months ago by QM1
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I remember
I first remember watching this as a youngster and being enthralled. I was pleased to be able to purchase it recently and looked forward to seeing it again. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Brian V. Burford
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder By Decree ( Sherlock Holmes)
This like many of the stories surrounding ,sherlock holmes are fantastic to watch and keep you intrested right to the end as he unravals the clues to find those guilty of the crime... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Thbrookes
5.0 out of 5 stars Jack.
the most INfamous jack of all times, this is a very interesting version of the mysterious slayer who remains unknown.
Published 7 months ago by Mr R P Coulson
5.0 out of 5 stars The absolute best Sherlock I have seen
Saw this on TV when it was made and have never fathomed why it isn't repeated evry so often but I recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it yet, great acting, great plot and script
Published 8 months ago by Mick H
5.0 out of 5 stars Sherlock Holmes the Murder Decree.
I really enjoyed this film and it was well made. i liked the way the film was made and how the streets looked in those days. Read more
Published 12 months ago by ange
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