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Prime Suspect [DVD] [1991] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Helen Mirren , John Benfield    DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Prime Suspect [DVD] [1991] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Prime Suspect: 2 [DVD] [1992] + Prime Suspect: 3 [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, John Benfield, Tom Bell, Jack Ellis, Craig Fairbrass
  • Producers: Don Leaver, Sally Head
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Oct 2003
  • Run Time: 208 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AYJV5
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 411,810 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The first Prime Suspect introduces Helen Mirren's detective chief inspector Jane Tennison, the only female DCI on an old boy's club London homicide squad. She is like a phantom lurking around the edges of the action while the men rush through their latest murder case, joshing and winking with the kind of male camaraderie the cop genre has celebrated for decades. When DCI Shefford dies of a sudden heart attack, Tennison demands to take over. Despite her superintendent's resistance ("Give her this case and she'll start expecting more"), she becomes the squad's first woman to head a murder investigation. Scrutinised at every moment by her superior officers, Tennison is faced with a case that spirals out from a single murder to a serial spree, a second-in-command who undermines her authority and her investigation at every turn, a team resistant to taking orders from a woman and a private life unravelling due to her professional diligence.

Lynda La Plante's script is a compelling thriller riddled with ambiguity that turns dead ends, blind alleys, and the mundane legwork of real-life cops into fascinating details. Mirren commands the role of Tennison with authority, intelligence, and a touch of overachieving desperation. Superb performances, excellent writing, and understated direction make this BBC miniseries one of the most involving mysteries in years. Look for future stars Ralph Fiennes and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) has to fight on all fronts in this gritty and rivetting drama based on the bestselling novel by Lynda La Plante. Not only is there a serial killer on the loose killing young women, there's power politics at play in the Metropolitan Police. And Tennison is caught in the middle.
She takes on the case when her predecessor has a heart attack. It quickly becomes apparent to Tennison that he had been somehow connected to one of the dead women a prostitute. The "old boys" close rank and try to discredit Tennison. But they get more than they bargained for. Tennison shows she has more balls than the lot of them put together and eventually gets her man.
This vidoe keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout as the plot twists and turns. Helen Mirren is simply fantastic and you can't help but rooting for her throughout this drama.
This is the best of the Prime Suspect series but don't let that stop you buying the rest - they're still better than almost any other cop show produced on British TV.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful 9 Mar 2006
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
There were female cops on tv long before Prime Suspect but to actually watch Jane Tennyson (Helen Mirren) gradually dismantle the vicious chauvinism of her boorish colleagues was utterly fascinating, well-written and well-acted. Her battle to be treated with respect runs parallel to the hunt for a serial killer and is every bit as gripping. Rising above the disdain of the male detectives takes a strong stomach and it is the menacing and bitter Ottley (Tom Bell) who puts every chicane he can think of in the way of JT's progress when they should be pulling together to solve a long line of cruel murders.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars she's got what it takes ... 11 Aug 2003
...balls? In this superbly performed thriller, the focus is not so much in the gory details of a serial killer murders, but in the kind of pressure that woman inspector Tennison has to handle when taking over the investigation, thus stepping into a men's world. She had an idea of what was going to happen, and she is prepared to face the downright rejection of the all-male team supposed to work under her orders. What she is not so prepared for is the consequences that her dedication to her work will have in her personal life. And underneath the whole thriller plot, we can sense dark and dirty secrets among some of the police officers that Tennison can only begin to grasp. Beware of the ending ... it's a cliff-hanger!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Crime Drama 26 Dec 2003
'Prime Suspect', the compelling British drama series starring Helen Mirren, began with this harrowing, character-driven procedural focusing on the intelligent and hard-nosed DCI Jane Tennison. Tennison takes over, in unexpected circumstances, a homicide investigation that quickly turns into a hunt for a serial killer. Marking out 'Prime Suspect' is its portrayal, in amongst the gritty detail of police work, of the difficulties, personal and professional, of a female detective in the Metropolitan Police. It's a drama that succeeds on all levels: each performance, visual composition, and line of dialogue is in a class of its own. Very highly recommended.
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1 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A double-edged sword 6 Dec 2007
Jane Tennison is a career-obsessed policewoman, paranoid about gender-issues but with no special professional competence, who blackmails her way up the hierarchy in the name of equal rights. If the character was ever meant as a role model for professional women, then it is a dismal failure. Prime suspect instead brilliantly succeeds in painting a depressing but just bearable world without heroes or principles. Great plot and good acting by Helen Mirren. Solid police drama but no moral lesson.
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