The Manor [DVD] 
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THE MANOR, a dark, funny film from director Ken Berris, references Don Nigro's play RAVENSCROFT and Akira Kurosawa's RASHOMON. The film is a pleasure to watch, in large part due to its excellent international cast including Gabrielle Anwar, Greta Scacchi, and Martin Dejdar. Peter O'Toole is particularly notable for his splendid comedic performance.
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It didn't start out that way. It started out promisingly as I love films set in Victorian times and I like Gabrielle Anwar. It had a great spooky atmosphere too. However about halfway through the film, it devolved into a mishmash of the stupidest, most unlikely,nonsensical plot twists ever. And there was more than one of them. All mixed into each other becoming more and more ridiculous as time went on. I am not familiar with the play this was based on but I feel this could have been a good film if those idiotic plot twists had been changed into something that made sense and wasn't about as likely as the sun shining purple.
The first part of the film had promise but alas, it ended up as a disaster. A waste of my time and a waste of a decent idea and talented actors.
My mouth feels much cleaner since I began to use 'The Pik".
The "Manor" is one of my alkl-time favorite movies....fine performers and a lot of humor.
The first half is an interesting whodunit in which Tomas, a Bohemian detective (well played by Martin Dejdar), attempts to determine the true story behind the death of a servant in the Ravenscroft mansion. His interaction with the mistress of the house, her daughter and governess, and the servants is amusingly prickly for about an hour. Unfortunately, impatience begins to set in when this same cat and mouse, back and forth continues on for another 40 minutes with all parties lying for their own reasons. To make matters worse, the scriptwriter has the inspector become increasingly drunk, an unnecessary plot turn that derails the darkly humorous yet serious tone set in the first half of the film and which struck me as being distinctly out of character for Tomas. Ultimately, the resolution is not interesting enough to warrant the time and effort spent reaching it.
There are good performances from the whole cast, though top billed O'Toole is in the film very briefly in flashbacks as the deceased patriarch. The set design and camera work are wonderful, top honors to art direction. Unfortunately, these positives are counterbalanced by an overlong tale muddled by useless plot contrivances. 2 1/2 stars