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Three Cases of Murder [DVD]

15 customer reviews

Price: £10.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Orson Welles, John Gregson, Elizabeth Sellers, Alan Badel
  • Directors: David Eady
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Odeon Entertainment Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Oct. 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003WQ100S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,609 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Unseen for many years, Three Cases of Murder and Return To Glennascaul are something of a treat for lovers of British film. The main feature is an excellent portmanteau in which the viewers imagination is challenged by the bizarre and macabre. A notable supporting cast of British actors includes John Gregson, Elizabeth Sellars, Andre Morell, Hugh Pryse, Eddie Byrne and the constant in all three shorts, Alan Badel.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By William Taylor on 3 Dec. 2010
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Never having seen this, I assumed it would be just another little compendium of half-hour murder stories of the type that usually took 70 minutes to tell as British B Films of the 1950's (and had that been all there was to it, this would still have been recommended, if you enjoy those kind of nostalgic windows onto a lost Britain peopled by all those familiar character actors).

However this turns out to be so much more, mainly thanks to the first story, concerning a haunted portrait in an art gallery. It has a slowish start which quickly develops into a truly nightmarish scenario, which made me feel quite uneasy. Without revealing too much it is extremely unnerving to watch and were it a dream of one's own you would be truly relieved on awakening.

The second story I also enjoyed, with a good cast (John Gregson and Elizabeth Sellars especially) even if the twist at the end was a tad obvious. The third story, featuring Orson Welles, is probably also the third in entertainment value.

But the first story alone guarantees that this is worth buying. Just don't watch with the light off!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Feb. 2014
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Eamonn Andrews is the link man for two tales of supernatural suspense and one murder mystery.

In the first segment, titled In The Picture, an art gallery guide is lured into a macabre house painting by the artist and finds himself at the mercy of the residents who dwell there. In the second segment, titled You Killed Elizabeth, two friends fall in love with the same woman and when she is murdered it’s obvious one of them did it. But which one? The final segment, titled Lord Mountdrago, The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs ruins the career of an opponent in Parliament and finds the man appearing in his dreams enacting retribution.

As is always the case with anthologies, the quality of stories is mixed, with here the middle section being the one that is pretty standard fare. No such problem with the other two stories though.

The first one is very creepy, even bordering on the terrifying as the tale reaches its conclusion. Once the story reaches the insides of the house in the painting, we are treated to a trio of odd characters living in a house that instantly conjures up images of horror. Ramshackle and creaky, director Wendy Toye further enhances the discord by using canted angles and personalised framing. An excellent story. Starring Hugh Pryse, Alan Badel and Eddie Byrne.

The third tale is considerably boosted by Orson Welles giving bluster to the story written by W. Somerset Maugham. Not without genuine moments of humour, it never reaches scary heights but always it feels off-kilter, the revenge dream attack angle devilish and the production has good quality about it. Very good. Alan Badel co-stars and although the three stories are not related, he is the constant actor in all three. Grand old British trilogy. 8/10

The short and spooky Return to Glennascaul appears as part of the extras.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 24 Feb. 2013
"Does this sort of thing go on in many paintings?"
"In all paintings, Mr Jarvis. There are people hiding in the valleys of every landscape ever painted. There are little worms forever fat within the apples of every still life you've ever seen."

`Portmanteau' film Three Cases of Murder may have suffered from serial budget cuts in its four yaers of development, going from CinemaScope to fullframe black and white, losing originally cast Ralph Richardson and Margaret Leighton and two complete cases based on Honore de Balzac's The Mysterious Mansion that was to have starred Jean Gabin and William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily with Joan Crawford as the budget shrank, but despite the resulting film's comparative lack of starpower, it does offer one of the greatest half hours of macabre dark fantasy British cinema ever produced. Based on Roderick Wilson's In the Picture, it sees Hugh Pryse's guide in a museum where the exhibits keep on disappearing literally drawn into a haunting painting by the elegant and eloquent Alan Badel, the painting's `artist unknown.' Even in this domain there's a housing shortage, so he shares his masterpiece with a strange society lady and the curmudgeonly Mr Snider, who has had to move in from an Italian painting because he was getting too comfortable there. He's been condemned to this cold limbo, one of the many brands of damnation, but it's not Hell and they're not devils - "If we were devils, would we need to borrow your matches?" Furnishing the house from museum exhibits, scavenging for cigarette butts in the ashtrays and the kind of cordial host who makes his guest feel inherently uncomfortable, he's still working on perfecting his painting...

Aside from an elegant script by Donald B.
Read more ›
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Colin Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 May 2011
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Released in 1955, and following on from similiar vintage Portmanteau movies such as "Quartet", "Trio" and "Encore", which consisted of short stories written by that great storywriter, W. Somerset Maugham, this is an enjoyable collection of 3 murder stories, which includes one whodunnit, with Alan Badel appearing in all three.

With each story introduced by Eammon Andrews, the first, "The Picture" is my favourite, which concerns an haunted picture in a gallery, with Badel playing the artist who never quite finished the painting before he died, considering the age of the movie, this is an effectively creepy tale.
The next story "You Killed Elizabeth" is the story of a man who suffers from blackouts, believing that he killed his fiancee in a fit of rage, rather predictable maybe, but still an enjoyable whodunnit.
The final story "Lord Mondrago" sees Orson Welles playing the character of the title, a pompous Home Secretary who decides to humiliate the fiery and passionate Welshman, Owen, (again played by Alan Badel) in the House of Commons, Owen vows revenge, and now when Mondrago falls asleep he is plagued by nightmares.
The movie also stars John Gregson, Elizabeth Sellars, Andre Morell and Emrys Jones.

The black and white picture and sound quality are good, no subtitles. The movie is 96 minutes.
The bonus feature is a 22-minute ghost story "Return To Glennascaul", with Orson Welles starring as himself, who after offering a lift to an Irishman one foggy night is then told a spooky Irish tale. Picture quality is OK.
Also included is a collection of "Best Of British" trailers, and a two-page leaflet featuring a brief biography of Orson Welles.
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