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Lord Peter Wimsey - Nine Tailors [DVD]
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Stranded in the fens of eastern England one snowy New Year's Eve, Lord Peter Wimsey (Ian Carmichael) seeks refuge with a vicar who has a passion for bell-ringing. A few months later the clergyman gets in touch when an unidentified, mutilated body is found in the grave of the newly deceased Lady Thorpe, which was dug around the time of Wimsey's first visit. As he investigates the death, Wimsey discovers an unexpected link with the theft of a valuable necklace which took place many years earlier...
Based on the series of novels written by Dorothy L Sayers in the 1920s and 30s, Lord Peter Wimsey was dramatised for TV by the BBC between 1972-5. Ian Carmichael, veteran of British film comedy, played the genial, aristocratic sleuth; Glyn Houston was his manservant Bunter. The pair are similar to PG Wodehouse's Jeeves and Bertie Wooster (whom Carmichael played in an earlier TV adaptation) though here the duo are equal in intelligence, breezing about the country together in Wimsey's Bentley and stumbling with morbid regularity upon baffling murder mysteries to test their wits.
Those for whom this series forms hazy memories of childhood might be surprised at its somewhat stagy, lingering interior shots, the spartan paucity of music, the miserly attitude towards locations, especially foreign ones, and the rather genteel, leisurely pace of these programmes, besides which Inspector Morse seems like Quentin Tarantino in comparison. It seems that initially the BBC was reluctant to commission the series and ventured on production with a wary eye on the budget. The Britain depicted by Sayers is, by and large, populated by either the upper classes or heavily accented, rum-do-and-no-mistake lower orders, which some might find consoling. However, the acting is generally excellent and the murder mysteries are sophisticated parlour games, the televisual equivalent of a good, absorbing jigsaw puzzle.
There were five feature-length adaptations in all. "The Nine Tailors" weaves an especially elaborate tale, involving jewel theft, campanology (the art of bell-ringing) and dual identity. --David Stubbs
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Top customer reviews
The theft of the Wilbraham Emeralds is the catalyst for murder and betrayal - and even the innocent are drawn into acts of desperation with devastating consequences.
Lord Peter is asked to assist in solving the mystery of the mutilated unidentified corpse in Lady Thorpe's grave; a quest which takes him to France and on a treasure hunt. The theft of the emeralds during the Great War had resulted in tragedy, now the efforts to recover them many years later leads to further death and misfortune. Will Lord Peter's quest for the truth finally end the curse of the Wilbrahem jewels.
This BBC adaptation is timeless - quality acting, writing and direction, with wonderfully atmospheric locations.
Put your feet up, put the answering machine on and enjoy some of the best television you will have seen in a long time (well, since the last Lord Peter video!)
All in the first chapter we see the crime and the fait of the perpetrators. We also get a first hand view of the meeting and growing relationship and Wimsey and Bunter (Glyn Houston.) As fait would have it Lord Peter finds him self once again in Fenchurch St. Pauli again. This time as providence would have it just in time to replace a sick bell ringer on New Year's Eve.
Three months later a body is found in and Lord Peter is invited to the inquest.
This film is based on a Dorothy L. Sayers novel of the same name with the screen adaptation by Anthony Steven.
At first you are not sure that this is the same peter Wimsey when you see the blond hair and mustache. However if you look close they made little attempt to cover the wrinkled face.
If you have an opportunity to view this film before reading the book you will not be distracted by the deviations and omit ions form the written story.
And the film on this DVD is certainly fun. I'm not quite certain whether the extras are really worth anyone's time, though I suppose if people truly know nothing about Dorothy Sayers the info on her will be of use, and I suppose the filmographies and interview with Carmichael are quite interesting. The triva game is a good idea, but ten questions is a bit too short to be much fun: just when you are getting into the swing of it, it's over. But it was a nice try at enhanced value, I'll say that for it. Hopefully they will release more of these seventies vintage Wimsey dramas onto DVD, I'll certainly buy them if they do, and maybe next time they'll have thought up something more rigourous by way of a trivia quiz!
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Good for falling asleep to on a wet afternoon.