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Murder by Decree
3 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Bob Clark

Written By:
John Hopkins

Cast:
Christopher Plummer, James Mason, Donald Sutherland, Genevieve Bujold, Susan Clark, David Hemmings, Frank Finlay, John Gielgud, Anthony Quayle

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Murder by Decree (1979)
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Movie Review by Shannon
May 9th, 2012

MY GRADE: B plus to A minus.

An older but good take on Holmes and Watson (played by the impressive Christopher Plummer and James Mason) though I disagree there is the suggestion of a homosexual relationship between these two characters in the film. Some people can be good friends and not sexual and I know that is hard for some people who have a homosexual agenda to push.

The riddle of this tale is in discovering who is doing the killings in White Chapel and this eventually leads to "Jack the Ripper" angle. The serial killer turns out to have friends in high places who indirectly and directly try to stop Holmes and Watson from discovering the truth. Of course it's much more complicated than just being a serial killer and that's this film still holds up to the test of time. The "aha" moment is well done and based on a novel by Stephen Knight titled "Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution".

The Holmes is much more emotional in this version as he is shown joking and laughing openly with Watson and is moved to tears during a particularly heart rending moment. Donald Sutherland has a tiny role in this picture as this was before he became a bigger star (note that he is the father of Kiefer Sutherland of "24"). Other appearances by John Gielgud ( one of the few entertainers who have won an Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award), Susan Clark, David Hemmings, Anthony Quayle and Genevieve Bujold.
Some Sherlock Holmes fans list this particular picture as their favorite depiction of the immortal character.

PERIOD/COSTUME FOCUSES: B plus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B plus to A minus; STORY/PLOTTING: B to B plus; THE INVESTIGATION/CLUE TRAILS: A minus; WHEN WATCHED: end of March 2012; OVERALL GRADE: B plus to A minus.

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