Murder By Decree (Sherlock Holmes And Saucy Jack) (1979)

BOB CLARK

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBUnited Kingdom/Canada, 1979.  Canadian Film Development Corporation, Famous Players, Highlight, Murder by Decree Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the book The Ripper File by , , from characters created by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Fans of Victorian horror stories will find much to enjoy in this delightful Sherlock Holmes mystery that seeks to unravel the legend behind Jack The Ripper. Ripper was a murderer who killed a number of prostitutes in late-19th century London in a brutal manner and is considered to be the first serial killer on record (a mystery still unsolved). Holmes (Christopher Plummer) and Dr. Watson (James Mason) follow the trail of evidence throughout the city in the hopes of discovering who the real culprit is (if you want a hint, the more recent From Hell starring Johnny Depp treads on the same theory). The performances are wonderful, including Genevieve Bujold as an asylum inmate, and the period is brought to life with a bone-chilling sense of atmosphere: everywhere you turn there is thick fog and a dirty cobblestone street. A fine film that makes a worthy companion to The Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Without A Clue.

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