7.0/10
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Murder by Decree (1979)

Sherlock Holmes investigates the murders commited by Jack the Ripper and discovers a conspiracy to protect the killer.

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Writers:

(characters), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Chris Wiggins ...
Doctor Hardy
Tedde Moore ...
Mrs. Lees (as Teddi Moore)
Peter Jonfield ...
William Slade
Roy Lansford ...
Sir Thomas Spivey
Catherine Kessler ...
Carrie
Ron Pember ...
Makins

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Storyline

Sherlock Holmes investigates London's most infamous case, Jack the Ripper. As he investigates, he finds that the Ripper has friends in high places. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Jack the Ripper Murders. Sherlock Holmes lifts the veil of secrecy, corruption and terror at the heart of the throne of England itself. Clue by clue... Murder by murder... See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and Saucy Jack  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bob Clark had to do research to see if the word "fart" was in existence in 1888. It was. See more »

Goofs

When Spivey shoves Stride's body out of the carriage, she moves her arms to break her fall. See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: [Reacting to the tardiness of the Prince of Wales] I suppose since, after all, he's only the Prince of Wales, we should not expect the same degree of courtesy.
Dr. John H. Watson: And since you are the Prince of Detectives, Holmes, I don't think you should presume to criticize a man who one day will be King of England.
Sherlock Holmes: [amused] Well done, Watson! You have cut me to the quick. Hmm! Only the Prince of Detectives, you say? Then who, pray tell, is the King?
Dr. John H. Watson: Lestrade, of course.
[Holmes laughs]
See more »

Connections

References A Study in Terror (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Abide With Me
(uncredited)
Written by William H. Monk
Arranged by Edrich Siebert
KPM Music Ltd
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User Reviews

"There is still decency." A marvellous film.
4 September 2000 | by (London) – See all my reviews

This is a remarkable little movie that has never reached classic status for some reason. Aside from an incredible cast, all of whom suit the dignified proceedings admirably, there are two other stars who lift this film above the level of an excellent thriller. One is the production design. The old Hollywood style of foggy streets and dark alleys, with sinister cabs skulking along, is the stuff nightmares are made of. The East End is horrible, a hell on earth. The other unsung hero is the music. A beautiful soundtrack which ranges from chilling strings and harps to the charming end music. Christopher Plummer is fabulous as Holmes, heroic and ingenious but with a strong sympathy which no other actor in the role apart from Jeremy Brett has captured. His scenes with Mason are a joy; the pair really work together, complete with catchphrases and a mutual respect. Donald Sutherland is also captivating as Robert Lees...his eyes are those of a man living in helpless terror. The film's finest moment is the scene between Holmes and Annie Crook. Genevieve Bujould is heartbreaking in the role,a perfect piece of casting despite her accent, and Holmes' reaction to her plight is deeply moving. Make no mistake, the theory of the Ripper murders is barmy, but wonderful entertainment. It does slander Sir Charles Warren and Lord Salisbury unbelievably; Anthony Quayle puts in a gloriously over the top turn in repulsive corruption. There is an interesting subtext to the film as well, namely the fight between decency and corruption. Annie's innocence and goodness is uncorrupted even by her plight, and the decency of Mary Kelly is a ghost that hangs over the last half an hour. The end credits are beautiful, with gorgeous theatrical and old-fashioned cast and credits, such as "Frank Finlay was Inspector Lestrade." There is decency in the most unlikely of places, and Holmes and Watson are the solid rocks while around them people sink and swim in the chaos. A moving, brilliantly realised and frightening film.


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