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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.

Director:

Writers:

(characters), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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:

Can the genius of Sherlock Holmes stop the terror of Jack the Ripper? 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

This was the first of two Jack the Ripper related films released in 1979. The second was Time After Time (1979). See more »

Goofs

When Watson questions the ladies in the Black Horse Tavern a Salvation Army band is playing "Onward Christian Soldiers" in the street. But the tune "St. Gertrude" was not composed and published by Sir Arthur Sullivan until after the purported time setting of the film (1888). See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: Watson, what are you doing?
Dr. John H. Watson: I'm trying to corner the last pea on my plate.
Dr. John H. Watson: [Holmes squashes the pea] You squashed my pea.
Sherlock Holmes: Well, now you've got it cornered.
Dr. John H. Watson: Yes but squashing a fellow's pea.
Sherlock Holmes: Just trying to help.
Dr. John H. Watson: I didn't want it squashed, I don't like it that way - I like it whole so that you can feel it pop when you bite down on it.
Sherlock Holmes: Sorry, I wasn't thinking.
See more »

Connections

Version of Jack the Ripper (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the Queen
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Ivor Slaney
De Wolfe Music Ltd
Played at the opera
See more »

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User Reviews

Expansively produced, wonderfully atmospheric, credibly acted Ripper yarn.
14 June 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This isn't the first time Holmes has met Jack the Ripper in the movies, but this particular encounter leaves all others for dead. Handsomely photographed and produced, this notable addition to the Holmes cycle not only presents a credible yet intriguing Sherlock in Christopher Plummer, but just as importantly a Doctor Watson more akin to Conan Doyle's creation than the silly ass usually presented on the screen by Nigel Bruce and his successors. Full marks to James Mason.

The support cast is also top-notch, though some false beards were a trifle obvious. Another minor complaint lies in the poorly conceived, tacked-on ending in which Holmes is examined by John Gielgud's unyielding Prime Minister.

Otherwise this is a remarkably handsome film that transports the viewer right back to a teemingly authentic Sherlock Holmes London.


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