IMDb > Murder by Decree (1979)
Murder by Decree
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Murder by Decree (1979) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   3,381 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Arthur Conan Doyle (characters)
John Hopkins (screenplay)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Murder by Decree on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 February 1979 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Sherlock Holmes unveils the secrecy of Jack the Ripper - clue by clue - murder by murder. See more »
Plot:
Sherlock Holmes investigates the murders commited by Jack the Ripper and discovers a conspiracy to protect the killer. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
5 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Murder by dullness See more (87 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Christopher Plummer ... Sherlock Holmes

James Mason ... Dr. John H. Watson

David Hemmings ... Inspector Foxborough

Susan Clark ... Mary Kelly

Anthony Quayle ... Sir Charles Warren

John Gielgud ... Prime Minister Lord Salisbury

Frank Finlay ... Inspector Lestrade

Donald Sutherland ... Robert Lees

Geneviève Bujold ... Annie Crook
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
June Brown ... Anne Chapman
Ken Jones ... Dock Guard
Terry Duggan ... Danny
Hilary Sesta ... Catherine Eddowes
Anthony May ... Lanier
Betty Woolfe ... Mrs. Dobson
Iris Fry ... Elizabeth Stride
Geoffrey Russell ... Home Secretary Henry Matthews
Peggy Ann Clifford ... Lees' Housekeeper

Ann Mitchell ... Jane
Katherine Stark ... Molly
Elaine Ives-Cameron ... Ellen (as Elaine Ives Cameron)
Stella Courtney ... Betty
Judy Wilson ... Emily
Roy Pattison ... Carroll
Victor Langley ... Prince of Wales
Pamela Abbott ... Princess Alexandra
Robin Marchal ... Duke of Clarence
Richard Pescud ... Doctor (as Richard Pescuid)
Pat Brackenbury ... Nurse
Dan Long ... Constable Long
Michael Cashman ... Constable Watkins
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Dean ... Police Constable (uncredited)
Norman Gay ... Distinguished gentleman (uncredited)
Jim McManus ... Policeman (uncredited)

Directed by
Bob Clark 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Arthur Conan Doyle  characters
John Hopkins  screenplay
Elwyn Jones  co-author (book "The Ripper File")
John Lloyd  co-author (book "The Ripper File")

Produced by
Bob Clark .... producer
René Dupont .... producer
Robert A. Goldston .... producer
Len Herberman .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Paul Zaza 
Carl Zittrer 
 
Cinematography by
Reginald H. Morris 
 
Film Editing by
Stan Cole 
 
Casting by
Karen Hazzard 
Irene Lamb 
 
Production Design by
Harry Pottle 
 
Art Direction by
Peter Childs 
 
Set Decoration by
Denise Exshaw 
 
Costume Design by
Judy Moorcroft 
 
Makeup Department
Colin Jamison .... chief hairdresser
Peter Robb-King .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Peter Davis .... production manager: UK
Ted Rouse .... production manager: Canada
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Dodds .... third assistant director
Ariel Levy .... assistant director
Ken Roch .... second assistant director
Guy Travers .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Percy Godbold .... production buyer
Jock Kay .... scenic artist
Adrian Start .... art stand-by
 
Sound Department
David Appleby .... sound re-recording mixer (as Dave Appleby)
Ron Butcher .... sound maintenance
Dennis Drummond .... sound editor
Patrick Drummond .... sound editor
Wayne Griffin .... sound editor
Joe Grimaldi .... sound re-recording mixer
Kenneth Heeley-Ray .... supervising sound editor (as Ken Heeley Ray)
John W. Mitchell .... sound recordist (as John Mitchell)
Don White .... foley recording mixer
 
Special Effects by
Michael Albrechtsen .... special effects
 
Visual Effects by
Cliff Culley .... visual effects supervisor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Blanshard .... still photographer
Maurice Gillett .... gaffer
Jimmy Turrell .... camera operator (as James Turrell)
David Wynn-Jones .... focus puller (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ron Beck .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Ian McBride .... assistant editor
David Block .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Frank Morrone .... music engineer
 
Transportation Department
Howard Pugh .... driver: cast
 
Other crew
Andy Birmingham .... production accountant
Marilyn Clarke .... production coordinator
S.C. Dacy .... publicist
Robert A. Goldston .... presenter
Bob Halliday .... police liaison
Marjorie Lavelly .... continuity
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Sherlock Holmes and Saucy Jack" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
Runtime:
124 min | Sweden:110 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Finland:K-16 | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (original rating) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:15 (original video rating) | UK:AA (theatrical rating) | UK:12 (video re-rating) | USA:PG | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Holmes, Watson, Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson are all characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle but his name is not mentioned anywhere in the credits.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: When Holmes visits the Lees disguised as a chimney sweep, he removes his false mustache and false blackened nose, but when we see him seconds later, the nose is false again as if he never peeled it off.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 »
Movie Connections:
References A Study in Terror (1965)See more »
Soundtrack:
PreludioSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Murder by dullness, 20 March 2011
Author: Cheese Hoven from United Kingdom

Sherlock Holmes meets Jack The Ripper! No doubt this potentially exciting prospect drew so many top notch actors to the project. Masonic intrigue! A Royal conspiracy! What more could any film fan want? Sadly, the rich promise of this plot is very poorly realised. It looks atmospheric, at least to start with, with the pea-souper fogs and a good feel for how life in the more deprived parts of London must have been in the late nineteenth century. The fogs soon become tiresome (you've seen one fog you've seen them all), serving to hide the none-too-plausible plot more than anything else. The hackneyed music does not help, and gives the impression of a dated 1970s cheap TV thriller.

The film deteriorates as it proceeds. At first, the plot is interesting enough to sustain the attention and the audience can delight in spotting the succession of famous faces. This makes us overlook the mundane dialogue, sometimes muffled by poor recording on street scenes, and the bad acting such dialogue creates. But when this wears off, the routine writing and general lack of direction become very wearisome.

The denouement, which takes up the final 15 minutes, is as boring and static as can be imagined, although most viewers will have switched off by then. This is a long and detailed explanation of the plot. Any writer worth his salt knows such lengthy explanation have no place at the end, being very anti-climatic. This film should actually be shown to students to demonstrate how not to write.

(slight spoiler) Not only is this denouement boring but it fails to really resolve anything. Holmes' involvement in this matter has not managed to save anyone's life, but has lost a few; that the murders will now stop is not done to him, they would have stopped with the death of Kelly anyway; the child was already guaranteed safety (if I understood it correctly). All we have is the possible resignation of the PM, whose involvement is minimal at least.

Sorry for such a low grade but with the cast and the premise this should have been at least good. A waste of the actors' talents and the audience's time.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Murder by Decree (1979)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
I watch it once a month... mcquestion
Anybody knows ? demonia-prod
Anybody knows ? demonia-prod
One of my favorite films on Jack luciefilm
A bit disappointed in the henchman reveal (spoilers) JohnWJackBurns88
A complete jumble of a movie **spoilers** boomcoach
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