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.

Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   3,092 votes »
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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:
Not your typical type of Sherlock… See more (83 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 
 
Production Design by
Harry Pottle 
 
Art Direction by
Peter Childs 
 
Set Decoration by
Denise Exshaw 
 
Costume Design by
Judy Moorcroft 
 
Makeup Department
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:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
According to director Bob Clark, Christopher Plummer returned from lunch a bit tipsy one day but played the scene anyway.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Donizetti's name is misspelled with two N's on the opera house poster.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:
God Save the QueenSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Not your typical type of Sherlock…, 27 July 2010
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls

Several sources, including a loud and proud quotation on the DVD-cover itself, claim that "Murder by Decree" is the best Sherlock Holmes movie ever made. Like most opinions are, this is highly debatable. Me personally, for example, I'm a big fan of the 1940's Holmes series starring Basil Rathbone as the superiorly intelligent detective and Nigel Bruce as his goofy sidekick Dr. Watson. Some of the entries in that franchise, like "The Scarlet Claw" and "House of Fear" to name just two, are near-brilliant and, in my humble opinion, even better than this film. One fact that remains inarguable, however, is that "Murder by Decree" is the most special and unclassifiable Sherlock Holmes movie ever made. The script actually takes the fictional characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle and places them amidst all the convoluted speculations and grotesque conspiracy theories surrounding the mystery of the unsolved Jack the Ripper murders. "A Study in Terror" was the first attempt to blend the characters of Holmes and Jack the Ripper, nearly fifteen years earlier in 1965, but Bob Clark's film digs a whole lot deeper and makes a lot more efforts to come across as plausible and convincing. "Murder by Decree" is a unique Sherlock Holmes film for yet another reason, namely the depiction of our heroic protagonists. Christopher Plummer portrays the most humane Holmes in history, with a regular sense of humor instead of witty remarks that ooze with superiority as well as feelings sadness and compassion. He even wipes away an emotional teardrop at one point! On the other hand, there's James Mason illustrating the most anti-stereotypical Watson ever, as his lines and contributions are sharp and savvy instead of silly. Sherlock Holmes is called in for help by the Whitechapel store owners after the third Jack the Ripper murder. The crimes are despicable and the locals fear that the police aren't making enough efforts to capture the killer since the victims are "only" prostitutes working in a poor London neighborhood. Thanks to his amazing investigating talents, careful observing senses and stupendous deductive skills, Holmes gradually uncovers a complex conspiracy that almost solely involves elite culprits like politicians, Freemasons and even British royals. He has to operate with extreme caution, though, as his investigation might lead the Ripper to more targeted victims. The script of "Murder by Decree" is clever. Too clever, in fact, as I presume you're not even supposed to guess along for the Ripper's identity. Holmes is always several steps ahead of you and the film ends with a long monologue in which the detective explains the entire murderous scheme – in great detail – to a trio of eminent conspirators. Although puzzling, the story remains fascinating and absorbing the whole time. Bob Clark, a multi-talented genre director especially in the seventies, also masterfully captures the exact right Victorian ambiance. The film is literally filled with dark and foggy London alleys, uncanny old taverns and marvelous horse carriages. I only detected a couple of minor details, actually, and they're mainly personal opinions. The film doesn't properly epitomize the "horror" of the Jack the Ripper case (hardly any nasty images or sinister moments) and the sub plot revolving on Donald Sutherland as a paranormally gifted witness affects the credibility in a negative sort of way.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
A bit disappointed in the henchman reveal (spoilers) JohnWJackBurns88
A complete jumble of a movie **spoilers** boomcoach
The most human Holmes? wordbug
where's the bluray at? tanyet
Donald Sutherland in The Great Train Robbery sherlock-37
The 'Pea' scene moviegoer36
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