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A Murder of Quality (1991)

TV Movie  -   -  Mystery  -  13 October 1991 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 430 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 3 critic

Taken from the book by John le Carre, George Smiley rallies to the aid of his former intelligence colleague, Ailsa Brimley, to investigate a mysterious letter from a junion master's wife at... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Terence Fielding
...
Ailsa Brimley
...
Mad Janie
...
Stanley Rode
...
Felix D'Arcy
Matthew Scurfield ...
Insp. Rigby
...
Tim Perkins
Diane Fletcher ...
Shane Hecht
Fiona Walker ...
Dorothy D'Arcy
Nick Reding ...
Sgt. Mellor
...
Charles Hecht
Charles Pemberton ...
Sgt. Ted Mundy
William Armstrong ...
Rev. Fergus
Moray Watson ...
Maj. Harriman
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Storyline

Taken from the book by John le Carre, George Smiley rallies to the aid of his former intelligence colleague, Ailsa Brimley, to investigate a mysterious letter from a junion master's wife at Carne School - a boy's school. When Smiley goes to Carne to investigate, he finds the junior master's wife brutually murdered with her husband as one of the suspects. Smiley begins to scratch at the surface of the closed knit society of Carne and soon begins to find that things are not as they seem. Secret societies, sexual abuse, and a mysterious boy, Timothy Perkins, who is either another suspect, witness, or victim. Written by <73204.3701@compuserve.com>

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Mystery

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Release Date:

13 October 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinato de calidad  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This was Thorley Walters's final appearance before his death on July 6, 1991 at the age of 78. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Another wonderful LeCarré adaption
13 December 2004 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

John LeCarré has been lucky in the adaptations of some of his books on to film. 'A Murder of Quality', though quite different from 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' and 'Smiley's People', not to forget 'The Spy Who Came in From the Cold', is a perfectly crafted murder mystery.

Denholm Elliot's George Smiley does not try to imitate the famous portrayals by Alec Guinness but creates a similarly fascinating character out of LeCarré's most famous creation. Glenda Jackson plays his spinsterish "pal", Ailsa Brimley, a former colleague of Smiley's from The Circus during the war years. She is akin to Connie Sachs, memorably played by the great Beryl Reid in other LeCarré adaptions. Both Ailsa and Connie were in love with George and enraged at his reprobate wife, Ann. This and other LeCarré themes are used in 'A Murder of Quality' to their usual intriguing effects; the inclusion of homosexuality, misogynistic tendencies in some of the male characters and the hint of Smiley's darker, perhaps murderous past.

It is good to see Joss Ackland and Thorley Walters, old hands from earlier LeCarré adaptations. There isn't a weak link in the cast. Christian Bale makes a sexually tantalizing school boy, complete with his "criminal mind" and vulnerable consciousness. Diane Fletcher, the Lady Macbeth-like Mrs Urquehard from 'House of Cards' appears here as the tough dramatic arts mistress, the archetype gorgon, hearty and heartless.

Billie Whitelaw is a poignant mad-woman, Ronald Pickup a wonderfully spineless worm who lives with his "manly" sister, Fiona Walker. Matthew Scurfield is a fascinating police chief, a working grunt with many-faceted depths to his personality.

The cinematography is on the dark and gloomy side, as befits the story and setting. The music is superb, another wonderfully evocative score by the late great Stanley Myers.

This is now available on DVD from Acorn Media and I urge all LeCarré addicts to get it.

Great television like this is extremely rare, and getting scarcer all the time.


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