7.0/10
4,077
90 user 52 critic

Murder by Decree (1979)

Trailer
4:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »
Reviews
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson join the hunt for the notorious serial killer, Jack The Ripper.

Director: James Hill
Stars: John Neville, Donald Houston, John Fraser
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

While Europe stands on the brink of a World War in Autumn 1913, Sir Randolph Nettleby hosts a weekend of shooting on his estate for European aristocrats.

Director: Alan Bridges
Stars: James Mason, Edward Fox, Dorothy Tutin
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A drunken Sherlock Holmes is really just a cover for the real detective - Dr Watson.

Director: Thom Eberhardt
Stars: Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley, Jeffrey Jones
Tribute (1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A shallow Broadway press agent learns he is dying just as his son by his ex-wife arrives for a visit.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Robby Benson, Lee Remick
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

To treat his friend's cocaine induced delusions, Watson lures Sherlock Holmes to Sigmund Freud.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Alan Arkin, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Duvall
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The Mafia tries to take revenge against a man who testified against them in court.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Bo Svenson, Robert Culp, John Colicos
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a bored Holmes eagerly takes the case of Gabrielle Valladon after an attempt on her life, the search for her missing husband leads to Loch Ness and the legendary monster.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee, Colin Blakely
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former British colony in dire need of economic aid tries to play the British against the Soviets in an attempt to secure economic aid from either side in return for political loyalty.

Directors: Roy Boulting, Jeffrey Dell
Stars: Terry-Thomas, Peter Sellers, Luciana Paluzzi
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a nobleman is threatened by a family curse on his newly inherited estate, detective Sherlock Holmes is hired to investigate.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Scotland Yard police inspector, battling the booze, investigates the Jack the Ripper murders and discovers a conspiracy that leads all the way up to the queen.

Stars: Michael Caine, Armand Assante, Ray McAnally
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sherlock Holmes
... Dr. John H. Watson
... Inspector Foxborough
... Mary Kelly
... Sir Charles Warren
... Prime Minister Lord Salisbury
... Inspector Lestrade
... Robert Lees
... 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
Edit

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:

Sherlock Holmes unveils the secrecy of Jack the Ripper - clue by clue - murder by murder. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and Saucy Jack  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the last actors cast was James Mason. Director Bob Clark had to travel to Spain, where Mason was shooting another picture, to meet with him. Mason agreed to play Watson if he could make him a serious character, not the "silly ass" buffoon character which was the rule. Mason rewrote two sequences including the famous "pea scene." See more »

Goofs

When Dr. Watson is writing on the black board, he says that Polly Nichols was the first victim, while the writing on the board says "victim #2." See more »

Quotes

Sherlock Holmes: You create allegiance above your sworn allegiance to protect humanity. You shall not care for them, or acknowledge their pain. There lies the madness.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Onward Christian Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Arranged by Edrich Siebert
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Forget the later versions -- this one is the best.
27 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

I happened across this film recently and found it to be a superb forerunner to FROM HELL which was filmed many years later. To be frank, this version is a lot more believable. It impressed me deeply because of the excellent depiction of the cramped, narrow, damp and winding back streets of Whitehall, all shrouded in permanent fog, and with a queasy, chromatic musical score to alert you that not all is well and dark deeds await.

The characters are believable and well played: Plummer underplays Holmes when so many other actors take him over the top: James Mason is an earthy, skeptical Dr. Watson whose blusterings are amusing without ever become a pain in the tail; we have a cooperative and good-natured Lestrange, a suitably shell-shocked Mary Kelly, and Anthony Quayle puts in not only an incredibly gruff and abrasive performance as Scotland yard's Charles Warren, but also wins the movie's bizarre-makeup award. Donald Sutherland also modestly underplays his role as the sickly psychic with a mustache that Wyatt Earp would have envied. And of course, the unmasked villains are suitably sinister and reek of the madness being perpetrated on the panicky London slum.

Also deserving a nod are John Gielgud and others who play high government officials with the proper stuffy condescension and total disregard for "inferiors" of whatever class or religion, putting the stability of the monarchy far above those the ruling class are supposed to be caring for. It's hard to visualize Holmes an an insurrectionist, but if this was not the appropriate situation, nothing would be.

This film would merit a 10 out of 10 except for the peculiar character played by David Hemmings, who seemed out of place to begin with and brought too much attention to himself as someone to keep an eye on, as if he were a walking clue for the more inattentive viewer. Good performance, just an awkward and blatant addition to the story characters.

Forget the drug-hazed and farcical Johnny Depp character of FROM HELL: rather, watch the clear-headed relentless Holmes take on Saucy Jack with such a fervency that he overlooks more hidden, sinister forces attempting to steer him towards satisfying their own ends....


26 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 90 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial