15 user

A Is for Acid (2002)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | TV Movie 9 September 2002
John George Haigh, the notorious "acid bath murderer" in 1940s England, becomes the subject of this dramatization.


Harry Bradbeer


Glenn Chandler


Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This is a dramatisation of the real-life investigation into the notorious Yorkshire Ripper murders of the late 1970s, showing the effect that it had on the health and career of Assistant ... See full summary »

Stars: Gerard Horan, Stephen Moore, Claire Webzell
The Brides in the Bath (TV Movie 2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dramatisation of the real-life case of George Joseph Smith who was hanged in 1915 for the murder of his three wives, each of whom he killed in turn by drowning them in the bath while trying to make the deaths look like accidents.

Director: Harry Bradbeer
Stars: Martin Kemp, Tracey Wilkinson, Charlotte Randle
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A vivid drama that documents the notorious "Moors murderers", Ian Brady and Myra Hindley.

Stars: Joanne Froggatt, Maxine Peake, Sean Harris
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Dramatisation of the case of serial killers Fred and Rose West, focusing on the way in which they were brought to justice.

Stars: Emily Watson, Dominic West, Robert Glenister
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Based on the personal testimonies of many of those most closely involved, Five Daughters recounts the final weeks in the lives of the five young women murdered in Ipswich in 2006.

Stars: Adam Kotz, Juliet Aubrey, Natalie Press
The Brittas Empire (1991–1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Gordon Brittas is the manager of the Whitbury-Newtown Leisure Centre. Despite his ambition and good intentions, everything seems to go wrong when he's around, despite the best efforts of ... See full summary »

Stars: Chris Barrie, Harriet Thorpe, Michael Burns
Reggie Perrin (TV Series 2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Reggie Perrin has a cushy job as head of innovation in a men's body care products firm, but philosophically hates meaningless office life. He's equally unhappy with commuting, his dull ... See full summary »

Stars: Martin Clunes, Fay Ripley, Lucy Liemann
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Dramatisation of the true story of Harold Shipman, a GP (general practitioner, ie family doctor) from Hyde, Manchester, who was convicted in 2000 of murdering fifteen of his elderly ... See full summary »

Director: Roger Bamford
Stars: Michael Stainton, Olive Pendleton, Veda Warwick
Fred and Rose (TV Mini-Series 2014)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Fred and Rose West were Britain's most prolific serial killers. This series reveals their dark childhoods and how their terrible crimes went unnoticed for decades.

Stars: Tom Roberts, Dan Carey, David Holmes
Me & Mrs Jones (TV Movie 2002)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Top tabloid journalist Liam Marple (Robson Green) poses as a politicial fundraiser to get the dirt on Prime Minister Laura Bowden (Caroline Goodall). Things get sticky when they fall in love.

Director: Catherine Morshead
Stars: Caroline Goodall, Robson Green, Philip Quast
Documentary | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Nearing the 15th anniversary of Laci Peterson's disappearance, A&E Networks takes a fresh look at the case. A definitive factual account by those who lived and breathed it every day.

Stars: Gloria Gomez, Ted Rowlands, Nancy Grace
David Copperfield (TV Mini-Series 1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world.

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Trevor Eve, Michael Elphick


Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Clunes ... John George Haigh
Keeley Hawes ... Gillian Rogers
Richard Hope ... Archie Henderson
Celia Imrie ... Rose Henderson
Rowena Cooper Rowena Cooper ... Mrs. Durand-Deacon
John Flanagan John Flanagan ... Arnold Burtin
Terence Beesley ... DS Heslin
Matyelok Gibbs Matyelok Gibbs ... Mrs Constance Lane
Barbara Marten Barbara Marten ... Emily Haigh
Geoff Holman ... John Haigh Senior
Christopher Town Christopher Town ... John George Haigh (as a boy)
Neil McKinven ... Donald McSwan
Claire Nielson Claire Nielson ... Amy McSwan
Donald Douglas ... William McSwan
Christopher Ettridge Christopher Ettridge ... Steven Rogers (as Chris Ettridge)


Dramatisation of the true story of the notorious "acid bath murderer" John Haigh, who murdered women and disposed of their bodies in vats of acid in the 1940's. He was only caught when the gallstones of one of his victims, Mrs Durand-Deacon, failed to dissolve in the acid and were detected by the pathologist who examined the residue from the acid bath. Written by van_whistler@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

9 September 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Crimes Quase Perfeitos See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (some footage)| Color
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In 1945, the widow Olive Durand-Deacon describes her husband as having served in "The Glorious Glosters". Although a common nickname for the Gloucestershire Regiment, it derives from their heroism at the battle of the Imjin River during the Korean War - in 1951. See more »


Referenced in Psychoville: Joy (2009) See more »


When the Lights Go On Again
Performed by Vera Lynn
[detectives inspecting the first crime scene]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Blandness of Evil
16 April 2006 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

Martin Clunes has an amazing range as an actor; he has attempted everything from Mr Chipps in "Goodbye Mr Chipps" to Garry the Slob in "Men Behaving Badly". In this TV film scripted by Glenn Chandler, creator of "Taggart", he impersonates a dapper, cheerful, sport car driving type who is also an accomplished pianist called John Haigh who turns out to be a diabolical serial killer who disposes of his victims in acid baths.

. It is a nice performance and the production values are splendid – seldom has England in the 1940s been better evoked, but there is something missing. What happened is clearly conveyed. How it was done is depicted as graphically as most audiences could reasonably take. But, the question of "why" is left hanging, as it were. Was it for the money? Did Haigh, like Dr Shipman, just get a kick out of killing? Or, despite the opinion of the dozen or so experts the prosecutors and the Home Office consulted, was Haigh crazy? At the trial, not shown in this film, Haigh, represented by top-flight counsel paid for by "The News of the World", pleaded insanity. Only one psychiatrist gave evidence for the defence, to such little effect that the prosecutor didn't bother to cross-examine him.

Well, it's not the film-makers' fault that Haigh was one of those bland serial killers who defy understanding. In line with his own account, Haigh's Yorkshire Plymouth Brethren parents are depicted as strict and narrow, but not as unloving. He turned to crime at an early age and had quite a record of petty dishonesty offences. For him, prison was Crime University and he hatched the idea for his body disposal method, the acid bath, while inside. He was capable of conducting an emotional relationship with the youthful "Gillian" (Keely Hawes) while luring his victims to their deaths.

For what it's worth I think Haigh's train of thought went something like this: "I am an outsider, society does not value my true worth, I will be good to people who do really appreciate me (like my parents and Gillian), and the rest are fair game." At least it makes more sense than the vampire theory. Haigh is also one of those criminals who were bound to be caught sooner or later (his arrest was not a miracle of detection), which makes one ask: did he think he was invincible or did he really want to be caught? The film doesn't help us with this, but it's a good reconstruction and a fine piece of acting by Martin Clunes.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed