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Murder by Decree (1979)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,057 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 52 critic

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

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(characters), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Chris Wiggins ...
Doctor Hardy
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Mrs. Lees (as Teddi Moore)
Peter Jonfield ...
Roy Lansford ...
Catherine Kessler ...
Carrie
Ron Pember ...
Makins
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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 hunts his deadliest adversary... The madman known as Jack the Ripper! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

9 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and Saucy Jack  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Masonic signs Holmes makes to the Chief Inspector are: the Duegard of the Entered Apprentice (right hand palm down over left hand palm up), the Sign of the Entered Apprentice (drawing the right hand from left to right across the throat), a variation of the Real Grip of a Master Mason(the handshake with the thumb and little finger extended), and finally the Sign of a Fellow Craft (drawing the right hand across the body from the left breast to the right hip). The Signs all refer to the penalties associated with the divulging of the Order's secrets to outsiders, i.e., having the throat slit and the chest opened and the heart torn out. The Duegard refers to the gesture of holding the Bible during the initiation ritual in the left hand, with the right resting upon it. See more »

Goofs

The piper at Catherine Eddowes's funeral is not playing any notes on the chanter and in one sequence and has both hands totally still whilst a musical sequence is played. 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 »

Connections

Version of The Ripper (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Flowers of the Forest
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer
See more »

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User Reviews

Expansively produced, wonderfully atmospheric, credibly acted Ripper yarn.
14 June 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This isn't the first time Holmes has met Jack the Ripper in the movies, but this particular encounter leaves all others for dead. Handsomely photographed and produced, this notable addition to the Holmes cycle not only presents a credible yet intriguing Sherlock in Christopher Plummer, but just as importantly a Doctor Watson more akin to Conan Doyle's creation than the silly ass usually presented on the screen by Nigel Bruce and his successors. Full marks to James Mason.

The support cast is also top-notch, though some false beards were a trifle obvious. Another minor complaint lies in the poorly conceived, tacked-on ending in which Holmes is examined by John Gielgud's unyielding Prime Minister.

Otherwise this is a remarkably handsome film that transports the viewer right back to a teemingly authentic Sherlock Holmes London.


25 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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