7.0/10
3,611
88 user 55 critic

Murder by Decree (1979)

Trailer
4:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

$0.00 with 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) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 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
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 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
Crime | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A serial killer is murdering women in the Whitechapel district of London. An American policeman is brought in to help Scotland Yard solve the case.

Directors: Robert S. Baker, Monty Berman
Stars: Lee Patterson, Eddie Byrne, Betty McDowall
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A soldier is forced to take estrogen and wear lingerie when he's blackmailed by a violent transvestite.

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Leslie Marlowe, Wendy Roberts, Dorian Wayne
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
Tribute (1980)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 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
Bear Island (1979)
Action | Adventure | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

On the remote Norwegian Bear Island, used as a submarine base by the Germans during WW2, U.N. scientist Larsen sends a distress signal using an emergency NATO frequency and is received by scientific vessel Morning Rose.

Director: Don Sharp
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Vanessa Redgrave, Richard Widmark
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate the legend of a supernatural hound, a beast that may be stalking a young heir on the fog-shrouded moorland that makes up his estate.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Richard Greene
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Sherlock Holmes investigates when young women around London turn up murdered, each with a finger severed off. Scotland Yard suspects a madman, but Holmes believes the killings to be part of a diabolical plot.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Hillary Brooke
Now & Forever (2002)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Against a backdrop of clashing cultures, John Myron and Angela Wilson find each other and over the years form a powerful bond. One tragic night, John rescues Angela from a wicked act of ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Mia Kirshner, Adam Beach, Gordon Tootoosis
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

This is a straight version of the old fairy tale, with John Carradine as the Emperor. It was filmed in South Florida, with exteriors in Coral Gables and Miami's Vizcaya. The hero bests the ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Joseph Argenio, John Carradine, Dalton Cathey
Silver Blaze (TV Short 1977)
Crime | Short | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: John Davies
Stars: Christopher Plummer, Thorley Walters, Basil Henson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sherlock Holmes
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Chris Wiggins ...
Doctor Hardy
Tedde Moore ...
Mrs. Lees (as Teddi Moore)
Peter Jonfield ...
Roy Lansford ...
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 hunts his deadliest adversary... The madman known as Jack the Ripper! 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:

 »

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Bob Clark had to do research to see if the word "fart" was in existence in 1888. It was. See more »

Goofs

When Watson is arrested by the police after being conned into a small courtyard with only one entrance two policemen enter but three policemen leave. See more »

Quotes

Dr. John H. Watson: [Offended by the booing of the Prince of Wales by the theater gallery] It's a damn disgrace!
Sherlock Holmes: On the contrary. I prefer bad manners in the theater to active violence in the streets.
See more »

Connections

Version of Jack the Ripper (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Flowers of the Forest
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Paul Zaza and Carl Zittrer
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 (United States) – 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....


24 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The 'Pea' scene moviegoer36
The most human Holmes? wordbug
Soundtrack ajsc74
I watch it once a month... mcquestion
One of my favorite films on Jack luciefilm
where's the bluray at? tanyet
Discuss Murder by Decree (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?