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Murder by Decree (1979)

PG  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  9 February 1979 (USA)
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Sherlock Holmes investigates the murders commited by Jack the Ripper and discovers a conspiracy to protect the killer.



(characters), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson join the hunt for the notorious serial killer, Jack The Ripper.

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During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Dennis Hoey


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sherlock Holmes
Chris Wiggins ...
Doctor Hardy
Tedde Moore ...
Mrs. Lees (as Teddi Moore)
Peter Jonfield ...
Roy Lansford ...
Catherine Kessler ...
Ron Pember ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Mystery | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 February 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sherlock Holmes and Saucy Jack  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Bob Clark, the budget was less than $4 million. See more »


When Holmes is going to the meeting in the masonic lodge at the end, he first passes Buckingham Palace, which may have been on his way from Baker Street. He then seems to have crossed the Thames, because in the next picture he approaches Westminster Palace from the south side of the river, effectively re-crossing it. This detour hardly makes sense. See more »


Sherlock Holmes: We've unmasked madmen, Watson, wielding scepters. Reason run riot. Justice howling at the moon.
See more »


Version of A Study in Terror (1965) See more »


A Wand'rin Minstrel
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Arranged by Keith Papworth
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

very nice
17 August 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) and Dr. John Watson (James Mason) with a little help from a phsychic (Donald Sutherland) become embroiled in the Jack-the-ripper case. This intermingling of real and fictional charecters is for the most part intriging and for my money, much more enjoyable than the more recent "From Hell" (But then again, if ANYone can make a valid adaption of anything by Alan Moore, please tell me). However, not the best Serlock Holmes movie I've seen and Plummer, while a fairly good Holmes, is still second to Jeremy Brett. All in all another strong accomplishment by the great Bob Clark (Porky's, A Christmas Story and Black Christmas are classics all) this time working with a John Hopskins script. By the way, I have yet to see "A Study in Terror" and thus can't make any comparisions or any thesis on which is better.

My Grade: B+

DVD Extras: Commentary by Bob Clark; poster and stills gallery; Behind-the-scenes still gallery; Talent bios; and theatrical trailer

DVD-ROM: Screenplay

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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