Murder By Decree is a 1979 film directed by Bob Clark that, at long last, was released on DVD just this past week. Until now, it wasn't even widely available on video. I strongly encourage any of you who enjoy Sherlock Holmes movies or who have any interest in Jack the Ripper to run right out and find a copy, because this movie is a real gem (and not very gory, considering the subject matter).

In short, this movie is about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigating (and solving) the Jack the Ripper murders (this isn't the first film to use that scenario; a 1965 film called A Study in Terror, based on an Ellery Queen novel, had the same core plot idea). The Hughes brothers owe a huge debt to this film for their 2001 movie From Hell. So, all you movie buffs out there who saw From Hell should most definitely see Murder by Decree.

Movie Information:

Release Year: 1979

Running Time: 124 minutes

Rating: PG

Budget: about $4m U.S.

Director: Bob Clark

Writer: John Hopkins


Christopher Plummer: Sherlock Holmes
James Mason: Dr. John H. Watson
David Hemmings: Inspector Foxborough
Susan Clark: Mary Kelly
Anthony Quayle: Sir Charles Warren
Sir John Gielgud: Lord Salisbury
Frank Finlay: Inspector Lestrade
Donald Sutherland: Robert Lees
Genevieve Bujold: Annie Crook
Chris Wiggins: Doctor Hardy
Tedde Moore: Mrs. Lees
Peter Jonfield: William Slade
Roy Lansford: Sir Thomas Spivey
Catherine Kessler: Carrie
Ron Pember: Makins

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