Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Cadfael - One Corpse Too Many|
Actors: Derek Jacobi, Sean Pertwee, Peter Copley, Michael Culver, Julian Firth
Director: Graham Theakston
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Acorn Media Release Date: 01/06/2004
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One of the best of the series.
Atheen M. Wilson | Mpls, MN United States | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy a good murder mystery of the classical type, and the Brother Cadfael series is particularly good. The author Ellis Peters (Edith Pargiter, 1913-1995), like Agatha Christie, Nagio Marsh and Dorothy Sayers, was popular during the mid-20th Century and wrote prolifically during that time. There are some 20 Cadfael books. The film One Corpse Too Many, based upon the book of the same name, was the first one I saw on Public TV. It hooked me irrevocably. The setting is incredibly authentic and colorful. The different orders of society: nobleman, servant, military man, tradesman, artisan, abbott, monk, and priest are carefully wrought to produce a period piece with more detail and clearer dialogue than a Shakespearean play. It would be a wonderful way of introducing young people to history. The setting of the story is 12th Century England, a period of particular turmoil. Henry I had died without a legitimate male heir, and he had designated his daughter Matilda as his successor, binding his nobles by oath to support her. Although many of them did, including her very able half brother, an illegitimate son of Henry made an Earl by his father, many of them threw their support behind her cousin, Steven. Matilda, or Maud as she is referred to, was a granddaughter of William the Conqueror and no push over herself. She fought her cousin from a base in coastal France, where the family held land in fief of the King of France and where marriage alliances had placed her as wife of Geoffery, the Duke of Anjou. With her Norman support in France and her loyal factions in England, she made enough of a threat to Steven's rule to ultimately obtain a guarantee of succession to the English throne for her son Henry, ultimately Henry II. Until that time, warfare turned most of England into a battle ground and life for everyone a matter of ceaseless uncertainty. Added to this was the rancour still apparent in the social divisions between the largely Saxon population and their Norman rulers. The fall of the Saxon monarchy was only a hundred years previous and hostility still existed.Cadfael, the central character of the series, is a Dominican monk and herbalist, and Dereck Jacobi is the perfect personification of him. He has a presence which suggests strength, wisdom, and compassion. Unlike most of the other brothers, Cadfael had spent most of his life in the secular world where he participated in the crusades, had adventures, fell in and out of love, and took his order after finding the ways of the world wanting. He comes from a different culture, that of Wales, and sees that of England through an outsider's more objective eyes. His experience with life and the motives of men and his keen awareness of detail makes him the perfect sleuth, and when murder is committed, the civil authorities are more than willing to have him clear things up for them. In One Corpse Too Many, probably the best of the series, the forces of Queen Maude and those of Steven clash. The castle and Maude's supporters are captured, but not until the leaders of the rebellion make their escape. Steven vows to have them, and puts the castle's owner to torture to extract the information from him. When he refuses, Steven puts all the defenders to death. The monks of the Abbey having asked the king's leave to bury the victims, request Cadfael, who has "experience in these matters" to take over the detail of returning the bodies to the families. He agrees but discovers that there is "one corpse too many." Once Steven is convinced that a murder unpunished will reflect badly upon the king's justice, he commissions Cadfael to discover the villain. This is the first time that the character of the nobleman Hugh Beringer (Eorin McCarthy) is introduced. In his attempt to win the trust of Steven, he is given a mission which places him athwart Cadfael. The two match wits with interesting outcomes. The end of the film is a fine display of trial by combat. A thoroughly real and well researched visit to the Middle Ages."
Derek Jacobi and cast bring Ellis Peters' novel to life.
Atheen M. Wilson | 04/09/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ONE CORPSE TOO MANY was the second novel in Ellis Peters' Cadfael series, but it was chosen to be the first adapted for television. The adaptation stays very faithful to the novel, which is actually a hinderance, as Cadfael solves the mystery through a stroke of luck more than sleuthing abilities. And yet the telefilm is well cast; Derek Jacobi is perfect as Cadfael, bringing all the qualities of the warrior-turned-monk into his performance. Also well-cast is Sean Pertwee (son of DOCTOR WHO's Jon Pertwee) as Hugh Beringer, a man who may or may not be Cadfael's ally. Other series regulars such as Michael Culver (as Brother Prior), Julian Firith (Brother Jerome), Michael Copley (Abbot Heribert), and even Mark Charnock (briefly, as a yet-unnamed Brother Oswain) all show up to get the CADFAEL series off to a steady, if unspectacular, beginning. END"
TWO HEADSTRONG ALLIES
Bonita L. Davis | 09/15/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Shrewsbury is engulfed in war and the abbey cannot ignore all that is going on with the suffering of the people. King Stephen has called for the execution and Christian burial of those he deems his enemies. Shrewsbury Abbey has the honor of preparing the dead. Brother Cadfael is the leader for this morbid task. Ninety-four are dead but he counts ninety-five. Something is wrong, for corpse ninety-five was not killed in the same way as his dead companions. Cadfael suspects murder and thus unravels the great mystery of who done it. You will encounter a cross dressing monk (transvestite?), betrayers left and right, a former colleague during Cadfael's soldiering days and the crafty Hugh Beringar. Master Hugh and Cadfael begin to lock horns. Who is the one more craftier and sly? Beringar does his best to out guess this unusual monk. For Cadfael is different from any monk that he's encountered. Cadfael is at his best in this entertaining video which mystery lovers will enjoy. By all means include this one in your video library."