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Dandelion Dead
Dandelion Dead
Actors: Michael Kitchen, Sarah Miles, David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Peter Vaughan
Director: Mike Hodges
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2002     3hr 23min

England 1921. The serenity of a small country town is about to be shattered by a shockiing revelation about one of its leading citizens. A family will be ruined. A private matter will become a case of great public interest...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Michael Kitchen, Sarah Miles, David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Peter Vaughan
Director: Mike Hodges
Creators: Gerry Fisher, Malcolm Cooke, Patrick Harbinson, Sarah Wilson, Michael Chaplin
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Hbo Home Video
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/27/2002
Original Release Date: 10/30/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 10/30/1994
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 3hr 23min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Nina E.
Reviewed on 7/6/2015...
This is a extra long playing single sided DVD. There is a part 2 on the DVD. It would be easy to think you watched the whole movie, so make certain you let the entire DVD play, even if you think the story ended, there is more. You will be very pleasantly surprised. Enjoy Michael Kitchen, and his fantastic acting, in this story. This will compel you and you will enjoy the English countryside in the background. I am not going to spoil the story or give away the many twists and turns you will enjoy.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Kendra M. (KendraM) from NASHVILLE, TN
Reviewed on 3/6/2008...
Spoiler alert:

This is a two part movie. We watched the first part yesterday and the second part this evening. It was riveting from start to finish. The first part really reels the viewer in with the gorgeous scenery, charming atmosphere, lovely costumes, and English gents saying "Jolly good" and "Cheerio". What fun! However, the plot is quite a bit darker which is why the film is so good. Set against this beautiful backdrop, the charming Herbert Armstrong decides to murder his wife. And, even though I am always one to side with the victims rather than the perpetrator, this is one time I would say the wife had it coming.

Oh, she was horrible! And, he was just wonderful. She was rude, unloving, and seemed to only have her self-interest at heart. When he'd make overtures to her to talk about their issues she'd rebuff him in the nastiest way possible. He wasn't milquetoast, though-- he seemed to have quite a bit of depth under that placid demeanor. She actually had the nerve to interrupt him at a tennis tournament to tell him to get home for dinner and that it was his bath night!

(This movie is based on true events and, from what I've read, the depictions of these characters were true to life: http ://w w w.stephen-stratford.co.uk/hr_armstrong.htm)

Consequently, we empathize with Armstrong and don't mind when she drinks her arsenic-laced tea and cocoa. It's exciting to see Armstrong come out of his shell and be actually happy (while she's ill) because we've grown to care about HIM and understand how horrible the wife made his life and the children's lives.

In the second part, though, we change our minds completely about Herbert. He's no longer just a charming happy guy freed from living with an evil shrew-- he's now selfish and unscrupulous. Realizing he had an easy time killing his wife, mind you, so now this has become an option for a business rival.

Had he not attempted this other crime, he would have gotten away with his wife's murder.

I don't usually like true crime films. This falls into the genre, I guess, but it's really a wonderful drama. Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War, To Play the King) is perfect and very versatile-- much more than I realized. Everyone in this was just excellent, as was the script and direction.

By the end, the viewer really does want Armstrong to get his comeuppance, but the entire chain of events is so very sad. There are no happy endings for anyone.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

ABSORBED
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 10/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Dandelion Dead" is a really riveting presentation. It kind of sneaked up on me. At first, I found myself just enjoying the recreation, on screen, of a very idyllic time (1920) and place (small country town) with the seemingly gentle and harmless character of Major Herbert Armstrong played superbly by Michael Kitchen along with his most irritating wife wonderfully (and surprisingly for me) played by Sarah Miles. The next thing I was aware of, I was completely absorbed in this murder/mystery.

"Dandelion Dead" is NOT a "who done it?" From the very beginning, I was fully aware that the Major had poisoned his harpy of a wife. (in all honesty, to me, if anyone "had it coming" it was she-what a B....!) The "mystery/suspense" is how is the major going to get caught with justice prevailing. At first, it DOES appear that he has gotten away with murder. Believe me, by that time in the film, I WAS HOOKED.

For a very engrossing "murder/mystery", buy this DVD
"
Riveting True Crime Drama
Kendra | 03/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Spoiler alert:

This is a two part movie. We watched the first part yesterday and the second part this evening. It was riveting from start to finish. The first part really reels the viewer in with the gorgeous scenery, charming atmosphere, lovely costumes, and English gents saying "Jolly good" and "Cheerio". What fun! However, the plot is quite a bit darker which is why the film is so good. Set against this beautiful backdrop, the charming Herbert Armstrong decides to murder his wife. And, even though I am always one to side with the victims rather than the perpetrator, this is one time I would say the wife had it coming.

Oh, she was horrible! And, he was just wonderful. She was rude, unloving, and seemed to only have her self-interest at heart. When he'd make overtures to her to talk about their issues she'd rebuff him in the nastiest way possible. He wasn't milquetoast, though-- he seemed to have quite a bit of depth under that placid demeanor. She actually had the nerve to interrupt him at a tennis tournament to tell him to get home for dinner and that it was his bath night!

(This movie is based on true events and, from what I've read on other sites (look up Major Herbert Armstrong), the depictions of these characters were very true to life.)

Consequently, we empathize with Armstrong and don't mind when she drinks her arsenic-laced tea and cocoa. It's exciting to see Armstrong come out of his shell and be actually happy (while she's ill) because we've grown to care about HIM and understand how horrible the wife made his life and the children's lives.

In the second part, though, we change our minds completely about Herbert. He's no longer just a charming happy guy freed from living with an evil shrew-- he's now selfish and unscrupulous. Realizing what an easy time he had killing his wife, he now considers murder as an option for dealing with his business rival.

Had he not attempted this other crime, he would have gotten away with his wife's murder.

I don't usually like true crime films. This falls into the genre, I guess, but it's really a wonderful drama. Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War, To Play the King) is very versatile-- much more than I realized. Everyone in this was just excellent, as was the script and direction.

By the end, the viewer really does want Armstrong to get his comeuppance, but the entire chain of events is so very sad. There are no happy endings for anyone.

The disc has few extras-- bios of the main cast and a little silly quiz.

ADDENDUM: I recently read The Hay Poisoner by Martin Beales. Beales believes Armstrong is innocent and presents evidence to attempt to prove his case. If you really liked this movie and are interested in this case, you might want to read that book, as well. It was also published under the title Dead Not Buried. But, both titles are the exact same book."
A DELICIOUS DELIGHT FROM BEGINNING TO END
Timothy C. Wingate | Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA | 01/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Like the other review I supremely enjoyed this drama. It is not just a murder-mystery but a study of jealousy and small-town crises and scandals. All three main actors are superb - especially David Thewliss - and Sarah Miles is entirely convincing as the embittered and repressed and bitchy matriarch of the family. Would not any husband wish to do away with such a harpy?

The recreation of the small English village is spot on and although it is long - over three hours - the time speeds by effortlessly.

I highly recommend this drama and it will give you hours of delicious entertainment and intrigue.

Timothy Wingate OTTAWA CANADA"