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Inspector Morse - Promised Land
Inspector Morse - Promised Land
Actors: John Thaw, Kevin Whately, Colin Dexter, James Grout, Peter Woodthorpe
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2003     1hr 43min

When the case against the abingdon gang comes under scrutiny morse & lewis must travel to australia to locate their prime informant who was resettled there in exchange for the information he provided the police. What morse...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John Thaw, Kevin Whately, Colin Dexter, James Grout, Peter Woodthorpe
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Bfs Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/04/2003
Original Release Date: 02/04/1988
Theatrical Release Date: 02/04/1988
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Morse in God's Own Country?
Junglies | Morrisville, NC United States | 03/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Promised land begins, rather unpromisingly, with Morse and Strange observing a funeral and identifying in the grand tradition of detective movies the villains. A nod to the old Thaw series, the Sweeney, the show continues in this vein for a while as the boundaries are established, of getting the final villains, the possibility of a gang's release.Morse is ordered to revisit a supergrass to try to uncover evidence which would resolve both the issues. The snitch has begun a new life in the equivalent of the witness protection scheme so everything appears to be straightforward.On the eve of their departure, Lewis is more than a little miffed at having to forego his vacation, a burglary occurs at the local freesheet newspaper and in the grand Holmesian tradition, nothing is stolen.Off our intrepid heroes set for Lewis to discover that the person they are visiting was transplanted to Australia.There are some spectacular shots of the countryside which dwarf the car that they are driving and which serves to give a sense of perspective on the vastness of the country. In a vignette Morse discovers that he has not brought his beloved opera tape with him to play on the long drive. Lewis, searching for an alternative discovers country music, Australian style, on the radio. This again underscores the notion of Australia as a new country shaking off her connections to Britain.On arriving at their destination the sterotypical portrayal of Australian men as boorish, gambling, womenisers is presented in a scene where Morse and Lewis venture into the local bar. In a very funny moment, Lewis orders a beer while Morse contents himself with an orange juice - a reversal of the usual position - which moves on to a condemnation by Morse of non-real ale and a perception by the locals that Morse is possibly homosexual.The plot develops with a mysterious stranger driving a camper, the stoolie's wife is both hostile and yet welcoming. Her husband has disappeared, nothing new in that, and Morse and Lewis expend considerable energies in the search.As the programme develops the stereotypical views of the country and it's people are challenged and they are shown to be warm, sociable, and open minded.In the conclusion, in front of the Sydney Opera House, Lewis has resolved his issues by remaining in Australia to be joined by his wife. Morse is left in solitude with his ticket to the opera, a tragic figure who is unable to articulate his feelings.This Morse does not have the usual twists and turns and in many ways is one of the most approachable of the shows. Regardless it is still terrific entertainment and well worth the five stars."
"You know what they say about funerals. Someone always catc
Mary Whipple | New England | 02/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the best of the Inspector Morse series (from the fifth series, 1991), Promised Land is also atypical. Here most of the action takes place in New South Wales, Australia, and there is almost no music, though there is a terrific photo of Morse climbing the steps to the famed Sydney Opera House in the final scene. As always, the photography is outstanding, and anyone who has not been to New South Wales is in for a rare treat, as the visions of the countryside make this seem, indeed, the Promised Land.

Morse and Sgt. Lewis go to Hereford, NSW, after Peter Matthews, convicted and sent to prison on the strength of testimony from Morse's "supergrass," Kenny Stone, dies of AIDS while in a London jail. (In a classic British irony, Kenny the "supergrass" is now running a lawnmower repair shop.) Matthews's mother has always stated that Peter was at home with her at the time of a robbery/killing, and an investigation into Matthews's conviction, one of Morse's biggest triumphs, is underway, inspired by controversy stirred by the press.

Morse wants to re-interview Kenny Stone and his wife about their testimony regarding the driver of the getaway car. Kenny is now living under an assumed identity as Mike Harding, resident of a small town in New South Wales. Morse's arrival is greeted coldly by everyone. Stone/Harding is missing, his wife is obviously lying whenever she is interviewed about his whereabouts, and his business is in jeopardy. Someone has tracked him to this remote location and has threatened him and the family. The family believes that Morse has revealed information to someone dangerous. The local police resent Morse's presence--and, indeed, the presence of all Brits in the area.

When the teenage daughter of Harding is kidnapped, the relationship of Harding's wife with a local police officer, combined with Harding's own disappearance and the reasons for it, come under scrutiny. Morse and a gunman meet in a High Noon-type showdown for a grand finale. Here the viewer learns even more about the close-to-the-vest Inspector Morse and his feelings about law and his own responsibility for enforcing it. As always, the production values are outstanding, and this episode, unified from start to dramatic finish, carries a huge emotional punch, as Morse deals with the aftereffects of a conviction from ten years past. n Mary Whipple
Very good episode taking place on location in New South Wale
Ignacio Litardo | Capital, Buenos Aires, Argentina | 04/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

This TV film should be required reading for those who thinking that "going out to a small town may be heaven". The way resilient Karen, her son Dave, the cheeky Sergeant and finally the wry Detective Inspector treat Morse and Lewis makes me wonder how would an average Australian react to anybody really different from them... Unexpectedly, it made me value my home country!

It was an excellent way to pick up some slang and "national mores"!
Check Morse's opinionated bright take on their "folk music" (as compared to Lewis', always more "down to earth"). Or his reason for taking "orange juice" (that seems to draw everybody's attention).
The way they gather around the "Australian Derby" (Lewis is of course more knowledgeable). The many uses of a camper, the many ways they realize they are outsiders; the pettiness of "jurisdiction" instead of focusing on Justice. Of course Lewis gets to understand the "social codes" so much better than Morse, who seems a bit more baffled than usual, and grouchy as always (that's why we like him, right :)?).

The best of course was Morse's philosophical opinion about the "psychological need" for "Australia", as a way to "start again".
The chat about God was a bit artificial to my taste, though Morse' plea: "please don't talk like an Australian!" and the face of the pool's bartender when he pretends to order wine are priceless.

I liked the way they "complemented each other", even if they didn't acknowledge it...
Like when Lewis tries to "make friends" with the family, gathering valuable information while comforting them, a job Morse wouldn't be able to pull :). Or when Robbie goes drinking with Humpries (he of all people) and, again, gets a missing piece from the horse's mouth.

As "SummerHoliday", an Aussie IMDB reviewer stated, don't feel awful if you don't get all the "threads" from a first viewing (specially if English is not your mother tongue!).
I felt it confirmed what I thought about Australia: a harsh land, tough people, specially with "foreigners", and beautiful for those who like nature.
Personally I love England, Europe, "urban life" :)!

I think the ending was contrived, too "elegant", and perhaps a tad "prudish". And the "western homage" was totally unnecessary...
Besides that, the 2 hours came by pretty quickly. Overall, it was much better than, for instance, "Fat chance" (from the same year).
On a personal note, I liked the dry beauty of "Vanessa Patterson". Pity she didn't work much, it seems.

Two Amazon reviewers, "William J. Thor (Florida) and Mary Whipple (New England)" indulge into some spoilers, whereas "jingles_sunderland (Morrisville, NC United States)" shows considerable knowledge of literature's trappings.

Overall, one of the best! No wonder it was one of Thaw's favorites!
(Thanks to another Amazon reviewer, Jason Russell (Spanish Fork, UT United States)"
Der Rosenkavalier
William J. Thor | Vero Beach | 08/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Promised Land is Australia and provides a very different episode for Morse and Lewis. The purpose of their trip is to verify two parties in the witness protection program maintain their assumed identities they acquired in a UK related bank robbery. Lewis is about to go on holiday and is none too keen to make this trip, while Morse is ready to go and has already acquired tickets for the Sydney Opera's performance of Der Rosenkavalier and when he discovers he has neglected to bring the cassette tapes with him he becomes rather upset. A very dear friend of Morse is killed during the bank robbery, which sets Morse on a course of revenge - leading to his arrest of the wrong get-away driver who subsequently dies in prison of Aids. The rest of the gang are in jail and the two (husband and wife) who rolled over on the wrong driver are having their marital problems in Australia. This is a rather convoluted plot and must be seen more than once to piece it all together. In the closing seen, Lewis is having his wife fly over to spend two weeks exploring the "down under" while Morse is seen climbing the stairs of the Sydney Opera House to the strains of the final duet of Der Rosenkavalier just before his flight back to the UK. One viewing of this entry yields three stars - a second viewing and a "reach" barely touches four stars.