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Julian Fellowes Investigates - A Most Mysterious Murder
Julian Fellowes Investigates - A Most Mysterious Murder
Actors: Julian Fellowes, David Schofield, Katrine De Candole, Virginia Beare, Alistair Freeland
Directors: Delyth Thomas, Dominic Santana, Michael Samuels
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2006     4hr 55min

Five real, unsolved murder cases are dramatized in a riveting new BBC series Julian Fellowes, an Oscar®-winning screenwriter (Gosford Park) and veteran actor (Monarch of the Glen), combines his talents in a BBC series t...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Julian Fellowes, David Schofield, Katrine De Candole, Virginia Beare, Alistair Freeland
Directors: Delyth Thomas, Dominic Santana, Michael Samuels
Creators: Julian Fellowes, Adam Kemp, Clare Alan, Richard Monks, Tina Pepler
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Love & Romance, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/30/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 4hr 55min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Fine new dramatised-documentary series from BBC... Good DVD
dooby | 07/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This new BBC series (2005) is a dramatised-documentary examining real-life unsolved murder cases, some dating back over a hundred years. The first season consists of 5 hour-long episodes, each examining a single murder. Julian Fellowes, the playwright (Oscar for Gosford Park screenplay) and actor (Monarch of the Glen), scripts the series and appears as presenter. He takes on the role of narrator and tour guide, setting the scene for the various murders, explaining the social contexts in which they occur and the interpersonal conflicts that lead to the crime. He pops up at crucial scenes, commenting on the action and the motives of the various participants. At the end of each episode he proposes his solution to the mystery. In essence this is a whodunnit based on real life unsolved cases. It is very much in the Agatha Christie vein and will likely appeal to fans of her mysteries. Each case comes with a plethora of possible suspects all with motives and opportunities. You may or may not agree with his solutions, but the stories are always fascinating and gripping.

The murders and the characters involved are a varied lot. It spans the whole spectrum of British society, from the lowest strata, to the middle class, to the highest ranks of the aristocracy. All are set in Britain except for the murder of the Earl of Errol which takes place on the vast, open plains of Kenya which in 1941 was still part of the British Empire and under threat from the German-Italian axis alliance.

The five episodes are in order:

The Case of Charles Bravo (1876) - The money-grubbing young barrister Charles Bravo marries a wealthy widow whose previous husband had died under suspicious circumstances. Charles Bravo turns out to be a wife-beater. When he winds up dead from antimony poisoning, suspicion falls on the wife. Others implicated include her long-time devoted lover Dr James Gully, her companion Mrs Cox and her former coachman whom the intemperate Charles had earlier sacked.

The Case of Rose Harsent (1902) - In the tight knit Methodist community in Peasenhall, a newly arrived young servant-girl, Rose Harsent begins a torrid affair with a married man and church reader. She is then found stabbed to death. It is revealed that she is pregnant. Was it her married lover, the jealous wife, a jealous boyfriend or some other aggrieved member of the community?

The Case of George Harry Storrs (1909) - The wealthy married industrialist George Harry Storrs has an affair with a Swiss Governess Maria Hohl. She ends up commiting suicide. Threatening letters appear against Storrs. He receives round-the-clock police protection. Storrs winds up dead anyway. Who killed him and why?

The Case of the Croydon Poisonings (1929) - Three members of a respectable middle-class family, all living along the same street, die one after the other. The first two deaths are incompetently put down to "natural causes" by the local quack. But the third starts to cause a scandal. Exhumations reveal arsenical poisoning in all three. Who among the remaining members or close associates was the murderer?

The Case of the Earl of Erroll (1941) - The 22nd Earl of Erroll is found murdered with a bullet through the head along the Nairobi-Ngong road at the outbreak of WW2. Was it the the cuckolded Sir Jock Broughton who pulled the trigger, or his young social-climbing wife? Or was it one of the Earl's many ex-lovers or their aggrieved husbands? Or was the indiscreet Earl a victim of a political assasination by British authorities?

Production quality is high with great attention paid to recreating the finer details of the various time periods portrayed. The original locales are used wherever possible. The final episode is shot in Kenya and it couldn't be a greater contrast to jolly old England. A fine series overall, although far too brief. The series is spread over 2 DVDs with the picture presented in its original 1.78:1 widescreen (enhanced for widescreen TV). Picture quality is fine with sharp images, accurate colours and inky blacks. Sound is in the original 2.0 Dolby Stereo Surround with clear dialogue throughout and deep rich bass, best heard during the music score. There is a half-hour long "behind-the-scenes" featurette, fairly detailed synopses of each of the five cases presented, a biography of Julian Fellowes and a picture gallery.


Note: There is an instance of post-coital nudity in the final episode. Very tastefully done but oddly incongruous for such a well-mannered BBC program."
Interesting....Really makes you wonder....
Awdrey Gorey | the World | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I truly enjoyed this series. Based on actual historical murder and mystery cases, the narrator - Julian Fellowes - presents evidence to support how events could have occured. I hope more are made, and soon!"
RIGHT ON TARGET
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 03/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The reviews to this 2 disc set of "A Most Mysterious Murder" are right on target. The five episodes in this presentation are superb in every way--great recreations, great scripts, great direction and great acting. These are not fictional stories (murders) but ones that really happened and remain unsolved to this day. The times, place and happenings are recreated superbly. The audience is "drawn in" to the circumstances leading to the murder(s). Julian Fellows then steps in with how, why and who he thinks did the dastardly deed. What a unique way of retelling these stories. I just hope there are future episodes in this series. It's really so very good!!"
Julian Fellowes Investigates
Beverley Strong | Australia | 04/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This boxed DVD is a set of two discs, the first disc containing 3 short movies and the second, 2 short movies. The stories are real, unsolved murders from the late 19th century up to 1941 and are all hosted by that very talented actor/writer, Julian Fellowes, who narrates the stories and, at the end of each of them, gives his very plausible explanation of the murders and also the logical murderers. He covers a range of social conditions from the very humble, through middle class and to the aristocracy, and shows that murder, crimes, greed and larceny are not restricted to any one class. It's an excellent series of true crime stories which make me hope to find some more."