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The Moonstone
The Moonstone
Director: Robert Bierman
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Television, Mystery & Suspense
UR     2005     2hr 0min

Greg Wise (Sense and Sensibility) and Keeley Hawes (Karaoke) star in this sumptuous adaptation of Wilkie Collins' classic mystery, the first detective novel ever written. The Moonstone, a sacred Hindu diamond was stolen f...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Robert Bierman
Genres: Drama, Kids & Family, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Period Piece, Kids & Family, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: WGBH Boston
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/01/2005
Original Release Date: 11/02/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 11/02/1997
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 12
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Superb Adaptation of Good Old-Fashioned Detective Novel
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 10/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this video twice and found this is simply a superb adaptation of Wilkie Collins' classic novel, and the film succeeds not only in presenting the atomosphere of the original novel but in drawing the viewers into the complicated mystery about the missing stone, faith and betrayal, and secret love.

There are a lot of things in it, which a great mystery fans as well as avid readers of 19th century novels would relish; the brooding sinister-looking quicksand in the opening secne, a dashing hero and strong-willed heroine, a mysterious housemaid, and of course, the Moonstone, a cursed diamond which brings sudden unhappiness to a peaceful country house. As this beautiful diamond vanishes one night, a series of mysterious incidents ensues. Now enters the rose-loving detective Sgt. Cuff, and his investigation starts, but ... well, after that, please see what happens for yourself if you haven't read the origibal novel yet.

For those who have already read the novel, and know the plot from the beginning to the end, the way they adapted the original is so skillful that you will never feel disappointed. The spirit of Wilkie Collins' classic tale is preserved intact like the acclaimed Sherlock Holmes series featuring the late, great Jeremy Brett, and no unnecessary liberty was taken in the process of making it a film. Shot with visually fine production designs and based on good script which faithfully visualize the original, "The Moonstone" comes out as a winner, including first-rate cast. Greg Wise, after rather minor role in "Sense and Sensibility," portrays the likable hero with good acting, and Keeley Hawes is a standout as the lovely but independent heroine who is not afraid of having her own will (a kind of a woman Collins loved to portray). Minor characters are also given moments to shine, and even comic relief Miss Clack is no exception.

Of course, there are several changes done; for example, Mr. Candy is given another job of explaining something about the diamond, (which, by the way, he didn't do in the original novel), but those changes are all reasonable. And some scenes may look strange to the 21st century audiences (especailly how to locate the missing stone with some medical help), but after all the book was written more than 130 years ago, and we should accept these things as they are, shouldn't we?

So, to all fans of good, old-fahioned detective story and Victorian novels, this video is strongly recommended, and I hope you will enjoy watching it, as I did."
Well done haunting Wilkie Collins mystery film!
randomartco | Greater Washington D.C. area | 11/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"As always, a well-done film version of a mystery classic by Wilkie Collins: Keeley Hawes & Greg Wise were good choices for this film. The storyline is entertaining and keeps you guessing: this story is not as well known as some other classics, but is entertaining and well-written in its own right.

It deals with a precious jewel called the Moonstone, bequethed to a young woman by her uncle on his death: the moment the Moonstone comes into the house where the young lady, Rachel Verinder, lives with her aunt, chaos ensues. Rachel's childhood friend, now-grown Franklin Blake is the one delivering the stone: but mysterious Indians seem to follow the stone everywhere, and when it comes up missing, there seems to be no one to blame and Rachel refuses to point a figure. So who exactly has taken the Moonstone, and will it ever be restored to its rightful owner?!

For those of you worried about content: the first scene in the film shows a man in bed with a woman (they are not married), they are sleeping; there is a small amount of violence; a character ends up committing suicide in the film; there are some tense moments & some lying, all in all the content is fairly minimal.

If you like mysteries, check out this great hauntingly beautiful film version of Wilkie Collin's "The Moonstone"..."
Precious "Moonstone"
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Wilkie Collins's "Moonstone" was the earliest known detective novel, so it's inevitable that someone would have made a good adaptation of it: Suspense, superstitition, and suspicion are kept intact in the 1996 adaptation (soon to be on DVD). There are one or two casting flaws, but overall it is magnificently done.

During a battle in India, Colonel Sir John Herncastle stole the fabled Moonstone from a statue, and apparently brought down a curse on himself. Many years later, a young relative named Franklin Blake (Greg Wise) brings the Moonstone to the country manor of young Lady Julia (Patricia Hodge). But immediately things start to go wrong.

The Moonstone is stolen in the middle of the night, and everyone has an alibi. A mysterious band of Indian brahmins is hanging around. A house-maid, who is smitten with Franklin, commits suicide. And Lady Julia, who is suspected of stealing it herself, refuses to investigate further -- or to speak to Franklin. Desperate to know the truth, Franklin and the eccentric Sergeant Cuff (Antony Sher) try to unravel the mystery of the Moonstone....

Wilkie Collins wrote dozens of books and plays, but "Moonstone" is undoubtedly his best one. And for a Victorian-era novel, it's rather unprettified: drugs, mystical gems, conquerers, murder, and true love. It sounds like a bomb, but instead it's an entracing look at the dark side of that era of English history. The opening scene, where Franklin dreams of a murderous Sir John, is one of the most riveting (if a bit theatrical) scenes of the movie.

The darkness of the plot is in contrast to the beautiful surroundings -- lots of stately houses, ornate furniture and manicured gardens. Robert Bierman does an excellent job with the direction, slowly building up tension and suspicion. He does not skimp on personal details either, such as how the mysteries and crimes hang over everyone involved in the Moonstone.

Greg Wise is best known for his role as cad Willoughby in "Sense in Sensibility," but he shows here that he can carry a movie very well. His Franklin is a bewildered innocent of sorts, and Hodge makes a strong female counterpart, who loves Franklin but doesn't believe him. The only weak link is Sher, whose character is too self-consciously quirky.

The inspector is too weird to be likable, but otherwise "The Moonstone" is a mystery that is still fresh after more than a century. Entrancing, bizarre and beautiful."
GEORGE RANNIE | DENVER, COLORADO United States | 05/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The "Moon Stone" is a really good Victorian Detective story. Its setting, script and acting are all splendid. Each of the characters is portrayed by a great British character actor some that I've seen many times in other British presentations. I especially liked the detective as played by Antony Sher.

Anthony Sher plays a Sherlock Holmes type of detective that has been somewhat imitated down through the years-by Colombo, Frost, Morse, etc. He's a little cranky, somewhat disheveled and prone to idiosyncrasies (in his case humming and smelling Roses) but he, of course, gets the job done after some false leads.

I have not read the book; therefore, I won't do the comparison thing. Nevertheless, if you are into good detective stories (especially ones that are set in the Victorian era, infused with opium, mystery and quicksand plus with a quirky detective) buy this DVD. By the way, the picture quality is superb!.