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P.D. James - A Taste for Death
PD James - A Taste for Death
Actors: Roy Marsden, Wendy Hiller, Fiona Fullerton, Penny Downie, Avril Elgar
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2005     4hr 49min

When threatening letters arrive at his fashionable London home, prominent Government Minister Sir Paul Berowne calls his old friend Adam Dalgliesh for assistance.Berowne?s own household is a challenge. His exquisite wife m...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Roy Marsden, Wendy Hiller, Fiona Fullerton, Penny Downie, Avril Elgar
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/07/2005
Original Release Date: 05/21/1992
Theatrical Release Date: 05/21/1992
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 4hr 49min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
See Also:

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Movie Reviews

Excellent plot, great acting, clear transfer...
Dianne Foster | USA | 01/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ever wonder how the upper class in London lives? Seems they have family problems to match anyone of any class. Adam Dalgliesh or "AD" as he is known by his staff at New Scotland Yard often finds himself in the middle of an upper class family crises that has resulted in murder. Sometimes the murderer having killed once kills again. Sir Paul Berowne, a British MP, is an old school mate of Adam Dalgliesh. Berowne contacts Adam for a meeting where he shares his plans to pursue a "higher calling", leave government, and leave his old life behind As Dalgliesh's own father was a Church of England vicar, and Adam considered taking up a similar vocation at one time, it seems natural that Paul confides his plans in him. However, hours later when the MP is found dead in a local church basement, Dalgliesh is exceeding troubled. Was Berowne apprizing him that he was about to end his life by committing suicide as part of a bizarre ritual associated with his new pursuit? He appears to have been slaughtered by his assailant but offered no resistance. And, what about the "tramp" who appears to have been killed by the same weapon? Did they struggle and kill each other? On the other hand, Berowne had mentioned casually that he had been receiving threatening letters (a not uncommon occurrence for an MP), and that he had a mistress, and that he had told his wife he planned to leave his job and her. In A TASTE FOR DEATH the murderer kills and kills again. As Dalgliesh closes in, some of the victims experience terrifying moments. By the end of the tale, no less than six deaths are under investigation by New Scotland Yard, and the last few frames are horrifying for one member of Dalgliesh's police team. The cast of this mystery is loaded with wonderful familiar faces including the late Dame Wendy Hiller, Simon Ward, Fiona Fullerton and Penny Downie."
One of the best
E. Holmes | Seattle, WA USA | 03/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This along with 'Shroud for a Nightengale' is one of my favorite of the Dalgleish adaptations. The plot is gripping and leaves you always guessing what is and isn't relevant. Marsden is great here -- he shows a range of subtle facial expression that makes one wonder what his character might be thinking. The woman who plays Miskin is my favorite of the many actresses who have played her. In fact the whole casting is excellent and is a notch above many of the other Dalgleish adaptations."
Good British Mystery
wjd | 07/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Good Mystery performed by excellent British actors. It gets only 3 stars because of the awful audio. They must have found the original audio equipment used for "The Jazz Singer.""
Strange Bookends
Richard B. Schwartz | Columbia, Missouri USA | 08/22/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"A Taste for Death is one of P.D. James's classics and the plot and characters hold up in this film version. Dalgleish is investigating the death of a Tory M.P. and cabinet appointee whose death is staged to look as if it were a suicide. Curiously, the death occurs in a Paddington church and the M.P. is accompanied (in death) by an alcoholic tramp. Suspects abound. The M.P. had a mistress; his wife has a lover; that lover is sleazy; the wife has an equally sleazy brother; the cook/maid in the family house is angry and bitter; the house driver is an ex-Military man who has maintained his physical strength; the church altar lady is losing her faith; she is accompanied by a young boy who lives mostly on the streets because his mother is a prostitute; Special Branch has been investigating the M.P. and may have tried to put in some sort of fix at CID and, oh yes, the M.P.'s mother is an embittered atheist who long ago lost her husband and her son (who was previously engaged to the M.P.'s wife, who, I should have mentioned earlier, is pregnant). If that's not enough, the priest at the Paddington church thinks that he may have seen evidence of the stigmata on the M.P.'s wrists. Though plausibility is stretched, it all more or less works and the supporting roles are played expertly. Wendy Hiller plays the mother, Simon Ward the sleazy lover and Avril Elgar steals the show as the cook/maid.

Now about those bookends. The story begins with some outside scenes in which the sound is, literally, awful. All of the ambient noise (including the wind blowing into the microphone)drowns out the dialogue. This is amateurish in the extreme. The story ends with a storming-of-the-flat scene in which the British equivalent of a SWAT team converges, clumsily, on the apartment in which the killer is holding two individuals. The team is large enough to attack/defend an entire village, though it doesn't really succeed at its task. When the perp is frog-walked to a police vehicle it looks like three crazed sprinter/drunks trying to run and simultaneously hold each other up. Just prior to that scene Dalgleish mans a megaphone in an attempt to persuade the perp to throw down his arms and give up. The megaphone is held against the door and the resulting sound is ridiculous in the extreme. The overall result is comic and campy and undercuts the seriousness of the narrative.

Still and all, the video is worth watching, particularly for the supporting performances."