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Time for Murder
Time for Murder
Actors: Patrick Allen, Jane Asher, Claire Bloom, Judy Campbell, Charles Dance
Directors: David Carson, Patrick Lau, Brian Parker, Brian Mills
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2008     5hr 9min

A rare, six-course feast for British mystery connoisseurs In original screenplays specially commissioned for this series, Fay Weldon, Antonia Fraser, Gordon Honeycombe, Frances Galleymore (the novel Widow Maker), Michael R...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Patrick Allen, Jane Asher, Claire Bloom, Judy Campbell, Charles Dance
Directors: David Carson, Patrick Lau, Brian Parker, Brian Mills
Genres: Indie & Art House, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/03/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/1985
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1985
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 5hr 9min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Playhouse 90 British style
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 06/21/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"In the spirit of Playhouse 90 we have a collection of six stories by top (weird but I know these writers and they are top) are played by top or popular British actors. Each story is unique; even if you think you recognize the formula you may be surprised at the intricacy and well entertained by trying to figure out who done it.

I will tell the names of the stories, all filmed in 1985, but not their content as I do no want to inadvertently gives you any clues. I am not sure they did not use the same environment to film each story.

"Bright Smiler" by Fay Weldon. A burnt-out writer goes to a spa for a rest and some good food. Sorry it is not that kind of spa; exercise, purging, and a masseuse with something behind her Bright Smile. If it seems a bit talkie at first just hangs in there and all will be revealed. Renée Asherson Plays the over influenchial mother.

"The Murders at Lynch Cross" by Frances Galleymore. This time it is Lynch Cross Moorland Hotel in Yorkshire and of course the odd collection of guests including Dr. David Warreck (John Castle) and servants is snowed in. They find that they all are associated with a previous event. Looks like for some or all this is their last event. If you are thinking of Agatha Christies "And Then There Were None" forget it.

"Mister Clay, Mister Clay" by Antonia Fraser. One of the teachers that may turn up dead is Joan Hickson, who plays Miss Marple in many Agatha Christie movies; she was also good in "The Man Who Never Was" (1956). It is a new school year and boys being boys (now lets not think of "Lord of the Flies") taunt the teacher Mr. Clay with "who are you going to kill today?" They may just find out.

"This Lightning Always Strikes Twice" by Michael Robson. Claire Bloom (who played Felicia in "The Illustrated Man" was married to Rod Steiger) plays the mother. Very rich parents bring in a tutor for their daughter. Now we all know what inevitably happens when tutors are thrown together with rich cute daughters. That just may be their plan. The tutor resists temptation and someone(s) dies.

"The Thirteenth Day of Christmas" by Gordon Homeycombe. There is always a dud or bad apple in every anthology collection. This starts out and finishes depressing. Elizabeth Spriggs was much better in "Midsomer Murders".

"Dust to Dust" by Charles Wood. Michael Jayston meets his match. Will he be ax-cepted?. Lots of talk. And the truth about thugs. The series really went down hill."
British mystery from the age of video.
Michael P. Dobey | colorado springs | 10/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This series was created back in the mid-eighties when the british television was still shot on video tape. However they really did a
good job of perserving this series. It looks fantastic with no lines or
cut outs all older tv shows should look this good. This series obviously disappointed the other reviewers who expected a traditional type of mystery miniseries. This is a more eclectic and dry approach to mystery that is very character driven. The performances are dead on and reflect this style of british stiff upper lift behaviour that the writers wanted to present. The writers were creating stories that even to me are not as
enjoyable as a straight detective/cop story or the wonderful giallo
( murder mystery movies) films from italy. So I understand why people who buy this expecting those type of stories would be disappointed.
ALthough the women don't have to look pretty in a mystery to make it good. Most people are just average looking. But if you go into this expecting stories that are different and written by writers who are not
in the mystery genre but who are reflecting psychological aspects of characters then you might like it. These are murder stories though and that's true. That is the key here. These are stories about murder ( including self murder) , not traditional mystery genre episodes. They are not uplifting and are about murders, so it was indeed a "time for murder" when they created this series back in 80's. If you go into this series with that type of expectation you won't be sorry."
meg | santa monica, california | 02/11/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"An uneven collection, to be sure. Apparently the producers had a notion of a mystery and/or thriller series with themes of strange relationships between parents and their adult children, or family secrets and madness, accompanied by the crime of the series title, and assigned three male and three female name-brand writers. The teleplays all appear to be written for a stage as much as a television episode -- there's a single location in each, whether a country house, a home in town, or the boarding school of Antonia Fraser's episode.

I'm giving three stars to disc 1 for Fay Weldon's chilling piece. Some might see it as feminist didacticism, but it doesn't take extraordinary empathy to identify with the kind of insanity which can descend on somebody who feels used and abandoned. The other episodes on this disc are Fraser's fatal twist on faculty intrigue, and a pastiche of old dark house-meets-And Then There Were None.

The second disc leads with a fairly weak episode with a mostly strong cast -- including Claire Bloom, Trevor Howard in his sad and sodden old age, Charles Dance and quite a young Amanda Root. The disc continues with an alternately shrill and dreary horror story featuring schizophrenia as a boogeyman, and ends with a satisfyingly creepy black widow tale starring the excellent Patricia Hodge, which earns my third star for disc 2."