The BBC drama that launched Mystery! on PBS While on a Pyrenees vacation in 1922, upright English gentleman Richard Chandos (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, Heroes) encounters the villainous Vanity Fair (Eileen Atki... more »ns, Cold Mountain). Mistress of the turreted Chateau Jezreel and leader of a motley band of criminals, she will inherit millions if she can force her stepdaughter to marry. Pitting his wits against this formidable adversary, Chandos determines to rescue the beautiful young woman. But Vanity Fair keeps one step ahead of him, a trick forever up her sleeve and murder in her heart. Based on the novel by Dornford Yates and adapted by Tom Sharpe (Wilt, Porterhouse Blue), the story unfolds in a series of twists and turns as sharp as the hairpin bends around which the protagonists hurl their luxury cars. Emmy®-winner Atkins and Golden Globe®-nominee McDowell play perfect foils in this highly entertaining thriller.« less
"Back in early 1979 PBS launched a new drama series called Mystery! The very first selection was She Fell Among Thieves, a BBC production that aimed to include every characteristic of a successful detective/mystery story that could be dreamed up: the mysterious house, the large and highly suspicious list of possible victims and perpetrators, the heroic detective, and the menacing main character, in this case a woman of unparalleled charm and menace. The production was meant to be over the top and a bit farcical, and it certainly succeeded. I remember laughing hysterically part of the time and using all my wits to comprehend the latest plot twist at others.
After thirty years She Fell Among Thieves is once again available. Snap it up at once. If you remember its first showing you'll find it has aged remarkably well. If this is your first time to see it, you're in for an incredible treat."
MYSTERY! CLASSIC SET IN 1922 & THE PYRENEES
Harold Wolf | Wells, IN United States | 05/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You would never guess that this presentation was first aired in 1978. It appears to be more on a level with 21st century mystery DVDs. The setting in the Pyrenees of SW Europe provides fantastic scenery and breathtaking vistas. But you best keep your wits about you, the plot is thickly woven, involving murder, forgery, and all sorts of illegal dealings. Costumes are as good as the setting.
The criminal action of the area seems to revolve around the Chateau Jegrell, an estate owned by mistress Vanity Fair (Eileen Atkins), the compliment of Cinderella's step-mother. she seeks a marriage to her step-daughter, Jenny (Karen Dotrice) because of vast sums of property and money involved through a will. She will force any man, by any means, upon Jenny, to get the money. If the marriage doesn't happen when Jenny becomes of age, just days away, Jenny gets the entire "pot of gold." A large group of assistants are aiding Vanity Fair, out of fear, as anyone going against her soon finds themselves buried.
The floating corpse of Elvin Candle, latest victim of the marriage-gone-bad scene, gets English gentleman, Richard Chandos (Malcolm McDowell) into action. He tries retrieving the corpse while fishing (what a scenic fishing hole) but only saves a shoe. He plays the macho man of the 20s, bent on solving the Candle mystery as well as save darling, Jenny, from Vanity Fair. He gets plenty of help himself, primarily through Mansel (Michael Jayston). No act of daring is to great for Chandos, the Rambo/Indiana Jones/007 of the Pyrenees for a time.
A very interesting climax and ending. "Thou shall not 'SPOIL'."
"The BBB drama that launched Mystery! on PBS" the box states. Why? A partial list of mysteries that also were from Mystery! include: "Poirot", "Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", "Miss Marple", "Foyle's War", "Inspector Morse", "Rumpole of the Bailey", and "The Wyvern Mystery" to only name a few. Fantastic company that "SHE FELL AMONG THIEVES" has fallen into. In 2008, former Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! united to form Masterpiece Mystery! This DVD has a pedigree in fine classic mystery.
SDH SUBTITLES. Some filmographies as bonus stuff."
It has been a long wait....
Robert Guttke | Minneapolis, Minnesota USA | 06/23/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't understand the Amazon credits listing of Judy Dench etc., since these are not the actors in this wonderful film.... the very first episode of PBS' MYSTERY! How many years did I listen to the audio tape I made of this program? Campy dialogue, wonderful music, remarkable acting and actors.... and remembering Vincent Price saying the screen writer took the original novel, its concept, and threw the rest away... the results were a wonderfully atmospheric period piece with tongue-in-cheek humor that is mostly supplied by the viewer. And Eileen Atkins steals the film as the most succulent villian... accompanied by the proper eerie moments or organ music in the score. One hell of an ending, too!"
K. Tuttle | Boise, ID United States | 11/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love period drama but this movie was more tongue in cheek than real drama. It sounded great but found it to be "overdone" in the acting and the presentation. I would recommend only for those who would enjoy a very unrealistic acting job. Not the worst by any means but not that fantastic."
Not sure what to expect
Jean M. | 09/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought this I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleased with the content. I play dvd's when I work and mostly listen to them but this I couldn't help but watch."