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Sherlock Holmes is drawn into the case of Jack the Ripper who is killing prostitutes in London's East End. Assisted by Dr. Watson, and using information provided by a renowned psychic, Robert Lees, Holmes finds that the murders may have its roots in a Royal indiscretion and that a cover-up is being managed by politicians at the highest level, all of whom happen to be Masons. Homes races to save the life of Annie Crook who has been forcibly incarcerated in an insane asylum and that of her friend Mary Kelly, in whom she has entrusted her secret.
Sherlock Holmes unveils the secrecy of Jack the Ripper
Also Known As:
Sherlock Holmes and Saucy Jack
Title: Murder By Decree
Release Date: February 09, 1979
Runtime: 124 mins
All Genres: Crime, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Country: UK, Canada
IMDB Rating: 7.1
Brimstone Pit Rating: 8.1 - (Rate This Horror Movie)
Category: Horror Movies Starting With M
MPAA Rating: PG
Christopher Plummer ...Sherlock Holmes
James Mason ...Dr. John H. Watson
David Hemmings ...Inspector Foxborough
Susan Clark ...Mary Kelly
Anthony Quayle ...Sir Charles Warren
John Gielgud ...Prime Minister Lord Salisbury
Frank Finlay ...Inspector Lestrade
Donald Sutherland ...Robert Lees
Genevieve Bujold ...Annie Crook
Chris Wiggins ...Doctor Hardy
Tedde Moore ...Mrs. Lees (as Teddi Moore)
Peter Jonfield ...William Slade
Roy Lansford ...Sir Thomas Spivey
Catherine Kessler ...Carrie
Ron Pember ...Makins
June Brown ...Anne Chapman
Ken Jones ...Dock Guard
Terry Duggan ...Danny
Hilary Sesta ...Catherine Eddowes
Anthony May ...Lanier
Betty Woolfe ...Mrs. Dobson
Iris Fry ...Elizabeth Stride
Geoffrey Russell ...Home Secretary Henry Matthews
Peggy Ann Clifford ...Lees' Housekeeper
Ann Mitchell ...Jane
Katherine Stark ...Molly
Elaine Ives Cameron ...Ellen
Stella Courtney ...Betty
Judy Wilson ...Emily
Roy Patterson ...Carroll
» [more cast members]
Robert A. Goldston
Arthur Conan Doyle
Murder By Decree Horror Film Trailer 1
"God Save the Queen"
More Movie Taglines:
- Sherlock Holmes unveils the secrecy of Jack the Ripper
- clue by clue
- murder by murder.
- The Jack the Ripper Murders. Sherlock Holmes lifts the veil of secrecy, corruption and terror at the heart of the throne of England itself. Clue by clue... Murder by murder...
- Sherlock Holmes hunts his deadliest adversary... The madman known as Jack the Ripper!
- Can the genius of Sherlock Holmes stop the terror of Jack the Ripper?
- Sherlock Holmes: We've unmasked madmen, Watson, wielding scepters. Reason run riot. Justice howling at the moon.
Sherlock Holmes: You create allegiance above your sworn allegiance to protect humanity. You shall not care for them, or acknowledge their pain. There lies the madness.
Sherlock Holmes: Watson, what are you doing? Dr. John H. Watson: I'm trying to corner the last pea on my plate. Dr. John H. Watson: [Holmes squashes the pea] You squashed my pea. Sherlock Holmes: Well, now you've got it cornered. Dr. John H. Watson: Yes but squashing a fellow's pea. Sherlock Holmes: Just trying to help. Dr. John H. Watson: I didn't want it squashed, I don't like it that way - I like it whole so that you can feel it pop when you bite down on it. Sherlock Holmes: Sorry, I wasn't thinking.
Sir Charles Warren: [Angrily] Don't play games with me, Holmes! You're running with the foxes, and you know their colors well!
Sherlock Holmes: [to a sleeping Watson] The games afoot! No time to lose!
- Frank Finlay also played Inspector Lestrade in A Study in Terror (1965), another film that pitted Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper. Both films also featured Anthony Quayle in a supporting role.
The Masonic signs Holmes makes to the Chief Inspector are: the Duegard of the Entered Apprentice (right hand palm down over left hand palm up), the Sign of the Entered Apprentice (drawing the right hand from left to right across the throat), a variation of the Real Grip of a Master Mason(the handshake with the thumb and little finger extended), and finally the Sign of a Fellow Craft (drawing the right hand across the body from the left breast to the right hip). The Signs all refer to the penalties associated with the divulging of the Order's secrets to outsiders, i.e., having the throat slit and the chest opened and the heart torn out. The Duegard refers to the gesture of holding the Bible during the initiation ritual in the left hand, with the right resting upon it.
Peter O'Toole was originally cast as Sherlock Holmes, and Laurence Olivier was cast as Dr. Watson. But the two actors had not worked well together in the past, and were unable to overcome their differences for this film.
The lavish funeral given Catherine Eddowes in Murder by Decree seems to contradict the extreme poverty in which she lived. The cathedral is filled and a long procession of mourners files in to the services. Bagpipers in uniform play and a very expensive hearse is seen covered with flowers. Although neither Eddowes nor John Kelly, her common-law husband of seven years, had any resources, the funeral expenses were paid by Mr. G. Hawke, an undertaker, for reasons that are not clear.
One of the last actors cast was James Mason. Director Bob Clark had to travel to Spain, where Mason was shooting another picture, to meet with him. Mason agreed to play Watson if he could make him a serious character, not the "silly ass" buffoon character which was the rule. Mason rewrote two sequences including the famous "pea scene."
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Rating: 8.1 out of 10.0 - 71 votes cast total
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