Murder by Decree (1979)


No critic reviews yet...


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The murders by the infamous British criminal, Jack the Ripper, catch the attention of Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer), but he does not receive the expected call from Scotland Yard because he is being purposefully excluded from the investigation. Instead, Robert Lees (Donald Sutherland), a psychic who volunteered information to the police about the murders, provides the Great Detective with the necessary incitement to action. As the murders proceed, it becomes clear to all concerned that it … More

Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: ,
Written By: Arthur Conan Doyle, John Hopkins
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 21, 2003


as Sherlock Holmes

as Dr. John H. Watson

as Robert Lees

as Inspector Foxborough

as Sir Charles Warren

as Inspector Lestrade

as Annie Crook

as Prime Minister

as Mary Kelly

as Sir Thomas Smiley

as William Slade

as Dr. Harding

as Mrs. Lees

as Makins

as Dock Guard

as Elizabeth Stride

as Catherine Eddowes
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Murder by Decree

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

A fond homage to the heyday of Hammer Studio, and a canny transmuting of Victorian Britannia to the tail end of the politicized '70s

Full Review… | March 13, 2010

May be my favorite Sherlock Holmes movie.

Full Review… | December 17, 2009
Combustible Celluloid

Plummer and Mason together make one of cinema's great -- certainly the most touching -- Holmes-Watson teams. Ripperologists will be pleased by how faithful the script is to historical incidents and persons involved.

Full Review… | April 6, 2006

Audience Reviews for Murder by Decree


Decently exciting film for 1979. Christopher Plummer delivers a strong and subtle performance, but cannot hold a candle to Robert Downey, Jr.'s Holmes.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

An intelligent well-plotted suspense thriller beautifully directed by the late Bob Clark, in which Sherlock Holmes brilliantly played by Christopher Plummer and his associate Dr. Watson, the late great veteran actor James Mason in a deliciously sly performance investigates the gruesome murders of Jack the Ripper in London circa 1888 and discovers a mass conspiracy to protect the killer. Notable supporting performances from David Hemmings, Susan Clark, Anthony Quayle, John Gielgud, Frank Finlay, Donald Sutherland and Genevieve Bujold in standout performance as Annie Crook. The period recreation is flawless. One of the best and most original Sherlock Holmes films ever made. Highly Recommended.

Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer

It was a fun watch. It reminded me of From Hell.

Marion Ravenwood

Super Reviewer

Murder by Decree Quotes

– Submitted by Brendan Z (3 years ago)

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