Murder by Decree (1979)



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Movie Info

Sherlock Holmes is once again on the case, this time looking into the murder spree committed by Jack the Ripper. The canny detective (Christopher Plummer) and his resolute sidekick Watson (James Mason) investigate a series of killings focusing on London prostitutes and find a government cover-up behind much of the case.

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Christopher Plummer
as Sherlock Holmes
James Mason
as Dr. John H. Watson
Donald Sutherland
as Robert Lees
David Hemmings
as Inspector Foxborough
Anthony Quayle
as Sir Charles Warren
Frank Finlay
as Inspector Lestrade
Geneviève Bujold
as Annie Crook
John Gielgud
as Prime Minister
Susan Clark
as Mary Kelly
Roy Lansford
as Sir Thomas Smiley
Peter Jonfield
as William Slade
Tedde Moore
as Mrs. Lees
Ron Pember
as Makins
Ken Jones
as Dock Guard
June Brown
as Elizabeth Stride
Hilary Sesta
as Catherine Eddowes
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Critic Reviews for Murder by Decree

All Critics (8)

One of the more imaginative Sherlock Holmes films.

Aug 12, 2015 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

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

Mar 13, 2010 | Full Review…

May be my favorite Sherlock Holmes movie.

Dec 17, 2009 | Full Review…

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.

Apr 6, 2006 | Full Review…

A cool premise executed well

Feb 13, 2004 | Rating: 4/5

Murder by Decree is spiffy entertainment for lovers of good mystery stories.

Jan 27, 2004 | Full Review…

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
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
Danny Rovira

Super Reviewer

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

Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood

Super Reviewer


Solid Sherlock Holmes tale starring the great Christopher Plummer and James Mason as the tag-team of Holmes & Watson! An interesting tale as it involves the famous Jack The Ripper murders. Check it out if you have that Sherlock bug from the Ritchie/Downey version!

James Bond, Jr.
James Bond, Jr.

Super Reviewer

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