Murder by Decree

  • 12
  • Bob Clark (1978)
  • Can / UK
  • 118 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Rather than having Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson plod wearily around London, director Bob Clark gives them a surprisingly imaginative lift. Following a similar course to Stephen Knight's book The Final Solution, the film proposes politicians, freemasons and royalty as links to the Jack the Ripper murders. Such speculation is made with a fair degree of gothic credibility, even though the flabby plot wanders off up too many byways. Also, Donald Sutherland is not the best choice as a fruitcake visionary. Still, even during moments of slack, Christopher Plummer and James Mason interpret Holmes and Watson with plenty of heart.

Plot Summary

Period detective drama starring Christopher Plummer and James Mason. When a brutal killer begins murdering London prostitutes, Scotland Yard takes the unusual approach of employing a psychic to help them with their investigations. But Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are soon on the case.

Cast and crew


Sherlock Holmes
Christopher Plummer
Dr Watson
James Mason
Inspector Foxborough
David Hemmings
Sir Charles Warren
Anthony Quayle
Annie Crook
Geneviève Bujold
Inspector Lestrade
Frank Finlay
Prime Minister
John Gielgud
Mary Kelly
Susan Clark
Robert Lees
Donald Sutherland
Sir Thomas Smiley
Roy Lansford
William Slade
Peter Jonfield
Anne Chapman
June Brown


Bob Clark

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Columbia-Emi-Warner Dists Ltd
Available on video and DVD
Certificate 12
Momentum Pictures