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Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime - Tommy & Tuppence, Set 1

Francesca Annis , James Warwick , John A. Davis    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Tommy and Tuppence Beresford show up rarely in Agatha Christie's books, but when they do, one thing's for certain: both they and the readers will have a good time. The same is true, for the most part, in this three-tape set introducing the adventure-seeking couple who take over a London detective agency. Oddly, Tommy and Tuppence made their television debut before Christie's better-known crime solvers, Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple. The video quality of the second two tapes (whose four episodes take place chronologically after the first tape, but were produced earlier) betrays a low budget, and the acting occasionally verges on farce--especially when it comes to Tuppence's obsession with hats. But then, the couple were always a lighthearted counterpoint to the more serious sleuthing of Poirot and Miss Marple. The lovely Francesca Annis (seen more recently in Wives and Daughters) is disarming as Tuppence, masking her shrewd eye with dippy charm; she may get the bellboy's name wrong every time, but she can spot the criminal faster than her straight-man husband. As Tommy, James Warwick expertly melds dinner-party suavity with bumbling boy-next-door charm. The pair are at their best in the two-hour feature "The Secret Adversary," which comprises the first tape. This tale of kidnapping and political intrigue reunites the childhood friends, thus beginning their life as Partners in Crime. --Larisa Lomacky Moore

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Content, Awful Presentation Nov. 26 2003
Format:DVD
The stories are wonderful. The acting is cute and campy in a very good sense. Unfortunately, the DVD encoding leaves a lot to be desired. The main problem is that the 2 channel surround shunts all sound to the rear speakers (except for the first episode which is encoded properly). If you cannot turn off the surround sound on your system, this will become annoying quickly! It is very much worth purchasing, but be aware of the sound problems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1980 - 1982 TV five episodes July 16 2006
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
The Secret Adversary

Who is Mr. Brown?

After the Great War, out of work Captain, Tommy Beresford (James Warwick) accidentally comes across his lifelong friend and pal Prudence "Tuppence" Cowley (Francesca Annis). Tuppence is also out of work. Over their sparse meal they speculate on doing any job of anybody for outrageous fees.

This speculative talk was over heard and the wheels are set in motion when Tuppence is given the opportunity and gives what she thinks is a false name. This sets off a series of events that employs them to find a missing girl and the identity of a mysterious Mr. Brown.

Made for TV and fairly transparent, this film still has all the ambiance of a BBC Agatha Christy production. It is a period piece and employs many major English actors. One actor you can recognize right off is Honor Blackman who played Pussy_Galore in "Goldfinger" (1964).

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The Affair of the Pink Pearl

A pearl of great price

After their re-introduction in "The Secret Adversary", it looks like Tommy Beresford (James Warwick) and Tuppence (Francesca Annis) are married and after finishing their first case are looking for a little more action. They get the opportunity to purchase the international detective agency and with the help of their new friend Albert (Reece Dinsdale) set up shop.

Before Tommy can stop her Tuppence promises their first client their 24 hour guaranteed special. If they can pull this off then they will be in with the right crowd to be thought of incase a pink pearl should end up missing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice work if you can get it Aug. 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Think "Remington Steele" rather than "Hercule Poirot" for these, primarily, Art Deco stories. Tommy refers to mystery writers rather than movies but the idea is the same--well-dressed amateur pretending, comically, to be a professional private detective. In this case his partner, Tuppence, is even more expensively dressed, and hatted, and another complete novice. Upper crust Tommy has a background in Intelligence in WWI, when Tuppence, a clergyman's daughter and Tommy's childhood chum, was a nurse. It is true some of the mysteries aren't very mysterious but the series is impeccably staged, T & T are highly watchable and seem very much in love, young Albert is a lot of fun, and you get to imagine what you would do with a detective agency and a steady stream of money from your family. (You can also try to spot Britcom actors in the casts, or the times Britain's alleged xenophobia is brought up.)
"Secret Adversary" is a puzzle to me. I've read the book and studied the period but I can't imagine what unsigned treaty with the US when we were neutral, if it turned up some six years later in the UK, would be inevitably cause a general strike and a revolution. (The Atlantic Charter didn't do that in WWII.) And it's unsigned so why not just deny, deny, deny? Throughout the T & T series in the spy stories Christie hints but doesn't give us enough information to understand, all these years later and an ocean away, the gravity of the situation. Apparently Christie felt the UK was teetering on the brink of a Communist coup. She may have been warning the British public,--which is odd, really, in a book that spun off short stories that are lighthearted and humorous.
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Format:DVD
I had never read any books by Agatha Christie, but I was familiar with two of her famous sleuths, Poirot and Miss Marple, mostly through their televised adventures. But they really didn't appeal to me too much. Then I discovered Tommy & Tuppence, and I was just in love. the reason I love this series is because the characters AREN"T Poirot or Miss Marple. The concept intrigued me, the lighthearted adventures of a husband and wife detective team. The show is amazing, it's funny, witty, thrilling, and absolutely charming. Francesca Annis is simply divine as Tuppence, and James Warwick is simply suave as Tommy. Both have a tendency of hiding their brilliant minds beneath an aura of frivolity and from a sense that maybe they're not entirely sure what they're doing or how to get out of their situation. The flirtatious wit and charm and chemistry between the main characters is a delight, as is how they employ their skills to unravelling the various mysteries that land on their doorstep. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Christie lite May 1 2002
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:VHS Tape
The Tommy and Tuppence mysteries are frothier and lighter than the Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot mysteries, but it's their lightness that makes them unique. They're well translated into film in this delightful threepack of the first five mysteries.
"Secret Adversary" is the only movie-length episode: Tommy and Tuppence, childhood friends, reunite post WW1 in financially tight circumstances. To drum up some money, they decide to become adventurers. But their lighthearted venture becomes deadly serious when they become enmeshed in an international situation involving a packet of secret documents, a mysterious girl named Jane Finn, an American millionaire and an elusive mastermind called only "Mr. Brown."
"Affair of the Pink Pearl" takes place a while after "Adversary," and is definitelty frothier. Tommy finds the cure for Tuppence's boredom: a detective agency, which they take over and inject new life into. Soon they are called on to retrieve a stolen pink pearl.
"The House of Lurking Death" is the destination of T&T, when an appealing young woman comes to tell them that someone in her house sent her poisoned chocolates. At first it seems to be a straightforward case -- but nothing is as simple as it seems.
"Finessing the King" is a little more gruesome than its predecessors. Tuppence drags Tommy to a costume ball and then to the restaurant "Ace of Spades," where they find a woman in a Queen of Hearts costume, stabbed on the floor. All evidence points to her lover, including her dying words, but of course nothing is so simple.
"The Clergyman's Daughter" comes to T&T with her problems: She thinks that her house may be haunted, by a poltergeist that is scaring off the paying guests she has there.
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