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She Fell Among Thieves

4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Judi Dench, Richard O'Callaghan, Frederick Treves, John Shrapnel, Joyce Redman
  • Directors: Clive Donner
  • Writers: Dornford Yates, Tom Sharpe
  • Producers: Mark Shivas
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Acorn
  • Release Date: April 14 2009
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O4C6MG
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,467 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

While on a Pyrenees vacation in 1922, upright English gentleman Richard Chandos (Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange, Heroes) encounters the villainous Vanity Fair (Eileen Atkins, Cold Mountain). Mistress of the turreted Chateau Jezreel and leader of a motley band of criminals, she will inherit millions if she can force her stepdaughter to marry. Pitting his wits against this formidable adversary, Chandos determines to rescue the beautiful young woman. But Vanity Fair keeps one step ahead of him, a trick forever up her sleeve and murder in her heart.

Based on the novel by Dornford Yates and adapted by Tom Sharpe (Wilt, Porterhouse Blue), the story unfolds in a series of twists and turns as sharp as the hairpin bends around which the protagonists hurl their luxury cars.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Claudia TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Aug. 9 2009
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While on a Pyrenees vacation in 1922, upright English gentleman Richard Chandos brilliantly played by Malcolm McDowell, encounters the villainous Vanity Fair played by Eileen Atkins. Mistress of the turreted Chateau Jezreel and a leader of a motley band of criminals. She Fell among Thieves is based on the Novel by Dornford Yates. The BBC Drama that launched Mystery in 1978. It is campy, colourful and beautiful to look at it. It has excitement, adventure, mystery, deception, greed, wickedness and action. With dramatic gothic style, swashbuckler actions by the hero and the protagonists show no mercy. Can he rescue the damsel in distress from the evil doers as they chase each other in luxury cars?? Can he escape the tower when he and another victim are imprisoned? It captivates you with a series of twists and turns in this highly entertaining thriller. Bravo!!
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By AJ Tours TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 26 2014
This is a play from the BBC2 Play of the Week series (1977-1979) The actors listed above did not appear in this play - She Fell Among Thieves. The actors were: Malcolm McDowell, Eileen Atkins, Michael Jayston, Karen Dotrice, and Sarah Badel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By caseygirl TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 9 2010
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I bought this DVD because I was somewhat familiar with Dornford Yates books. I hadn't read any for many years so was pleased to see She Fell Among Thieves was on DVD. I was very disappointed. If you are a fan of movies the way they were in say the 1920's, very much the saving the damsel in distress type of thing after tying her up to a railway track with a train bearing down on the victim, you might like this DVD. I didn't like it at all. It was more like a cartoon story than the real thing, very unbelievable and quite frankly a waste of time. You cannot take this story seriously, it's more of a joke type of thing. Like I say, very much like an old time type of movie. If this movie launched PBS Mystery series and I had seen it then, I would never have watched Mystery again. I also think it is far too expensive. I wouldn't have paid so much for it had I known it was so lousy. All this is just my opinion, others might think differently. I do agree with the other comment that in parts it was actually laughable, while, I am sure, wasn't intended to be. Unfortunately I didn't read the other comments before purchasing.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Canadian movie fan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 13 2009
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This was a different movie that we found ourselves laughing at certain scenes. Not sure if they were all suppose to be funny or not. It almost had a "Clue" feel to it. It kept our attention. But not that great a movie.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 17 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
The Production That Launched Mystery! April 18 2009
By John D. Cofield - Published on
Back in early 1979 PBS launched a new drama series called Mystery! The very first selection was She Fell Among Thieves, a BBC production that aimed to include every characteristic of a successful detective/mystery story that could be dreamed up: the mysterious house, the large and highly suspicious list of possible victims and perpetrators, the heroic detective, and the menacing main character, in this case a woman of unparalleled charm and menace. The production was meant to be over the top and a bit farcical, and it certainly succeeded. I remember laughing hysterically part of the time and using all my wits to comprehend the latest plot twist at others.

After thirty years She Fell Among Thieves is once again available. Snap it up at once. If you remember its first showing you'll find it has aged remarkably well. If this is your first time to see it, you're in for an incredible treat.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
It has been a long wait.... June 22 2009
By Robert Guttke - Published on
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I don't understand the Amazon credits listing of Judy Dench etc., since these are not the actors in this wonderful film.... the very first episode of PBS' MYSTERY! How many years did I listen to the audio tape I made of this program? Campy dialogue, wonderful music, remarkable acting and actors.... and remembering Vincent Price saying the screen writer took the original novel, its concept, and threw the rest away... the results were a wonderfully atmospheric period piece with tongue-in-cheek humor that is mostly supplied by the viewer. And Eileen Atkins steals the film as the most succulent villian... accompanied by the proper eerie moments or organ music in the score. One hell of an ending, too!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Good story but the camp method of presenting it isn't as funny as it should be Jan. 27 2013
By Israel Drazin - Published on
I looked forward to viewing this film since it was part of the BBC PBS series and PBS usually, but not always, produces very enjoyable films. I especially like the character actors in the British films and the way the stories develop, which is different than American mysteries. However, after about fifteen minutes, I began to feel that there was something strange about this film and considered turning it off.

The story is about a woman, Vanity Fair, who heads a small band of thieves and who controls them with her strong personality. She has a step daughter, who seems to be quite naïve and who is not a thief. The step daughter will inherit millions of dollars if she will marry, and the step mother, Vanity, can then take her money from her. This plot sounds good, but it is presented in a very campy manner. Camp is fun, but somehow I felt that while it was ok to watch it, it was not as funny as camp should be, the development of the plot was generally unreasonable and sometimes bordered on the ridiculous, and the company of thieves, all of whom were camp characters, including Vanity, were somewhat silly.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Somewhat disappointing Nov. 5 2009
By GrannyGoose - Published on
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I love period drama but this movie was more tongue in cheek than real drama. It sounded great but found it to be "overdone" in the acting and the presentation. I would recommend only for those who would enjoy a very unrealistic acting job. Not the worst by any means but not that fantastic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
She Fell Among Thieves June 1 2011
By Loaghaire - Published on
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This was just a bit too campy for me. The two stars I gave it were for the sets and wonderful scenes. The actors were about as hammy as possible and the dialogue and story line really quite ridiculous . I cannot remember a really good chuckle. It came off more like a freak show than a farce. I purchased this dvd because one of my favorites, Judi Dench, was supposed to be in it and I did not see hide nor hair of her. WHAT HAPPENED.

I usually love British period pieces. Just felt this one was trying too hard or not enough, I have not decided.