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Murder Most English

Anton Rodgers , Christopher Timothy , Ronald Wilson    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 64.99
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A truly ingenious and sly murder mystery series, Murder Most English features the polite, thoughtful, and completely engaging Inspector Purbright, played with gracious wiliness by Anton Rodgers. This British series from the 1970s adapted four novels by Colin Watson, an unjustly neglected mystery writer whose excellent plotting, eccentric characters, and sneaky humor are in full display. Set in the mythical and typical English town of Flaxborough, Murder Most English features some atypical goings-on: A love triangle murder that turns out to involve a singularly indiscreet secret-service agent; a murderer who uses a matrimonial service to find his prey; a sexual predator who walks sideways, like a crab, and whose affliction may be related to a pharmaceutical cartel; and a clandestine pact of upstanding citizens that unravels through a series of murders. Each two-episode story is skillfully structured, always seeming to be solved only to reveal a completely different layer of mystery. Odd and intriguing characters (played by an outstanding plethora of clever British character actors) dot every turn, deft little psychological snapshots that make the plots not merely smart but surprisingly resonant--and wonderfully funny, such as when a cranky old woman unsettles a prim church matron with the rude names of country plants. Puffing his pipe, Purbright quietly but doggedly sorts out the tangled strands, aided by the impulsive Detective Sergeant Love (Christopher Timothy) and not particularly helped by the stodgy Chief Constable Chubb (Moray Watson). Appearing in two of the stories is the stealthy Lucilla Teatime (Brenda Bruce), a con woman whose bland, benign appearance belies a steely spirit and a foul mouth. Even viewers who aren’t usually drawn to murder mysteries may enjoy Murder Most English; Colin Watson’s imagination doesn’t follow the narrow clockwork efficiency of Agatha Christie and is all the more enjoyable for it. --Bret Fetzer

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Determined British Detective Nov. 17 2010
By Marcia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Murder Most English
In great shape for a series composed in 1977. The box states: Due to the age of these programs and the improved resolution DVD provides, you may notice occasional flaws in the image and audio that were beyond our ability to correct." Audio and video far from perfect, but not as bad as some reviewers have stated. It's picture is clear and the sound is crisp. The important question to ask before you buy -- is do you like delectable, intricate British murder mysteries?

Three thin volumes containing 73 episodes in colour(approx 344 min. long)

D.I.Purbright(Anton Rogers, May to Deember) is a typical quiet British detective of the seventies, reserved and brilliant. People seem to misinterpret British reserve into "flat" -- there's the famous British wit and an entertaining script.

From the box: "... Purbright pursues the evildoers of Flaxborough with a doggedness that belies his polite conversative and mild manner. ... Armed with courtesy, respect and steely determination, he works to uncover the truth and restore order to this most English of English towns"

That's the point this series is English. As for wit, Pulbright is training his cheerful D.S. Love (Christopher Timothy, All Creatures Great and Small), who has just leaped over a fence into a suspect's property. Taking his pipe from his lips, Purbright says: "If there's one thing as embarresing as a syntimental lawyer or a muscular clergyman, it's a demonstrative copper." Subtle British diagogue and either you get it or you don't.

Each story stands alone offering intricate, fascinating scripts performed by suburb British actors.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder Most Enjoyable Dec 12 2009
By Gweeny
I appreciate the warning of previous reviewers of "Murder Most English" who felt that the videos' qualities were low budget and dated. However, since these videos were made in 1977 for television, and quite likely recorded direct to tape, they have the particular visual and audio qualities that one would expect from such a process 32 years ago.

The plotting is successful and the acting is creditable. I enjoyed them a great deal, and I recommend them to true fans of the mystery story.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lame English drama - by comparison Sept. 5 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
We were disappointed in the lame drama of Murder Most English. In fact, after watching one episode, we retired the video box to the shelf. I expected the level of performance from Agatha Christie Whodunits (Miss Marpole played by Joan Hickson or Hercule Poirot played by David Suchet), or The Last Detective (Peter Davison) or Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett). A 'wooden', too-obvious turning-toward-the-camera-when-speaking spoils many a scene, despite the fact that Murder Most English includes in its cast Christopher Timothy (the wonderful actor from All Creatures Great and Small). Action is too slow, drawing room scenes too drawn out - M.M.E. altogether smacks of a low-budget movie. Too bad!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Gives British mysteries a bad name. Oct. 7 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Can't get into this one. Gives British mysteries a bad name..
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unwatchable Aug. 13 2009
I purchased this product based on the regular Amazon "Customer who purchased...also purchased recommendation"

I received the DVD, tore open the packaging and popped the DVD into my player. The first sign of doom was the locked menu - you have to watch the ads etc before you get to the content. The second sign of doom was the (paraphrase) "this dvd was converted from film and has lower quality other DVDs"

True enough, the audio/video quality is lower than expected. Sufficiently low that I have not finished watching the episode to comment on the storyline. Knowing the A/V was sub-standard would have been good to know BEFORE purchasing the set.

This has been my only disappointment in Amazon purchases.
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