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P.D. James a Mind to Murder


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Product Details

  • Actors: Roy Marsden, Mairead Carty, Sean Scanlan, Robert Pugh, Peter Tuddenham
  • Directors: Gareth Davies
  • Writers: P.D. James
  • Producers: Chris Pye, David Fitzgerald, Hilary Bevan Jones, Rebecca Eaton
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Vid Canada
  • Release Date: April 27 2004
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001DCQZI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,105 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David J. Koukol on Aug. 25 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Since 1983, fans of P.D. James have relished the sumptuous TV adaptations of the mystery author's complex detective novels. For the most part, the books have been shepherded to the small screen with great care, and the casting of actor Roy Marden as Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh has been seen as nothing less than a masterstroke. The one complaint that could be leveled against the producers is the seemingly random order in which the books have been filmed. A Mind To Murder, James' second Dalgliesh novel, was the eighth adaptation for television in 1996. This trend has played more than a little havoc with the chronology and character development laid down on the printed page. A Mind To Murder underwent more changes from page to screen than any previous adaptation, but remains gripping and thought-provoking taken on its own merits.
Once again, Roy Marsden assumes the mantle of the poetry-writing, introspective Dalgliesh, and his performance here is riveting and intense as usual. This is no ordinary investigation, as events in the story will affect him personally on several levels. The tense opening scene sees Dalgliesh lose a young member of his team in a hostage crisis. Three months later, he and his team are dispatched to the remote Steen Clinic to invesigate a murder, an odd assignment considered they are the Metropolitan Police. Dalgliesh will learn the reason for this assignment, and stumble across some unnerving secrets relating to the death of his colleague earlier in the tale - secrets that lay submerged within the stated function of the clinic, which is to treat the addictions and depressions of the rich and the powerful...
The members of the large cast are all marvelous, and the production values are extremely high.
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Format: VHS Tape
One interesting fact about this video, is that no writing credits are given for the adaption of P D James book that this is based on. Viewers should not expect this adaptation to be a faithful reproduction of the original. Even the murderer is different! But I'm not going to tell the prospective buyer who it is, so they will need to buy it and find out for themselves. Having stated these facts, I still found this video an excellent and enjoyable experience. As expected, Roy Marsden again puts in another solid performance and portrays Dalgliesh as no other actor can. The supporting cast is top class, with Cal Macaninch giving a wonderful performance of a highly disturbed young man. The murder victim, has no friends and lots of enemies. The Steen Clinic for the emotionally disturbed, depressed, alcoholic clients, and its staff all have the potential for a 'A Mind to Murder' and Dalgliesh is handed the unenviable task of trying to find the culprit. The final scene has the potential to submerge the viewers and leave them literally breathless. An excellent production, full of intrigue, pathos, and of course the action packed, unusual conclusion.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jammer on May 3 2004
Format: DVD
"A Mind to Murder" is based on James' second (1963) novel, video-taped in 1996. Having never read her novels, but after repeated critical viewings of this and related TV productions, this reviewer reluctantly concludes that James' work is unfortunately not in the same league as that of other prominent mystery writers whose work has been moved to the small screen.
James' major writing flaw is that she frequently (almost always?) begins with the key murder having taken place. With no well-considered and interesting introductory characterizations and interplay in advance of the main events, we never get to enjoy the delicious anticipatory speculation (like one gets in a Christie) as to who is going to "get it", when, and maybe even who's next and why? (But then Christie was a grand master of the art!) There is no opportunity to engage with the victim before the crime. We cannot witness in time sequence the suspect interactions: their sizzling and fascinating cross-dialog, their threats, their hates, their MOTIVATIONS, building up to the point of murder. Subsequent to the murder, no prior suspect characterizations exist upon which to build. There are no delicious denouements where scenes are replayed showing what "really happened." With James, what we get is nothing more than a dry formulaic recitation of the relationships and circumstances that lead to the murder, presented retrospectively in a series of boring, dull he-said-she-said talking head exchanges amongst Dalgliesh and a horde of strangers, including his assistants of the moment. With none of these can one even remotely identify. Hanging over all of this like a wet blanket is James' cold, impersonal style, best characterized in Roy Marsden's authoritarian (he-who-must-be-obeyed?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Thought-provoking tale with excellent performances Aug. 25 2000
By David J. Koukol - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
Since 1983, fans of P.D. James have relished the sumptuous TV adaptations of the mystery author's complex detective novels. For the most part, the books have been shepherded to the small screen with great care, and the casting of actor Roy Marden as Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh has been seen as nothing less than a masterstroke. The one complaint that could be leveled against the producers is the seemingly random order in which the books have been filmed. A Mind To Murder, James' second Dalgliesh novel, was the eighth adaptation for television in 1996. This trend has played more than a little havoc with the chronology and character development laid down on the printed page. A Mind To Murder underwent more changes from page to screen than any previous adaptation, but remains gripping and thought-provoking taken on its own merits.
Once again, Roy Marsden assumes the mantle of the poetry-writing, introspective Dalgliesh, and his performance here is riveting and intense as usual. This is no ordinary investigation, as events in the story will affect him personally on several levels. The tense opening scene sees Dalgliesh lose a young member of his team in a hostage crisis. Three months later, he and his team are dispatched to the remote Steen Clinic to invesigate a murder, an odd assignment considered they are the Metropolitan Police. Dalgliesh will learn the reason for this assignment, and stumble across some unnerving secrets relating to the death of his colleague earlier in the tale - secrets that lay submerged within the stated function of the clinic, which is to treat the addictions and depressions of the rich and the powerful...
The members of the large cast are all marvelous, and the production values are extremely high. As a James fan, I usually enjoy the adaptations, and tend to balk at overt changes made from the printed page. In this instance, though, my grumbles are minor thanks to the strength of the performances and some neat little flourishes which add zest to the proceedings. Dark and fascinating.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A powerful story of mind games as well as murder! July 5 2000
By Wendy Laing - Published on Amazon.com
Format: VHS Tape
One interesting fact about this video, is that no writing credits are given for the adaption of P D James book that this is based on. Viewers should not expect this adaptation to be a faithful reproduction of the original. Even the murderer is different! But I'm not going to tell the prospective buyer who it is, so they will need to buy it and find out for themselves. Having stated these facts, I still found this video an excellent and enjoyable experience. As expected, Roy Marsden again puts in another solid performance and portrays Dalgliesh as no other actor can. The supporting cast is top class, with Cal Macaninch giving a wonderful performance of a highly disturbed young man. The murder victim, has no friends and lots of enemies. The Steen Clinic for the emotionally disturbed, depressed, alcoholic clients, and its staff all have the potential for a 'A Mind to Murder' and Dalgliesh is handed the unenviable task of trying to find the culprit. The final scene has the potential to submerge the viewers and leave them literally breathless. An excellent production, full of intrigue, pathos, and of course the action packed, unusual conclusion.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
great performances March 29 2005
By Mary Z - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This adaptation is quite short, under 2 hrs. So the pacing is quicker and story necessarily a more direct than the other 6 hr adaptations. The acting is really nice though, and this is one of the adaptations that I have watched multiple times for that reason. The ending is over the top, but I loved it. I hope they paid that poor actor a lot to do the ending scene! You'll have to see it to see what I mean.
... so convincing as DCI Dalglesh you cannot help but love his portrayal June 15 2015
By CHERYL S. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think Roy Marsden is so convincing as DCI Dalglesh you cannot help but love his portrayal. Lovely scenes of England always a treat to see.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This asylum needs a bit of discipline. Aug. 7 2011
By Keith Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This looks like a routine whodunit in which the cops must figure out which of the characters inhabiting a so-called mental clinic killed one of the staff. But the clinic's jaw-dropping incompetence or lack of interest in controlling its inmates kept distracting this viewer from getting into the basic yarn. The patients seem to wander around unrestrained and unattended, engaging in such recreations as firing bows and arrows and sharing beds with one another. One unbalanced chap simply takes the stairs to the top of the building and flings himself off. Throughout all this, the place is crawling with cops, who have their own problems just getting the cuffs on the murderer, who manages to skip away down to the seashore, where he becomes mired in a bog, relying on commander Dalgleish to pull him out.

And then there's Roy Marsden as Dalgleish. As reputable British actors go, Marsden ranks well down on the charisma scale. He's tall and well-spoken but has almost no affect at all, rarely changing expression or evincing any emotion. I've not read any of P.D. James' books, but I gather that Dalgleish is styled as a published poet. It's hard for me to imagine Marsden's Dalgleish mustering the emotional involvement to compose much of any sort of poetry. Perhaps that's why the TV scripts only infrequently allude to his poetic bent.


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