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Story of the Moors Murders

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joanne Froggatt, Maxine Peake, Sean Harris, Matthew McNulty, George Costigan
  • Directors: Christopher Menaul
  • Writers: Neil McKay
  • Producers: Andy Harries, Lisa Gilchrist, Paul Munn
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Phase 4
  • Release Date: April 29 2008
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012IWNT0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,378 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

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Most helpful customer reviews

By Marcia TOP 500 REVIEWER on Jan. 4 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Story in two parts. Part one sticks to the facts of the Moors Murders where Ian Brady and his wife Myra Hindley, serial killers, were caught and incarcerated. It's fairly standard fare if you're a crime fiction fan, however, the fact that it's Britain's "most notorious case of serial murders" makes it more interesting. It's the second part of the movie that's riviting! Usually killer caught, trial, killers go to jail. Justice served. Story ends. Not in this movie.

Never before have I seen a movie that shows the devestating effects of having a serial murderer for a sister, daughter and sister-in-law on the life of the remainder of the family. They are attacked by neighbours and the survivors of the victims. Their lives are destroyed. As Maureen, the innocent siste says: "I'm a Hinley". How do you deal with having a serial killer in the family?

At first mother sides with killer daughter, but five years later visits remaining sister to reunite and make amends. Sister's life is a shambles. Leave details to viewer. The angst of the meeting between the two sisters and between the mother and innocent sister years later is facinating. The brother-in-law's life is also decimated, but he recovers in time. I felt emotionally engaged as each member of the family comes to terms with their relationship with Myra, the killer.

Ian's shown to be a sociopath and beyond redemtion, but the fact that Myra is "human" and "can feeel" in some ways makes her crime more herendous. I don't want to give away the story, but I assure you this is more than your usual crime drama, it continues where most leave off. Well worth the money spent. This is a movie I'll watch over and over to extract the subtle nuances of each relationship and how it changes over time. Best of all -- it's true.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This movie recounts the true story of the Moors Murders, which took place in England in the 1960s. The acting was good and the locations, including the bleak Saddleworth Moor in Yorkshire where the killers buried their young victims, set the atmosphere. This case was particularly shocking in it's time, long before Bernardo and Homolka, with whom the murderers share many characteristics.

Anyone interested in this case MUST read "Beyond Belief", by Emlyn Williams. This gripping, beautifully written, semi-fictionalized account of the crimes is one of the best books I've ever read, and I've enjoyed it several times in the last 30 some years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Good Docudrama June 30 2008
By Kurt Keefner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Don't get the wrong idea about this 2' 20" British production: it's not the pornography of cruelty. It only shows one murder, fleetingly, in silhouette and of a 17-year old, not a child. It only shows that death because that was the only one anyone other than the murderers saw (and because it would be obscene to show the rape and murder of a child). This movie depicts the infamous Brady and Hindley as others saw them, primarily Hindley's sister and brother-in-law, and a police detective. We do not see the killers private lives and actions. It's third-person limited narrative.

This may sound like a limitation, but it's actually an effective way of communicating what these two monsters were like. It's very interesting to see the four young people as a social circle, drinking and smoking cigarettes out on the moors (on the gravesites, unbeknownst to two of them), talking about family and job prospects, cooing over the baby, etc. The first chapter is mostly about how Brady tries to lure Hindley's brother-in-law David Smith into his little circle of evil. Brady kills someone in front of Smith, thinking Smith will join in the fun. Smith cooperates in the clean-up enough to get out of the flat alive and turns Brady and Hindley in. The second chapter is about the investigation, trial and aftermath, as Brady and Hindley try to implicate Smith and Smith's community blames him for the deaths of the children.

Overall, it's a fascinating look at a time (1960s) and a place (impoverished Northern England), all seemingly well-recreated. The social dynamics are fascinating. Watching Brady with his fascination for Sade makes you realized that all those academics who flirt with Sade are kind of perverted. A very interesting movie for grown-ups, not a sick flick for adolescents.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Unspeakable evil, unbearable sadness June 13 2010
By Stephen Midgley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is a powerful and affecting TV drama about the discovery of the notorious series of child killings, committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the Manchester area of England in the early 1960s, known as the Moors Murders. It is well researched, superbly written and acted, and filmed in convincing period style and locations.

As some reviewers have pointed out, the story is told not by directly following the lives of the evil pair or their victims, but rather it unfolds mainly through the eyes of Hindley's young sister and brother-in-law, Maureen and David Smith. Some of the other reviewers see this as a weakness in the movie, but I agree with reviewer Kurt Keefner that, seen from the viewpoint of two ordinary people who unwittingly became involved, it is actually a highly effective way of telling the story. In any case, I doubt that many directors would be prepared to depict on screen the sexual abuse, torture, murder and burial of several children, or that many of us would want to watch the result. This is a fact-based TV drama and the activities of the murderers themselves were not and never can be accurately documented, whereas there is ample information available about the police investigation into the murders and from the Smiths themselves, the latter now superbly told in book form in David Smith's own story "Witness", co-authored by Carol Ann Lee.

And so this TV movie tells the story of how these appalling crimes were discovered, initially by David and Maureen Smith who turned in the killers to the police in spite of the great risk to themselves. By doing so they ensured that no more children and young people would be brutally murdered and yet, as we see, they were initially suspected of complicity in the crimes, unfairly maligned by some elements of the press and public, and the subsequent effects on their own lives were devastating. Here, the young couple are powerfully portrayed by Michael McNulty and Joanne Froggatt. As for the killers themselves, Sean Harris, in the role of Ian Brady, is deeply unsettling from the very start even when he is being civil, and he brilliantly conveys the murderer's cold sadism, twisted intelligence and delusions of grandeur. This is a masterful, menacing and convincing portrayal of pathological evil. As his partner in crime Myra Hindley, Maxine Peake is not at first sight as overtly unpleasant a character as we might expect, but nevertheless her portrayal of Hindley as Brady's willing and calculating accomplice is extremely convincing.

And then there are the police. George Costigan is superb as the resourceful and determined DCI Joe Mounsey, who with his equally able team stays on the case of the missing children long after his superiors have lost interest. His role is well contrasted with some of his colleagues, with frank portrayals of those who were busy accusing the wrong people or at best dragging their feet, unable to make connections or simply not all that bothered about children going missing.

As mentioned above, the murders themselves are not shown on screen with the exception of the last, that of Edward Evans, seen briefly through the horrified eyes of David Smith. Nevertheless the build-up of misery as events unfold is heart-wrenching. Proper attention is given to each of the five known murder victims and their families, and we are reminded very effectively of the shattering consequences of Brady and Hindley's unspeakable activities upon the lives of so many people.

This drama makes for rivetting viewing, but be warned - like the real events that it portrays, this is a profoundly upsetting story. So unless you are as tough as nails or as cold-hearted as Ian Brady, you'll probably need a box of hankies beside you as you watch. But that is as it should be, so all credit to the makers of this compelling and unbearably sad production.
Great film but helps to be familiar with the story before watching. March 29 2015
By KL - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very disturbing story but brilliant acting all around. As already stated by previous posters, this film focuses more on Myra Hindley's sister and brother in law, the financial and emotional hardships they face and how they're affected by Hindley and Brady's actions than on Hindley and Brady themselves. The Hindley sisters parents and grandmother play small roles but we learn next to nothing about Ian Brady's family life.
Had I not already been familiar with The Moors Murders, this would not have made much sense to me so I think it best to read up on this case before viewing or you will be confused. If you do that, this dvd will definitely be worth the few dollars you'll pay here.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Mis-titled, ill-conceived, unsatisfying Oct. 1 2010
By Tracy Hodson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
If you buy this hoping to see a thoughtful consideration of the Ian Brady-Myra Hindley "Moors Murders" case, you will be very disappointed. In this TV movie, the story of the case is told entirely from the point of view of Myra's sister, Maureen, and therefore reveals little of the case itself, which might not be a problem if this were how the movie is being marketed. Given the claim that it's about the Moors Murders, watching it becomes an exercise in frustration and bewilderment as the wait for some real information about the crimes and the killers grows longer. Most of the first part is about how Brady and Hindley tried to involve brother-in-law David Smith into robbing banks with them, and while it culminates in the final murder by the pair, it's seen only at the end when Smith enters their home, and rather than following the murderers at this point, the movie follows David as he tells his hysterical wife what has happened and she shrieks about how impossible it is that Myra should be involved. As this movie is the only one about this notorious twosome, it feels like a cheat to discover that we're really watching the story of how Maureen's life was thrown into turmoil by her sister's crimes--that may be a story, but it seems the least important or interesting story to tell, given the others available. There certainly has been enough written about the case to have made a serious attempt to get into the substance of it, but the chance is wasted.

Maxine Peaks gives a serrated performance that brings Hindley intensely to life (an achievement given the little time she's onscreen), and Sean Harris is convincingly sociopathic as Brady. Joanne Froggart's Maureen is by turns tepid and shrill, and never interesting enough to make up for the lack of screen time given to these two; it's hard to care about the threat to her marriage when murdered childrens' bodies are being searched for. What few details are dramatized are more or less accurate, but unless one is knowledgeable about the case to begin with, knows the victims' names and what was done to them, what happened after the case was solved (and, it must be said, can easily understand strong North of England accents), this half-hearted movie will only irritate. Even the inclusion of scenes with investigator DCI Joe Mounsey passionately trying to solve the case are confusing (how does he leap from the axe-murder of Edward Evans to deducing that Brady must be involved in the disappearances of several children?), and brief, fragmented scenes of the trial don't help illuminate the situation. Events speed by with no sense of the actual passage of time and are so sketchily drawn that, after watching "See No Evil," viewers will know only as much as they did before watching it.

Emlyn Williams' book "Beyond Belief" has been mentioned here as a source for learning "what really happened," but it's important to know that much of what Williams posited as "true" has been entirely overthrown in the years since the book was published.
Superb Acting Oct. 3 2012
By Doc - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is the best DVD I have watched on the Moors Murders.
Told through the eyes of Hindley's sister and brother-in-law, Maureen and David Smith, it focuses soley on how Hindley and Brady were brought to justice.

Sean Harris who plays Brady comes across as extremely sinister, unnerving and very psychotic whilst Maxine Peak portrays Hindley uncannily well as the cold emotionless killer she was. You can almost feel the electricity between Hindley and Brady.
It takes a 'special' kind of person to carry on as 'normal' whilst all the time knowing there are four children buried on the moor. Chilling.

Joanne Froggatt and Michael McNulty play equally superb parts. The emotional pain and turmoil the Smiths faced during and after the trail was very well executed.
The Moors Murders did not only wreck the lives of the children's families but wrecked the lives of Brady and Hindley's families too.

Last but not least, George Costigan who played DCI Joe Mounsey, the copper who never stopped looking for the graves.
Hats off to him for some fabulous acting and to the real Joe Mounsey for his dogged persistence.

The film is portrayed with as much empathy and consideration for the families as possible and due respect is shown to them.
Watch this film but be prepared to be left feeling very hollow and very sad.