Press Kit Synopsis:
Murder By Decree: Synopsis and Cast List
It is England in the Autumn of 1888 and Queen Victoria still rules over the British Empire. Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) the legendary private detective and his loyal companion and chronicler, the earnest Dr. Watson (James Mason), are enjoying an opulent first night at the opera in London’s fashionable West End.

Meanwhile, in the squalid jungle of the East End of London, a prostitute is being horribly murdered. The dreaded killer, commonly known as Jack the Ripper for the gruesome manner in which he mutilates the bodies of his victims, has struck again. The sickly miasma of fear is as palpable as the autumn fogs which envelop the slums. The forces of law and order seem powerless to stop the savage butchery.

Holmes is approached by shadowy figures to take on the case. Although Police Inspectors Foxborough (David Hemmings) and Lestrade ( Frank Finlay) more than welcome his assistance, Sir Charles Warren (Anthony Quayle), the Commissioner of Police from Scotland Yard, actively does not.

The master criminologist is guided in his pursuit of justice, through the seamy Victorian underworld, to the psychic Robert Lees (Donald Sutherland) who fearfully points him in another direction. Holmes and Watson, constantly in danger for their lives and liberty, become not only the grand masters but also the pawns in this lethal game of hide and seek.

They search out and are found by the hapless Mary Kelly (Susan Clark), a girl of the streets, whose only crime is the knowledge of a fatal secret, which she will protect at all costs. She in turn leads them to Annie Crook (Genevieve Bujold), a servant who made the mistake of marrying above her station, whom even the illustrious detective cannot protect from herself.

The hunters and the hunted stealthily move through the mist-shrouded maze of Whitechapel’s cobblestone streets where every shadow instills fear. Watson is violently attacked by, and Holmes at last comes face to face with, the Ripper.

As he inexorably unravels the mystery, Holmes crosses swords with Lord Salisbury (John Gielgud), the Prime Minister of England, and finds himself threatened by the macabre power of a secret society and the all-pervasive, long reaching might of the Establishment. He is challenged by no ordinary murderer but one with influential and determined friends and what he has to stop – if he can – is Murder by Decree.
Christopher Plummer
James Mason
Genevieve Bujold
Frank Finlay
Anthony Quayle
David Hemmings
Sherlock Holmes – Christopher Plummer
Dr. Watson – James Mason
Robert Lees – Donald Sutherland
Annie Crook – Genevieve Bujold
Inspector Foxborough – David Hemmings
Mary Kelly – Susan Clark
Sir Charles Warren – Anthony Quayle
Lord Salisbury – Sir John Gielgud
Inspector Lestrade – Frank Finlay
Dr. Hardy – Chris Wiggins
Mrs. Lees – Tedde Moore
William Slade – Peter Jonfield
Sir Thomas Spivey – Roy Lansford
Carrie – Catherine Kessler
Henry Matthews – Geoffrey Russell
Makins – Roy Pember
Elizabeth Stride – June Brown
Catherine Eddowes – Hilary Sesta

Executive Producer – Len Herberman
Co – Producer – Rene Dupont
Co – Producer/Director – Bob Clark
Director of Photography – Reg Morris
Screenplay – John Hopkins
Production Manager – John Davis
Production Designer – Harry Pottle
1st Assistant Director – Ariel Levy
Costume Designer – Judy Moorcroft
Sound Mixer – John Mitchell
Camera Operator – Jimmy Turrell
Continuity – Marjorie Lavelly
Chief Makeup Artist – Peter Robb-King
Chief Hairdresser – Colin Jamison
Editor – Stanley Cole
Wardrobe Supervisor – Ron Beck
Construction Manager – Ken Pattenden
Property Master – Andy Andrews
Gaffer – Maurice Gillett
Special Effects Supervisor – Michael Albrechtson
Production Assistant – Marilyn Clarke
Casting Director – Irene Lamb
Production Accountant – Andy Birmingham
Still Photographer – Graham Attwood
Unit Publicist – Linda Levy ( Fred Hift Associates)
John Gielgud
Susan Clark
Donald Sutherland
All images and text on this page is copyright Avco Embassy Pictures Corp 1979. Synopsis and cast list are as listed in the Press Kit for Murder By Decree. All information used for publicity and review purposes only. No ownership is given or implied.
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