Have His Carcase (1987)
Review by HTQ4

Directed by Christopher Hodson
Written by Rosemary Anne Sisson, based on the novel by Dorothy L. Sayers
Starring Harriet Walter, Edward Petherbridge, Richard Morant, Ray Armstrong, Romney Marsh


Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format

My Advice: Rent it

Harriet Vane (Walter), famous mystery novelist, has just been acquitted of her former lover's murder, but not without a little help from her would-be suitor, Lord Peter Wimsey (Petherbridge). She travels to the country to begin working on her next novel, when she stumbles across another corpse on a rock just as the tide is coming in; apparently a suicide. However, Wimsey has a different idea. Based on some very slim evidence, he is absolutely convinced that it is a murder. He and Vane, along with the local police, begin an investigation into the man's murder. Their investigation leads them to a possible involvement with the Bolshevik government in Russia, an aging widow who was engaged to the deceased, and several actors in London.

This is a very complicated story to follow, but if you can stay with it, it doesn't disappoint. It is very well written, and the teleplay is a fitting treatment of the story. It also picks up where Strong Poison leaves off. Vane's character is perhaps the best written in this story (as compared to the other two in this set), and Walter takes full advantage of it. Her Vane is very strong and consistent throughout. The character of Wimsey should be strengthened by the addition of a solid love interest, but Petherbridge doesn't seem to be able to step up to the task--with the exception of one scene with Walter where they are both absolutely flawless. Seeing that scene made me yearn for that same level of acting from Petherbridge throughout the series. Production quality is mediocre at best and the lighting seems to always be coming from very unnatural sources even when they are outdoors. On the other hand, most of the cinematography is quite stunning and the overall direction is quite strong.

The DVD presentation doesn't really do these stories or Ms. Sayers justice. There are only two special features and as my review for the entire set states: the features are the same on all three discs. The only variation in the special features is the Who's Who. Each disc contains the bios of the actors who are in the production. Other than that, you get the same thing across all three. Rather disappointing, I think.

Pick it up for a rainy Sunday afternoon. Watch a really good mystery told by some decent storytellers. You won't regret having seen it, but you'll be thankful for the warning not to plonk down a mess of coin to purchase it.

Buy it from Amazon!
Buy the novel from Amazon!

Discuss the review in the Needcoffee.com Gabfest!

Greetings to our visitors from the IMDB, OFCS, and Rotten Tomatoes!
Stick around and have some coffee!