Lord Peter Wimsey: Clouds of Witness (1972)
Review by HTQ4

Directed by Hugh David
Written by Anthony Steven, based on a story by Dorothy L. Sayers
Starring Ian Carmichael, Glyn Houston, Mark Eden, David Langton, Rachel Herbert


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

My Advice: Rent It.

Lord Wimsey (Carmichael) is on holiday in Paris when he is called back to Riddlesdale, the family's place in the country, after the unexpected murder of his future brother-in-law. To make matters worse, Wimseyís brother, Gerald (Langton), the Duke of Denver is charged with the crime. Wimsey and Inspector Barker of Scotland Yard (Eden) begin an investigation that starts on the family estate and takes him all the way to New York City via the Mauritania. The difficulties facing Wimsey on this investigation go as high as his brotherís pride and unwillingness to provide his alibi, claiming that it would be damaging to certain unnamed people. With Wimseyís brotherís life on the line, he rushes off to New York City to claim the one piece of evidence that will clear his brotherís name and keep his reputation intact.

This Wimsey story is no less exciting and entertaining than Five Red Herrings, another Lord Peter Wimsey adventure which I've reviewed. The writing and acting are just as strong, with especially Carmichael's archetypal detecting hero and Houston's faithful sidekick both in fine form. Again, I get the impression that Anthony Steven's adaptation is as strong, although I stil haven't read the source material to check myself.

And, unfortunately, this DVD is just as lacking in bonus material with one exception: the interview with Ian Carmichael. It is not the same interview that was on the Five Red Herrings DVD, which is a good sign. Iím hoping that after I have seen all of the Wimsey stories, I will finally get the complete interview with Mr. Carmichael. These bits with Carmichael are great, but again, they only last about 5-10 minutes and leave you craving more. The other features are simply filmographies, DVD-ROM weblinks, and the biography of Dorothy L. Sayers. The interactive trivia game is kind of fun, but itís fairly elementary and if you were paying only slight attention to the story, you would be able to answer the questions.

Again, I would say that this DVD is not one to be missed. However, unless you are a hardcore BBC television fan (or simply a great murder mystery fan), I would say renting would be the way to go.

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