Lord Peter Wimsey: The Nine Tailors (1974)
Review by HTQ4

Directed by Raymond Menmuir
Written by Anthony Steven, based on a novel by Dorothy L. Sayers
Starring Ian Carmichael, Glyn Houston, Mark Eden, Neil McCarthy, David Jackson


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

My Advice: Rent It.

"The Nine Tailors" is a phrase that refers to the pealing of the church bells to announce a manís death to the village. Its more or less done as a matter of respect for the dead. As in most small villages, news like that travels at approximately four times the speed of light.

But to our story: before World War I, Lord Peter (Carmichael) had visited the home of a family friend to help celebrate their sonís wedding. During that visit, the prize jewels of the lady of the house were stolen. The culprits were found and prosecuted, but the jewels were never recovered. Years later, Wimsey and his man Bunter (Houston) get stranded in the same small village on New Yearís Eve. Wimsey finds himself helping out the village church with ringing in the New Year in the belfry. Later on, a man turns up dead, and Wimsey discovers a link between his death and the stolen jewels that were lost lo those many years ago. So, Wimsey has to find the jewels and prove whodunit, of course. As an interesting side note, in this story, we also get the back story on how Wimsey and Bunter got together.

These Lord Peter Wimsey series are really quite wonderful. Every one that Iíve seen is fun and really piques your interest quite early on. This done, it doesnít let up until the mystery is solved. Carmichaelís Wimsey is always fun and seems to always either find or stumble on the right answers. Houstonís Bunter is the epitome of the manservant, always there for his master, ready to do whatever is necessary.

If you take a look at my other reviews of the Lord Peter Wimsey series (Clouds of Witness or Five Red Herrings, youíll see a little bit of a pattern evolving. These stories are really nicely produced, adapted, and performed. What is lacking--across the board--is bonus material on the DVD. As always, the best part of the DVD is the interview with Ian Carmichael, and the only thing wrong with it is the length. Itís much too short. However, itís important to note that the interview on each of these DVD sets covers a different topic, so you do benefit from checking out all three. The interactive trivia game covers the only the story on the DVD and the filmography covers this particular cast. The rest of the bonus material is the same across all of the sets. The DVD-ROM content takes you to the same websites; the Dorothy L. Sayers Foundation and the Acorn Media website, and the biography of Ms. Sayers is just a one pager that covers the highlights of her life.

In short, I would say that the story is worth watching, but the DVD is not worth putting on your shelf. Definitely a rental.

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