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1. BBC Shakespeare Tragedies DVD
$35.98 $29.74 list($39.98)
2. A Touch of Frost - Season 1
$29.98 list($39.98)
3. A Touch of Frost - Season 6
$17.98 $11.02 list($19.98)
4. Inspector Morse - Deadly Slumber
$26.98 $17.30 list($29.98)
5. Inspector Morse - The Remorseful
$17.98 $11.71 list($19.98)
6. Inspector Morse - Twilight of
$17.98 $10.90 list($19.98)
7. Inspector Morse: Last Bus to Woodstock
$26.98 $13.66 list($29.98)
8. Inspector Morse - The Dead of
$17.98 $10.78 list($19.98)
9. Inspector Morse - Cherubim &
$17.98 $10.90 list($19.98)
10. Inspector Morse - The Wench Is
$9.99 $5.58
11. Skokie
$17.98 $10.72 list($19.98)
12. Inspector Morse - The Settling
$17.98 $10.79 list($19.98)
13. Inspector Morse - The Day of the
$17.98 $10.60 list($19.98)
14. Inspector Morse - The Silent World
$17.98 $11.37 list($19.98)
15. Inspector Morse - Masonic Mysteries
$17.96 $10.72 list($19.95)
16. Inspector Morse - Driven to Distraction
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17. Inspector Morse - Greeks Bearing
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18. Inspector Morse - Infernal Serpent
$17.98 $10.94 list($19.98)
19. Inspector Morse - The Way Through
$17.98 $10.90 list($19.98)
20. Inspector Morse - Who Killed Harry

1. BBC Shakespeare Tragedies DVD Giftbox
Director: Jonathan Miller, Jack Gold, Rodney Bennett, Herbert Wise
list price: $149.99
our price: $149.99
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Asin: B00006FXDE
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 7337
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Description

Shakespeare is rightly considered the world's greatest playwright for the soaring beauty of his language, for his profound insight into human nature, for the truths he dramatized and for the realism of the characters he created.He was, and remains, a superb entertainer.

These BBC and Time-Life film productions feature some of Britain's most distinguished theatrical talent (Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Gielgud, Patrick Stewart, Derek Jacobi, Claire Bloom and more), these DVD's now are the number-one choice for continuing personal enjoyment.

This special Drama DVD Giftbox Set contains 5 of Shakespeare's most popular tragedies: *Romeo and Juliet

*Hamlet

*Macbeth

*Julius Caesar

*Othello.

The Plays contain sub-titles in English that can be turned on or off.

TV Guide Raves: "Shakespeare Would Be Amused.by the care, money, time and talent that are being lavished on the mammoth task of producing all 37 of his plays." ... Read more

Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars At Last! The First Part Of The Ambrose Series!
This is the Ambrose video series that many libraries have purchased...The 37 play VHS series is still >$2,500 with individual plays around $100. The series was remarkable in that it actually included all 37 plays in full with a solid set of players (some famous) who worked hard at maintaining as much historical accuracy as possible, but especially with the verbiage.

This set has selected some of the best ones, so it is well worth the expense. The problem is that many of the scenes are less than sparkling....it's very much like watching the filming of the series of plays instead of watching a movie or TV version.....even the Bard himself would have struggled to keep the life in them with no audience. Sometimes the effort for accuracy actually shows in some of the acting. You have to give the various troups credit for sticking to the goals of the series, but realize that it is done with some sacrifices to the thrill and magic at some points.

Romeo & Juliet stars Sir John Gielgud, Rebecca Saire, & Patrick Ryecart
It's difficult to make a really bad R&J and with these folks this is a good version.

Hamlet stars Derek Jacobi, Patrick Stewart, & Claire Bloom
Jacobi makes this work....because it certainly is possible to do a horrible Hamlet.

Macbeth stars Nicol Williamson & Jane Lapotaire.
The scenes work even though there are times when you know for sure they are filming a play, not acting for the big screen.

Julius Cesear stars Richard Pasco, Keith Michell & Charles Gray.
I have to admit that this is the one play where my kids were so bored they actually asked if they could just read it instead of watch the video.....this one is not done as well as the rest of the series....I'm surprised it was chosen for the DVD set.

Othello stars Anthony Hopkins, Bob Hoskins, & Anthony Pedley
Hopkins said Othello was the one role he most wanted to play, so they gave it to him.....of course he's good....this is by far the best of the 5 play set

What I like about the Ambrose Video series is the hard-to-find plays.....like All's Well That Ends Well, Coriolanus, Cymbeline, Measure For Measure, Henry VI, Henry VIII....it's nice to see the whole Henry and Richard historical series with the same troup. Perhaps we'll get a "rare" set and a "historical" set on DVD out of them next.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Shakespeare
In this gorgeous set of 5 plays produced by the BBC & Time-Life you get the pleasure of seeing some of the most wonderful talent such as, the late Sir John Gielgud in Romeo & Juliet, Jane Lapotaire in Macbeth, Anthony Hopkins in Othello, Patrick Stewart & Derek Jacobi in Hamlet just to name a few!!! The set comes with a full cast list for all titles and english sub-titles so you can read along. A must-see. ... Read more


2. A Touch of Frost - Season 1
Director: David Reynolds (III), Roger Bamford, Sandy Johnson, Roy Battersby, Herbert Wise, Alan Dossor, Paul Harrison, Adrian Shergold, Don Leaver, Anthony Simmons, Graham Theakston, Paul Seed, John Glenister, Peter Smith, Robert Knights, Ross Devenish
list price: $39.98
our price: $35.98
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Asin: B00016MSSU
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 5184
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Description

"18 million viewers tuned into the super-length detective series." - The Times

A Touch of Frost is one of Britain's most successful detective series and stars award-winning actor David Jason as Detective Inspector Jack Frost, a policeman with a knack for attracting trouble. Set in the dreary town of Denton, Frost approaches each case with his characteristic dry wit and a sense of moral justice. A Touch of Frost Season One includes:

In "Care and Protection," Frost investigates a missing child case, as his terminally ill wife languishes in bed. A chance digging turns up a 30 year-old skeleton chained to a strongbox. A former bank employee with links to the strongbox is murdered and Frost must find his killer.

In "Not with Kindness," Frost grieves for his recently deceased wife, whose visiting sister from the States makes his life unbearable. Frost searches for a missing teenager and a victim of threatening phone calls wakes in the night to find her home engulfed in flames.

In "Conclusions," an elderly man is killed in a hit-and-run that involves a prominent local official's son. A casino is robbed of the night's takings. An armed and dangerous fugitive takes a pair of hostages.

Episodes: Care and Protection Not with Kindness Conclusions ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars 3 3/4 stars for thoroughly enjoyable British police drama
This is similar in vein to the better American police television dramas. A detective is confronted with several cases that intertwine, along with clues that at first tend to mislead, but later, when better interpreted, bring loose ends together. The acting, character development, pace and story development hold attention most of the time. If you enjoy detective dramas with a British twist, add this one to your list.

5-0 out of 5 stars A First-Rate British Detective Series!
A Touch of Frost is an outstanding British mystery series, and it is high time it was released on DVD. This set contains the entire first series--three 100-minute episodes entitled "Care and Protection", "Not with Kindness", and "Conclusions." At the time of writing, series two is also available (for preordering), and I only hope that the video company will see fit to release the entire series.

David Jason (Only Fools and Horses, The Darling Buds of May, Open All Hours, Micawber), who personally is one of my favourite British actors, stars as Jack Frost, a dedicated, single-minded detective inspector with a nose for ferretting out criminals. Frost is a bit like a dog with a bone when he sets his mind on something, and he doesn't worry too much about letting little things like rules, procedures, tactfulness, or even legality get in the way of finding out the truth--if he can get away with it, that is. This is a man whose loathing for the criminal element--for those who hurt or destroy the lives of others--verges on the personal. At the very least, his dedication to duty is more than just a job for him, it's his whole life--his raison d'etre. Certainly, his personal life suffers greatly from his dedication--indeed obsession--with his work.

The series opens with Frost's wife on her deathbed. Even in such a situation (perhaps, indeed, because of it--for Frost does not handle personal tragedy well), he is unable to spend the time at his wife's side that is expected. While this may sound rather morbid and depressing, I must emphasize that overall the series is not. Certainly, the crimes that are committed are serious and tragic, but like the Inspector Morse series (a series with which this one compares well), the episodes are punctuated by quite a healthy dose of humour, and like Morse it is primarily character humour. In other words, it arises out of the idiosyncrasies in the inspector's character, which become more apparent as we become more familiar with the character. In Frost's case, apart from his questionable tactics, he's extremely disorderly, and his dedication to his work is matched only by his loathing for paperwork--a trait which often has him at odds with his punctilious boss, Superintendent Mullett. Indeed, Frost is perennially ducking into doorways or skipping out of the office in attempts to avoid the unwelcome confrontations. One thing Frost does not have, unlike Inspector Morse, is a regular "Sergeant Lewis" in tow; rather, he has a different sergeant assigned to him for almost every episode.

One aspect which, in my opinion, makes A Touch of Frost such a good series is the powerful punch of irony that usually occurs at the end of each episode. Often one can really sympathise with the killer or at the very least understand his or her motivation. Sometimes we find that it's one trifling incident--someone in the wrong place at the wrong time--or a petty misunderstanding that sets the wheels in motion for a tragic outcome. Often it seems that the bringing of the criminal to justice is the greatest injustice.

In conclusion, this is a well-acted and an extremely well-written mystery series--one with quite hard-hitting stories, thus making the comic relief all the more welcome. It is a series which I recommend very highly to fans of British mysteries in particular--if you enjoy shows like Inspector Morse, for example, or have enjoyed PBS's erstwhile Mystery! series, I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. I would, however, go so far as to recommend this series to anyone looking for a superior quality mystery series, British or otherwise. Personally, I've always wondered why it was never made a part of PBS's Mystery! series, for it was certainly worthy of inclusion.

5-0 out of 5 stars The real thing
I am a huge fan of English cozy mysteries but am fast running out of shows. So, I decided to try something a little more serious and "A Touch of Frost" sounded interesting so I took a chance.

What first struck me when watching it was how real everything looked. David Jason, in the title role, looks like a real cop, the town looks like a real town and the people act like real people. The situations are dramatic but you always believe in the characters.

Frost is a sloppy, intelligent, gruff and thoroughly likable character in spite of, or maybe because of, his rough edges. The mysteries are literate and manage to get their point across without being horrifically graphic. (Though there is violence and some innuendo and a very brief glimpse of a breast, I can't recommend this show for children)

"Care and Protection"- When the young daughter of a local woman goes missing, Frost is called in. Relieved, since he is dealing with a terminally ill wife, Frost sets to work. But when a decades old corpse with a severed arm and a suitcase attached is discovered during the search for the girl, Frost finds himself dealing with two cases at once. In this episode, he is teamed up with the fairly amiable but spoiled nephew of the superintendant. Very good episode that deals with the triple drain on Frost's emotions, his dying wife, a cold case he didn't want and the missing child whose chances for survival decrease as time passes.

"Not With Kindness"- Following the death of his wife, Frost is at odds with her Americanized sister. Meanwhile, a papergirl's body is discovered in a graveyard and she may or may not be a victim of rape. The subplot deals with an affluent couple who are being harassed by phonecalls and and deadly practical jokes. Frost is partnered with an even sloppier career cop who has an irritatingly happy family life. A rather sad episode that deals with the dangers of grief.

"Conclusions"- A fatal hit-and-run leads Frost to the spoiled rotten son of a mamber of parliament. Meanwhile, there has been a robbery at a local casino and an armed and dangerous fugitive is loose in the area. When a patrolman is brutally murdered, the manhunt is on. Frost is partnered with a surley new transfer who has a perfectly rotten homelife and a brooding manner. He's almost too surly for Frost!

I highly recommend this series to all fans of cozies who are ready to try something a little more serious and to any mystery fan, especially if you want something a little more realistsic than is offered in this country.

5-0 out of 5 stars Unpolished Morse
A British detective series,with Frost playing the role of an
unpolished Morse,who is smart and streetwise.Like Morse,he
doesn't care for paperwork.In the first 2 episodes,his "sidekick"
changes.Each episode is about 100 minutes,so there is good amount
of material for the price. The photography is excellent,and one
gets to see "real" people. Frost Season 2 is to appear shortly.a ... Read more


3. A Touch of Frost - Season 6
Director: David Reynolds (III), Roger Bamford, Sandy Johnson, Roy Battersby, Paul Harrison, Herbert Wise, Alan Dossor, Ross Devenish, Adrian Shergold, Don Leaver, Anthony Simmons, Graham Theakston, Paul Seed, John Glenister, Peter Smith, Robert Knights
list price: $39.98
our price: $29.98
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Asin: B0007US8C0
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 3365
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Description

"(David) Jason gives Frost the iciness needed for the role…"-- The Los Angeles Daily NewsA Touch of Frost is one of Britain’s most successful detective series and stars award-winning actor David Jason as Detective Inspector Jack Frost, a policeman with a knack for attracting trouble. Set in the dreary town of Denton, Frost approaches each case with his characteristic dry wit and a sense of moral justice. A Touch of Frost Season 6 includes: "Appendix Man" – Reeling from the loss of his former partner, D.C. Barnard, Frost resigns from the force. But, he soon returns to investigate the suspicious death of a reclusive art collector. "One Man’s Meat" – To pay the bills, Frost takes in a renter with a dog. Next, while Frost investigates the death of a homeless teenager, the dismembered arm of a health officer, washes up on the shoreline on the other side of England. "Private Lives" – A peaceful village isn’t all it appears to be. Frost’s new partner checks out a hit-and-run accident that injures an elderly woman. Frost squares an account with an old adversary. "Keys ToThe Car" – A golf club paramour leaves behind a trail of satisfied golf widows, unpaid bar bills and stolen cars. When a drug dealer’s body is found inside the trunk of one of the vehicles, Frost tries to find the connection between the gigolo, the drug dealer and the owner of the stolen car. ... Read more


4. Inspector Morse - Deadly Slumber
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B0000A2ZND
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10085
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Morse at his best, part two
The Inspector Morse series is one of the greatest in detective drama. While Colin Dexter's books are marvels of intricate (and occasionally bizarre) plot twists, the movies focus more on the characters involved...and in this movie (and "Who Killed Harry Field") especially so. The mystery is good, but the kinship between Morse and chief suspect Michael Steppings is best thing about this particular episode. It's one of those great films where the bad guys and good guys seem to have reversed roles, and the whole mystery hinges on one small slip...#2 on the list of the five greatest Morses! ... Read more


5. Inspector Morse - The Remorseful Day
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
list price: $29.98
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Asin: B000056T50
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 14310
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

An unsolved murder case is reopened after a suspect is released from jail, but when he and two of his associates are found dead, detectives Inspector Morse and Sergeant Lewis face one of their most difficult investigations, and Morse's involvement may be more personal than he is willing to admit.

The final case for British television's best-loved detective is suffused with melancholy. Years of stress and far too much beer have taken their toll, and Morse is a sick man. Popping pills, wincing with pain, and drinking in spite of doctor's orders, Morse keeps going because he is obsessed with bringing criminals to justice. It's impossible to imagine him in retirement, but his vocation has ruined his health and now threatens his life.

The complex relationship between Morse and his partner has always been at the heart of the show's success, and at the beginning of "The Remorseful Day," that relationship is even more strained than usual.Lewis is furious when Morse takes over his investigation into the multiple murders, and the ailing Morse is more irritable than ever. But in spite of all their differences the two men complement one another and they are soon working together again. When this final episode moves into its final act Kevin Whately's performance as the faithful, underappreciated Lewis is deeply moving, providing a fitting coda to their enduring partnership.

The accompanying documentary includes behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with many of the distinguished actors who have appeared in the show over the years, and comments from Morse's creator, Colin Dexter. --Simon Leake ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars A REMORSEFUL ADAPTATION
There's been a murder here, but it's not the one you think. The adaptation of Colin Dexter's "The Remorseful Day" has left a stinking corpse of what was a masterful story, an exquisite exposition of the "Parsifal" like heart of Endeavour Morse. The culprits? Rebecca Eaton and her doltish cadre of American PBS writers who have distinguished themselves in missing the entire point of the book.
Mind you, if you have not read the book, you'll enjoy this video. All the great elements are there: John Thaw essays Morse brilliantly, Kevin Whately turns in a terrific performance as Lewis, although he is compelled to deliver a totally ridiculous and melodramatic "Morse is dead!" proclamation. He acquits himself and moves on. All the supporting players, the family intrigues, the score, the filmwork - all executed brilliantly. So, you'd have little reason to suspect something is awry.

But there is and it is as great a disservice to a book as I can ever remember. Now, that argument can be made about a lot of transfers from book to film, but in this case, and with this series, which has been so faithful to Dexter's works, it is just incomprehensible. I can only conclude that it is due to the American fascination with smoothing out any sense of nuance in order to champion the easily digestible. I should tell you where the crime lies, but that's not fair to anyone who really would enjoy what actually happened in the story. Suffice it to say that much of the story turns on the Parsifal legend, and how in fact the pure of heart are vindicated with vision of the grail, whatever form that grail may take. So, Endeavour Morse is vindicated in a coda that lingers with you long, long after you put the book down. Throughout the film, there are efforts made to quote not only Wagner's theme for "Parsifal", but Han Knappertsbusch's direction of it in the 1962 score. Why? Well, Morse makes reference to it in discussion with Lewis, and it fits with the T.S Elliott quote that includes the title of the story, plus Knappertsbusch was himself the most Morse like of conductors in every way imaginable, and in 1962 was well aware that he was dying. So with all of the main clues in tact, why on earth Eaton and her merry band of nitwits elected to miss the point is not only unimaginable but unforgiveable.

Certainly, enjoy this DVD for what it is. I assure you that if you read the book, you will want, as I want, to grab the murderous crutch and shove it where PBS don't broadcast. The most heinous murder in Oxford was committed in Boston. Shame on Eaton. Perhaps one day Dexter will insist on a reshoot, although Thaw is not well, and Whately may have no interest in any further casting as Lewis. Somehow, the record, as it is in the book, needs to be set straight.

5-0 out of 5 stars Morse's End Predates John Thaw's by Only a Few Years
Sad to see that the great actor, John Thaw has passed away from esophageal cancer.

This episode is on par with all of the other great episodes of this outstanding series. Thaw's portrayal of an intellectual, world-weary British detective who confronts often complex and involved cases of murder and other crimes.

Now episode to this point really brought home to me how much I loved Inspector Morse. I was actually quite angry to see the great Inspector face such health problems (an understatement), but in light of John Thaw's actual illness, I guess it is to be expected.

My only regret is that there are not 100 more episodes hidden away somewhere. Inspector Morse and John Thaw will be sorely missed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Relish the Well-done Remorseful Day
This is probably one of the best (if not *the* best) Inspector Morse television episode. I admit to alot of that bias *not* going toward it for being the final installment of the series, but more for it being such a WELL-DONE final installment of the series.

The obligatory murder plot/premise has to do with the re-opening of a case involving the death of a middle-aged temptress/nurse named Yvonne Harrison. Lewis and Morse tackle the case, with the latter acting particularly strange concerning many aspects of the matter. There are a plethora of suspects, one of whom is Morse's own doctor, which conveniently leads to scenes showing how the great Chief Inspector's health is deteriorating rapidly. The Harrison case, while definitely being worked-through carefully, isn't the real focus of the story.

Morse's plight is the prime meaning behind "The Remorseful Day". Never before has the character been rendered so human, and so pathetic. His lady-friend (appearing in recent TV adaptations) has apparently left him, and so Morse is utterly alone. There are poignant scenes between he and Lewis, of him making final preparations, and of him sitting alone in his home listening to profoundly sad classical music. John Thaw as Morse gives a veritable tour-de-force, in the most subtle and gracious way possible, of the great detective in his declining days.

Special note should be given to all involved in the television adaptation, for they have, in my opinion, surpassed the novel. Colin Dexter's book was fine, but it dealt more heavily with the actual murder case, and the illness of Morse was left for small parts, usually at the end of each day. Here, with the version made for the small screen, we have the situation of Morse's closing life brought to the forefront. It is done well, and an experience to watch.

The last scene is terribly moving. I always make it a point to realize that when I sit down to watch a movie or television show, NOT to get too emotional, because there are only actors upon the screen - nothing is real. I thought I would be able to hold forth with said beliefs while watching "The Remorseful Day". But the very last scene, involving just Lewis and Morse, brought tears to my eyes. The swelling music and the starkness of the scene was a wonderful way to end the series.

The impression left is one not easily forgotten.

4-0 out of 5 stars Please Endeavour to Read this Review!
As a final good-bye to a wonderful series, I was disappointed in "The Remorseful Day." It is a sad and touching film where Chief Inspector Morse bids a fond farewell; however, the film is somewhat disjointed. Morse, more ill than ever -- due to his lack of caring for his health -- exits via a simple myocardial infarction! Couldn't it have been more dramatic or move moving than this?!!! One scene, however, prior to the last touching scene in the mortuary is excellent. It is the night before Morse's death (unbeknownst to him, of course) where he is sitting on his sofa. The look on his face is pathetic and tells the viewer everything. It is without doubt (to me) one of the best scenes in the film -- almost like the blind girl discovering that Chaplin was her benefactor in "City Lights." It is done without words -- only facial expressions.

Alas, our hero has to die and he exits rather pitifully telling Strange to "thank Lewis." I wanted something much more dramatic and much more moving; I suspect Mr. Dexter really does want to retire. The last scene -- when Lewis views Morse's body on a slab and leans over to kiss him -- is very moving and will bring a tear to the eyes of every Morse fan. Although he may have had a rich and rewarding life in his own way with his work, music, poetry and knowledge, I wanted him to go out differently, to have had a woman who really loved him, to have had something in life so very meaningful.... We will miss a very good fictional character and the actors who portrayed the detectives so well. However, thanks to the magic of the movies, we can enjoy the Inspector for years to come!

5-0 out of 5 stars Goodbye old friend
The loss of "Chief Inspector Morse" hit me just as hard in this, Thaw's, last appearance as this fictional character as the real loss of Jeremy Bret ending the greatest rendition of Sherlock Holmes since the death of Basil Rathbone. Even watching the videos of all the other "cases" is bittersweet as the memory of Lewis kissing Morses' head goodbye in the closing scene now overshadows them all. The true sign of an actors actor making a written character live so vividly. A must see for any Morse fan- just be sure to have the hanky handy and see all the other Morses- first. ... Read more


6. Inspector Morse - Twilight of the Gods
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
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Asin: B0000A2ZNC
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 9463
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars This was a very funny Morse!
It was very fuuny and sad. Poor Morse he had to learn the hard way . And I love the music and where the flimed it! ... Read more


7. Inspector Morse: Last Bus to Woodstock
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B000069HRT
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 17456
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars At last -- Inspector Morse's first novel comes to video!
Inspector Morse is cerebral, almost an armchair decetcive in the Sherlock Holmes tradition. This video is based on the first Morse novel, but came about halfway through the series' run on ITV. John Thaw is notable in his performance because he almost underplays the role of Morse, and Kevin Whatley as Sergeant Lewis makes a good Watson, trying to understand Morse's thought process, and providing a lens through which us viewers of merely average intellect can comprehend how Morse's mind works. This will never appeal to a general audience, but it's very enjoyable to those at whom it's targeted. ... Read more


8. Inspector Morse - The Dead of Jericho / The Mystery of Morse
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
list price: $29.98
our price: $26.98
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Asin: B000056T4S
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 16090
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

John Thaw brought one of Britain's best-loved TV detectives to life in this telefilm that started the long-running Inspector Morseseries, based on the novels by Colin Dexter. The brilliant, somewhat elitist police inspector who loves crosswords, classical music, and more than the occasional pint of ale clumsily romances a woman (Gemma Jones) from his choir. When he finds her hanged in her apartment on the eve of their big recital, he suspects murder and muscles his way in on the investigation. All the assigned investigators are convinced it's suicide except for the eager Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately), and Morse and Lewis reluctantly team up to sort out a mystery tangled in blackmail, adultery, peeping neighbors (former Doctor Who Patrick Troughton), and mistaken identities.

With his snooty temperament and lone-wolf lifestyle, the white-haired,Oxford educated bachelor is a wonderful mismatch with the younger Lewis, a married man with a family and a rather less classical background. There's a quiet undercurrent of affection and respect that builds with each continuing Inspector Morse mystery, as well as an air of melancholia and loneliness beautifully developed in the script by future Oscar®-winning writer-director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient). Morse's initial theories may be washouts (a series hallmark), but his relentless sleuthing, eye for clues, and mind for puzzles dredges up the answer in the end, even as he loses the girl.

The DVD also features the 50-minute documentary The Mystery of Morse, a kind of character study built around a tour of Morse series shooting locations. It features interviews with the stars, the producer, the composer, and author Colin Dexter. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very good title to own, great story
If you've ever watched an Inspector Morse story this, the first one, is as good as any of them. For those who haven't seen Morse on PBS or A&E this is a good start because the story has all that a police story needs and does it well. It is English which will turn just a few people off but do try it, so much better than most of the stuff on television.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Different Kettle of Fish...
THE DEAD OF JERICO was the first Inspector Morse tale broadcast in the U.S. on 'Mystery Theatre', the series developed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS). For those with an intellectual bent, this series was "heady" stuff. Morse is the hard drinking, Wagnerian loving, Jaguar driving, crossword-puzzle working, police officer created by the Oxford writer and acrostics maestro Sir Colin Dexter. Played by the wonderful actor John Thaw, Morse is known only by his last name. His first--Endeavor, for the famous Nelson ship--remains a secret to most. Morse code buried in the theme music by Phelong Barrington spells out M-O-R-S-E.

In THE DEAD OF JERICO, Morse acquires his trusty sidekick, the loveable Lewis played by Kevin Whately, whom, by way of introduction he informs, "I'm a different kettle of fish." An intellectual loner, Morse has a less than sucessful way with women, and in THE DEAD OF JERICO his bad luck is evident. His love interest a woman named Anne, played by Gemma Jones (the mother in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and THE WINSLOW BOY, which she also co-produced). Anne is a piano teacher and member of the the Oxford Community Choir along with Morse.

Anne lives in a newly refurbished town house in Jerico, a gentrified neighborhood in the city of Oxford. After choir practice, Morse walks her home, and occasionally they have a drink in the local pub or she makes him a cup of tea at her place. One day, Anne fails to appear for a scheduled choir performance. When Morse goes to check on her after the concert, he discovers the police have found her dead. Who killed her and why? Or, did she die by her own hand? At the beginning, Morse is viewed as an intruder by the officer assigned to the case due to his involvement with the deceased, but soon Morse is placed in charge of the investigation.

This is not a run-of-the-mill mystery. THE DEAD OF JERICO is a wonderful adaptation of one of Colin Dexter's fine books. Anthony Minghella directed this tale, and then went on to direct THE ENGLISH PATIENT, for which he won an Oscar. Kevin Whately (Sergeant Lewis) also had a role in THE ENGLISH PATIENT--as one of the two sappers who defused bombs left by the Nazis.

The DVD version of THE DEAD OF JERICO is outstanding. The cinematograpy is excellent, the color is clear and bright. The film is filled with footage showing the City of Oxford and the University, and if you're an Anglophile you will love this film for these shots alone. Inspector Morse's red Jaguar never looked better--in between repair jobs. I love the Morse series and recommend this DVD for your collection. You will watch it more than once. ... Read more


9. Inspector Morse - Cherubim & Seraphim
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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5-0 out of 5 stars Time Capsule Morse
If there was any program that got the closest to reflecting correctly life in Britain during the 80s and 90s, it was Inspector Morse.

While "Masonic Mysteries" and "Last Seen Wearing" are probably the best of the mysteries, "Cherubim and Seraphim" is the one that captures the British 80s/90s Zeitgeist best. The direction of this program is as good as any well-done British thriller.

It was end of an era. Now you'll understand Peter Hitchens.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Mystery Which Hits [Morse] Close to Home
"Cherubim & Seraphim", the second Inspector Morse episode to be directed by Danny Boyle (the other was "Masonic Mysteries"; an episode which literally hits Morse close to home!), who's the well-renowned director behind such feature-films as Trainspotting and The Beach, and features his trademark directorial style, deviates from the norm in terms of the way in which the plot unfolds: unlike other Morse episodes, instead of being a conventional - or not-so, in some cases - whodunit, all along the audience knows who the guilty party is, à la Columbo. The culprit in this case is the procurer of ecstasy-like drugs, played by Jason Isaacs [The Patriot], in yet another evil role. The script centers around the fact three youths have died by suicidal means and, as we find out, had all been partaking, days anterior to their deaths, in the aforementioned drug. The youths' walls were adorned posters in their rooms containing computer-generated patterns which represent the "Chaos Theory" (e.g. if a butterfly is beating its wings somewhere, there will be a hurricane somewhere else, and these two seemingly unrelated events are in fact interrelate), which Sgt. Lewis is more that happy to explain to Morse; and they were all in the same type of eclectic dance music. It's one of the more personal Inspector Morse episodes, as one of the deceased youths happens to be Morse's step-niece; it also shows how out of touch Morse is with contemporary youth culture (drugs/sex/music) and children in general. For instance, when Morse stops by the school to interview his step-niece's best friend who was the last person to see her alive, he unwittingly stumbles in to her euphemistically-titled "Personal & Social Development" class just when the teacher is asking a student if he knows what the contraceptive device she's holding in her hand is. He's taken aback by the mere fact that they're having a teacher-student discussion, no less a class, about sex in school. In this episode, Morse reveals some of his past secrets to Lewis, whom he addresses, in a rarely captured televised moment, by his first name ("Robbie"). Three of the revelations include how his parents frequently fought and their subsequent brake-up, one of his low points as a morose 15-year-old, and the roots of the acrimonious relationship he continues to have with his step-mother. Definitely one of the best Morse films for catching a glimpse into his upbringing. Even the dance-oriented music in this episode, which incorporates classical music into its medley, is really well done. Overall it's another superlative self-contained film featuring Chief Inspector Morse. ... Read more


10. Inspector Morse - The Wench Is Dead
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Fair episode, poorly designed DVD
As others have pointed out, Sgt. Lewis does not appear in this, the penultimate Morse. Apparently, it was because of a contract dispute between the studio/producers and actor Kevin Whately. Despite his absence, and Morse being bound to a hospital bed for most of the program, it's a decent and entertaining episode.

My real complaint is with the quality of the DVD. As with others in this series, the makers of this disk have done a poor job packaging Morse. It's almost comical that this is the only disk in the series for which they've included a photo of Lewis, yet it's the only episode he's not in! I gave up on buying these Region 1 disks long ago. Instead, I bought the complete series from the UK (an elegant package of the whole set is available through Amazon.co.uk) and picked up a multi-regional DVD player on which to watch them. The series and the player together cost about the same as the series would cost if you bought all of the U.S. editions.

5-0 out of 5 stars A few comments on this episode
As others have pointed out, no lewis in this particular episode. But that's ok really, if you like the rest of the series. If you are a fan of the series, you are aware that the 33 total episodes are either loosely based on or slightly related to Colin Dexter's handful of novels, and are not meant to replace or represent fundamentally his work in anyway. Besides, in the book Lewis is an unimportant character, so his absence is no gaping a hole. At the time Kevin Whatley was working on other television programs and films. John Thaw was as well (Kavannagh QC) but you really really really can't have Morse without Morse. So, disregarding the absence of Lewis and the plot changes, this is still a great episode. Not the best, but its still better than watching Murder She Wrote or Diagnosis Murder.

4-0 out of 5 stars Morse the Time Traveler
As junior XXX pointed out in his/her review, this episode features no Sergeant Lewis. He's nowhere to be found for whatever reason. But even in the novel, the character of Lewis is less than integral to the plot.

While you (we) can only guess at the film adaptation's dumping of Lewis, I found this a most enjoyable episode of Inspector Morse, as we flashback to the year 1859, complete with haunting period music. It's an interesting combination of Morse and "period piece." It not only foreshadows "what's to come" in "The Remorseful Day", it virtually sets up the "last Morse."

Lastly, I have not read all of the Dexter novels, but of the few I have read, this film adaptation strays farthest from the original novel. It ain't just Sergeant Lewis missing. There are other fundamental plot and character changes. Once you get over the substantial changes, you may find, like me, that this is one of the more enjoyable episodes of Morse.

2-0 out of 5 stars the weakest Morse of all....where Lewis?
instead of sergeant lewis helping an ill Morse solve a case that is 140 years old, there is a new copper name kershaw. i forgot the name of the actor who played kershaw yet i don't care because he is so bloody awful. once kershaw enters the picture, THE WENCH IS DEAD goes downhill. as always, john thaw is fine as morse. hey, sgt lewis is in the novel. he is mentioned once in the tv movie but nowhere to be seen. perhaps kevin whately (as lewis) was too busy making another popular UK tv series "Peak Practice" where he plays a doctor. thankfully whately and john thaw reunite for the final Morse film THE REMORSEFUL DAY. see it instead and forget THE WENCH IS DEAD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wierdly wonderfull.
A wonderfull piece of work.His last ? Do not panic, do not fret,he's just gone down "The Trout" for a quick half. In England,we've already seen the next concocksion of murder,dry hummour,pubs and the ever present American tourists !!!! ... Read more


11. Skokie
Director: Herbert Wise
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4-0 out of 5 stars Lest We Forget
He could have his pick of them, but this is the only film role Danny Kaye took after a 12 year retirement of sorts.

He managed to sandwich in Skokie amid a slew of TV specials, tributes, and various other glorified career retrospectives. It would be his last significant work before the cameras, and it proved to be some of his finest.

The subject matter may seem corny or outdated to a young person, but not to anyone who knows the dark side of history the Nazis created.

And now here in a land where liberal communist sympathizers had been attacked at every turn for decades by the authorities, the conservative neo-Nazi party was enjoying a blind eye being turned to them. They were allowed to run rampant, particularly in America's East, and specifically in Illinois.

The main cast, featuring the great Mr. Kaye, Kim Hunter, Ed Flanders and Lee Strasberg (all of whom are sadly no longer with us), is excellent and all turn in the fine performances that one would expect of actors of their sterling talent.

Do not ignore the past, Skokie is saying, in case our apathy might be mistaken for weakness. These days, though, two decades after Skokie was filmed, we're keeping a much closer eye on Oregon than Illinois, but the message is the same - maintain constant vigilance upon those who would hide behind the Constitution and wave the flag in order to further the sickness of bigotry.

5-0 out of 5 stars Strong recreation testing the extent of free speech
Skokie is the name of the small suburb outside Chicago and home to a large Jewish populace, many of whom are survivors of the Holocaust. In 1977, it was also the epicenter of an uproar when the American Nazi Party publicly announced they would hold a rally in the center of the town. This film examines the inevitable aftermath of emotions felt nationwide (particularly among the township's residents), along with the legalities of speech protection by the First Ammendment, no matter how pejorative.
The story intensifies its dramatic (and ironic)pitch when the ACLU quickly sides with the Nazis, despite many of its members being Jews. They explicitly indicate how even hateful ideology and practices are protected under the Bill of Rights; a move that angers even its most ardent supporters. The film's theme is this most basic of arguments: do even hate groups of this vile nature have the right to free speech. Or does this act breach any limitations set forth in the ammendment (such as yelling 'Fire!' in a crowded theater)? And if so, will stopping this march undermine the principles of the Bill of Rights?
An first-rate cast delivers excellent performances to this reenactment: John Rubenstein as the ACLU's attorney desperately trying to convince the public that the Nazis have a right to conduct their assembly, George Dzundza as the menacing leader of the Nazis, Kim Hunter as a Holocaust survivor haunted by the horror of the concentration camps, Eli Wallach (making a brief but strong cameo) as a disgruntled senior ACLU member. Leading this ensemble is the late Danny Kaye in a rare dramatic role. When his character is first alerted of the Nazi's imminent move, he attends a town council meeting and vehemently objects to the Nazi's actions. This performance was a refreshing turnaround from his early comedic roles.
Despite some lapses into melodrama, "Skokie" challenges viewers of all ages to this question: Should a group like the American Nazi Party be allowed the freedom of speech even though if they ever came to power, they would surely deny such freedom?

5-0 out of 5 stars Execellent docu-drama of a true story
"Skokie" is the true story of how a community of Holocaust survivors and their neighbors in Skokie, Illinois stood up to a group of Neo-Nazis who wanted to hold a rally in their town. This watershed event is to Jewish-American history what the Selma March is to African-American history: a major turning point in the ongoing struggle of a minority to stand up for its dignity and rights. And yet, relatively few people recognize the name "Skokie" in the same way that they do "Selma." Which is one reason I show this video in Social Studies classes.


The film is well-balanced in the way that it presents the issues from all sides. On the one hand, the Nazis claim their First Amendment right to free speech. On the other hand, making that speech in a community of Jews who suffered under Hitler is provocative and cruel. The Jewish "establishment" recommends "quarantine" -- ignoring the Nazis to avoid giving them more publcity. The Holocaust survivors, on the other hand, point out that silence allowed Hitler to take over Germany, and they are not going to be silent again now. They urge public protest.

Danny Kaye's character is on the protester side. He describes an incident in the concentration camp where his mouth was stuffed with rags so he could not cry out. He refuses to be silent now and becomes an outspoken activist leader. His wife, on the other hand, is so emotionally traumatized by the memories that this controversy is re-awakening that she retreats to her room, listening to music and trying to block out the flashbacks. And their teenage daughter? She learns for the first time what her parents went through in the camps, and how her grandmother was brutally murdered by the Nazis. Up until this time, her parents has not talked about it, because they felt that a child should not have to grow up with such things. (Historically, it is true that, up until the Skokie events, many Holocaust survivors in America did not discuss the camps with their children. Many children of Holocaust survivors didn't even know their parents were in the camps -- yet they wondered why they had no aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.)


The legal side of the controversy is also well covered, with public meetings in the synagogue, private meetings in the Mayor's office, and courtroom scenes where the First Amendment is tested against testimony by the survivors about what seeing a swastika means to them. (These courtroom scenes also serve to give the viewers some background information about the Jews and the Nazis without getting preachy.) As the controversy heats up, Skokie becomes a focus of national attention, attracting protesters from around the country and giving the Mayor a big headache. Do the Nazis get a permit to hold their rally or not? I won't be a spoiler -- watch the film for yourself!


On the technical end, the film is rated PG with no bad language (except when the Nazis use racial slurs), making it appropriate for use in schools. However, it's 121 minutes long, which means it takes up two class periods (or more, depending on how long your classes are.) The action moves along well, however, and the students stay interested. The last part is a sort of trailer where each of the main characters does a short interview-type monolog about what he or she got out of the events. In the end, the viewer is left to decide for him/herself whether hate speech should be protected speech.

... Read more


12. Inspector Morse - The Settling of the Sun
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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3-0 out of 5 stars Not one of the better films....
THE SETTLING OF THE SUN is not one of the better Morse films. The acting is stagy and overdone. The camera shots are bizarre and awkward. The hotch-potch use of elements from other more successful filmed versions of Colin Dexter's books, such as "Last Seen Wearing", "Last Bus to Woodstock" and "The Dead of Jericho" is insulting to the knowing fan.

I am not sure this film is based on a book. I don't remember reading a book with this title, nor did I find the plot familiar. (I thought I had read all of Colin Dexter's 'Morse' books.) If it is based on a book, the plot is certainly far inferior to those found other tales.

The tortured and unbelievable plot is overlaid with repetitious use of "Morse-isms" which are supposed to "wow" American audiences such as: Morse thinking over a pint in a friendly tavern; Morse driving his little red jaguar all over Oxford; Morse playing music and drinking at home; Morse unwilling to look at a body (three times with the same body). Morse's interest in the female "lead" is far from enthusiastic. It's almost as if he is going through the motions. Also, it's a bit hard to believe that this ditsy overwrought female has the least bit of attractiveness for Morse.

Don't get me wrong. I love the little "English" touches a much as the next Anglophile. I just hate being taken for a sucker. However,if you are devoted Morse fan you will probably want to buy it. Just can't get enough of the late John Thaw.

5-0 out of 5 stars Possiby the Darkest of All the Inspector Morse Films
The undertones in "Setting of the Sun" deal with war and the moral repercussions thereof. Its direction is, along with "Service of All the Dead," among the most bleak and atmospheric of the Morse films. Another commonality which this film shares with the aforementioned film is its convoluted-yet-plausible plot, consisting of a rather intricate conspiracy theory. It may take a couple viewings for you to comprehend, it certainly did for me. Inspector Morse is asked to present a prize for a crossword competition at a summer school in Londsdale college for a group of overseas students. A murder conducted in a gruesome manner takes place while Morse is dining with the group. It turns out his presence was not incidental; he was meant to be a witness. Jane Robson's, Morse's love interest and the person who invited him to present the prize, feelings for Morse are not mutual in this episode. The uncertain long-term implications of war are beautifully presented at the end with the innocent view of Morse's love interest's daughter, when asked about her grandfather, whose suffering during the war was the impetus behind the conspiracy. ... Read more


13. Inspector Morse - The Day of the Devil
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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14. Inspector Morse - The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to the Inspector Morse series.
An Amazon.com reviewer of July 10th has written a superb review of this episode of the extensive series of Morse mysteries and I won't go over ground that he or she has ably covered. For those viewers who are convinced by his/her review to begin watching the Morse mysteries with The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, I would like to add that the mystery begins with the opening credits.

We are introduced to the deaf Nicholas Quinn, an examiner at a Board based in Oxford, England. He is standing by himself reading the lips of the various people talking with one another at a wine party. We see the obvious concern on his face that something is desperately wrong, but, like him, we can't hear what many of the guests are saying. He does not need to hear; his facility reading lips is evident. He tells another reviewer that the examinations conducted by the Board are compromised and he walks out of the party in distress.

In the next scene, still while the credits are playing, we watch a fire drill at the Examining Board. We don't see Nicholas Quinn leave the building even though we are told that everyone is accounted for. If you watch this scene a second time carefully, many of the clues to unlock the mystery are contained in this first few minutes of the program.

My guess is that most people who view this mystery like solving complicated puzzles and will enjoy watching each clue that Morse uncovers right to the last scene.

John Thaw, unfortunately now dead, was a superb English actor and he found an ideal character to play in the crusty Chief Inspector Morse. Kevin Whately is almost equally as good as his long suffering sidekick, Sergeant Lewis. Viewers who like this early installment will have a chance to watch Morse and Lewis in action many more times in this outstanding and long running series.

5-0 out of 5 stars exquisite!
This has grown to be my favourite Inspector Morse of the entire Morse series! The more I watch this the more enchanted I become with it uncovering little pieces each time. Exquisite indeed!

The murder is set in the arcane world of examiantion boards which were affiliated to some of England's major universities as arbiters of the academic development of students at ages 16 and 18. This obscure branch of academia is nonetheless an ivory tower existance disguising basic human failings of jealousy, greed etc.

When a relatively new examiner is found dead at home the detectives seem to be looking beyond the workplace but in the course of the investigation the examination board becomes the centre of attention.

Essential Morse has three main interests, his love of opera, his appreciation of real ale (microbrews in American parlance), and his fascination of crosswords. It is in the last of these that we find the core to this story. As always the story is composed like a crossword such that the clues must be solved before completing the case. Here, however, the crossword assumes a much greater role. One of the other examiners, and as such a suspect, turns out to be an intellectual hero of Morse, Daedalus, who sets a particu;arly challenging crossword which gives Morse great pleasure. The two men share similar interests and it becomes apparent that they have a similar view of the world. They become competitors in trying to resolve the case but only until Daedalus (played superbly by Michael Gough) is also murdered although he leaves some difficult clues behind.

Another dimension to this story is the love interest of examiner Monica. Again there is a crossword perspective. Morse is intrigued by the physical and intellectual beauty of this woman, but as usual he cannot solve the clues to understanding her. He is torn between his feelings for her as a person and the growing suspicion that she is somehow involved in the murders. Ultimately this conflict is only resolved when it is too late.

The plot twists and turns and has several blind allies but it is compulsive viweing and by the device of Daedelus we get to see a mirror image of Morse the man. Kevin Whately puts in another superb performance as the long suffering Lewis who we perceive as the apprentice of the master but also the master's concience.

An excellent vintage and quite excellent indeed.

The DVD version is a little disappointing in that it delivers a full-screen format with a cleaner sound. Moreover Barrington Phelong's incidental music does not benefit from the transfer. It would certainly benefit from a remastering. The other additional features are minimal but did make me replay the Jeremy Brett version of Arthur Conan Doyle's "Sign of Four" shortly afterwards to find John Thaw in fine form. I am sure that Inspector Morse fans would appreciate the show even more if it was available in the widescreen format but I am afraid that that is unlikely.

Still, this remains an exceptional introduction to the Morse series and an absolute must have for one's fledling DVD collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Morse...
THE SILENT WORLD OF NICOLAS QUINN is about a man who works for a syndicate in Oxford England. The business of the syndicate is testing students in underdeveloped countries for the purpose of awarding degrees--one presumes from Oxford University as the syndicate members are all affilitated with various colleges of the university. At a reception for a dignitary from a Middle Eastern country, a hearing impaired professor named Nicholas Quinn reads the lips of two speakers and uncovers an awful truth--cheating is abroad. It seems some or all of the syndicate members are involved in a scam to "sell" test results by providing the answers to the questions beforehand. Quinn shares his concerns with a fellow member of the syndicate and is overheard, or his lips are read, or his confidant betrays him --the end result is murder. (Sherry, crossword puzzles, acrosstics, and ticket stubs for Marlon Brando's "Last Tango.." become important clues.)

The film is vintage Morse. The shots of Oxford are fabulous --some of the best. This episode was part of the set of stories used to introduced Morse to the American viewing public. John Thaw, who plays Inspector Morse, was born in 1942 and sadly died this past year. Colin Dextor ended the life of his character Inspector Morse about the same time--perhaps knowing the actor had cancer. The series always resonated with sadness and loss, but now the loss is real. Phelong Barrington's wonderful music beating out the no longer used Morse code adds to the angst.

The series was able to snare the best BBC actors and this episode is no exception. Mystery fans will recogize Kevin Whately as Lewis. Barbara Flynn, who played a private investigator in another Mystery presentation, plays a female don. Frederick Torres, who has been suspected of murder more than once and who fans of the "Jewel in the Crown" will know, also plays a don. Clive Swift, known to those who watch "Keeping up Appearances" as Richard Bucket (Bouquet) plays the head of the syndicate.

The DVD is a recording of the tape and is thus not top notch. This is the A&E version and A&E does not always do the best job. However, if you are a Morse fan, this is one of the best of the series, and unlike some of the later episodes was based on a book by Colin Dexter with the same title--so the plot is ingenious.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exquisite!
This has grown to be my favourite Inspector Morse of the entire Morse series! The more I watch this the more enchanted I become with it uncovering little pieces each time. Exquisite indeed!

The murder is set in the arcane world of examiantion boards which were affiliated to some of England's major universities as arbiters of the academic development of students at ages 16 and 18. This obscure branch of academia is nonetheless an ivory tower existance disguising basic human failings of jealousy, greed etc.

When a relatively new examiner is found dead at home the detectives seem to be looking beyond the workplace but in the course of the investigation the examination board becomes the centre of attention.

Essential Morse has three main interests, his love of opera, his appreciation of real ale (microbrews in American parlance), and his fascination of crosswords. It is in the last of these that we find the core to this story. As always the story is composed like a crossword such that the clues must be solved before completing the case. Here, however, the crossword assumes a much greater role. One of the other examiners, and as such a suspect, turns out to be an intellectual hero of Morse, Daedalus, who sets a particu;arly challenging crossword which gives Morse great pleasure. The two men share similar interests and it becomes apparent that they have a similar view of the world. They become competitors in trying to resolve the case but only until Daedalus (played superbly by Michael Gough) is also murdered although he leaves some difficult clues behind.

Another dimension to this story is the love interest of examiner Monica. Again there is a crossword perspective. Morse is intrigued by the physical and intellectual beauty of this woman, but as usual he cannot solve the clues to understanding her. He is torn between his feelings for her as a person and the growing suspicion that she is somehow involved in the murders. Ultimately this conflict is only resolved when it is too late.

The plot twists and turns and has several blind allies but it is compulsive viweing and by the device of Daedelus we get to see a mirror image of Morse the man. Kevin Whately puts in another superb performance as the long suffering Lewis who we perceive as the apprentice of the master but also the master's concience.

An excellent vintage and quite excellent indeed. ... Read more


15. Inspector Morse - Masonic Mysteries
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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Asin: B00007AJDR
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Sales Rank: 11563
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Morse in misery
This is certainly a highly unusual entry in the series, given the fact that Morse is the chief suspect in a murder investigation. Morse is subjected to all sorts of trials and tribulations--- some of which are designed to create a trail of evidence framing Morse for more than one crime. One of the more amusing aspects of the mystery involves Morse's helplessness when confronted with computer technology and its bearing on the case. However, Sgt. Lewis, who never doubts Morse's innocence, comes to the rescue by utilizing his computer skills to help rescue Morse from his predicament. The role of Inspector Bottomley, who is assigned to investigate Morse, offers some amusement value as well. Bottomley, who belongs to a Masonic lodge, ends up looking rather foolish; moreover, he also seems to have been genuinely chagrined when Morse's innocence is finally established. In any event, this mystery represents an interesting and entertaining role reversal for Morse.

5-0 out of 5 stars When Life Imitates Art...
First thing to do is to ignore the "Part 1" above in the item title; you're getting the full-length (100 mins, approx.) episode of "Masonic Mysteries." In terms of the world of Inspector Morse, this is probably the Inspector Morse episode even people who wouldn't otherwise care for the series can enjoy (immensely, in most cases), as it's considerably different to any of the other 32 films in the series. Morse is "the hunted, instead of the hunter" for once, as he is being constantly framed (literally & figuratively) by someone whom he put away years ago and is trying to get his own back. The trials Morse is put through parallel the trials by fire & water in the Mozart opera, "The Magic Flute," which he is in rehearsals for at the beginning with his lady friend (played by Kevin Whately's real-life wife), who is subsequently found dead, before a dumbfounded Morse, knife-in-hand and covered in her blood. It's not based on a Colin Dexter novel and was written by Julian Mitchell, who has written/adapted more Morse screenplays than any other. Morse's close relationship with Lewis is manifested in this episode more than possibly any other. A great deal of humor is to be found in "Masonic Mysteries" (at the Masons' expense), especially from the brief exchanges between Chief Inspector Bottomley, who, working with Lewis, is put in charge of the case. Morse is uncharacteristically upbeat throughout most of the duration of the film, particularly especially given the circumstances he is put in. John Thaw regards this as among his three favorite Morse films (and cites its differing from the others as a factor in that), along with "The Dead of Jericho" ("for sentimental reasons") and "Promised Land". This is the first of two Morse films to be directed by Danny Boyle, the director of such cult hits as "Trainspotting" and "Shallow Grave". The incomparable Ian McDiarmid (who played "The Emperor" in the Star Wars films) stars as the evil-genius nemesis. The Inspector Morse series is widely regarded as the peak in televisual entertainment, and this is a prime example. ... Read more


16. Inspector Morse - Driven to Distraction
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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Asin: B00007AJDT
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 9765
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Driven to the Wrong Conclusion
Like a lot of the Inspector Morse films, a big clue to cracking the case is contained in the title. Including Morse and Lewis, there is a third person who plays an equally significant part in the investigations in this film: DS Maitland, an expert on crimes against women, of which this case is. She just happens to be one, too. This is perhaps the most straightforward storyline, with only a few twists and turns, one of which crops up at the very end, turning the investigation upside down, and also causing everything to fall into place and make sense. Morse is adamant he has his man from the very start and his contempt for the individual, not only an arrogant car salesman but a blackmailer and convicted wifebeater to boot, blinds his judgment. There are many red herrings in this case and the general rule in writing a "whodunit" - i.e. make the last person the viewer would expect to have done it, do it - is employed cunningly. Overall, this is another shining example of the classy series, brilliantly written by Academy Award Winner Anthony Minghella and directed by Sandy Johnson. It is not difficult to see why this is one of the Morse films Colin Dexter selected as his favorites. ... Read more


17. Inspector Morse - Greeks Bearing Gifts
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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Asin: B00008AORN
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10651
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars As usual, John Thaw played His role as Morse brilliantly.
The story line is believeable,the acting is great, the city is beautiful. What more can I say? ... Read more


18. Inspector Morse - Infernal Serpent
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B00006LPB4
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 12261
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars perversion in high places
This story covers a multitude of sins, as it deals with sexual abuse of children, corporate greed, blackmail, and homosexuality among other things. The plot involves an intersection of issues related to possible environmental hazards, corporate efforts to suppress information regarding those hazards, and the attempts of those who have been victimized by sexual abuse to take revenge against the perpetrator. All these issues surface only after Morse investigates the death of a professor, a death which
ironically is attributed to natural causes (a heart attack). Morse once more demonstrates the "thinking man" approach to detection, reaching conclusions based upon analysis of clues (childhood photographs) which might be overlooked by less sagacious investigators. The performances are first rate, and the manner in which the story unfolds maintains interest throughout. ... Read more


19. Inspector Morse - The Way Through the Woods
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
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Asin: B0000A2ZNF
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 8336
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Bunch
The very best Morse ever. The riddle: why do you hide a body so carefully that no one can ever find it, and then leave the victim's bookbag carelessly along the side of the road?

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful !!!
I am lucky in that I used to live in Oxford, so when I watch Morse I know exactly where He is but the filming of this took place mostly in Whytham Woods, a place very near to where I lived but only visited once. I also am aquainted with the real people the main roles were based on. I got so sucked into the plot that I half belived it was the real people I know that were the villians!! For me this film is a " must see" but then all morse films in my view are "to die for"! ... Read more


20. Inspector Morse - Who Killed Harry Field?
Director: Danny Boyle, Stephen Whittaker, Sandy Johnson, Herbert Wise, Edward Bennett, Anthony Simmons, Charles Beeson, John Madden, Stuart Orme, Alastair Reid, Colin Gregg, Brian Parker, James Scott, Peter Hammond, Antonia Bird, Jack Gold, Jim Goddard, Adrian Shergold, Roy Battersby, Peter Duffell
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.98
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Asin: B00008AORO
Catlog: DVD
Sales Rank: 10131
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Typical excellence - and one extra feature
A painter dies mysteriously, and various interests including his father, his erstwhile model and a mysterious rich man all seem to have something to do with it. Typically excellent fare from the Morse team, with the great John Thaw (a national resource, and his death from cancer was a dreadful loss) in typically grumpy and expressive form as Morse, and gorgeous, sunlit English landscapes - in Morse's England it practically never rains (not that I mind). But I hope you don't mind my saying that it is something else that makes this one episode absolutely unforgettable for me: the mysterious model - a single mother living a life of squalor in one of Morse's few genuine slum dwellings - is Nicola Cowper, a little-known English actress who is probably the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. She simply burns on the screen like a flame. One does not wonder that one character is troubled by her almost to his death, and that another is willing to pay for her favours. But even if you do not share my taste for small, exquisite, intense women, you will still not regret buying this episode. ... Read more


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