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Dandelion Dead


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Kitchen, Sarah Miles, David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Peter Vaughan
  • Directors: Mike Hodges
  • Writers: Michael Chaplin
  • Producers: Patrick Harbinson, Sarah Wilson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 2002
  • Run Time: 203 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000069HPR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,709 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dandelion Dead" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

England 1921. The serenity of a small country town is about to be shattered by a shockiing revelation about one of its leading citizens. A family will be ruined. A private matter will become a case of great public interest. Life seems good for Major Herbert Armstrong. he is a respected solicitor with a country estate the love of his three children and a dvout pride in both his life and his garden. But every landscape has its challenges - and so does every life. In Herbert's otherwise pristine garden it's a bad case of dandelions. In his life the problems are twofold. Firstly thre's his wife. Katharine has become bad-termpered and domineering not in the least afraid to shame Herbert in public. Then there's the business. A series of unfortuante financial arrangements and the arrival in town of Oswald Martin a young ambitious rival has turned Henry's good fortune upside down. The solution to the dandelion problem is straightforward: small delicately placed servings of Arsenic will see an end to them. But what is Herbert to do about his nagging wife and the upstart Oswald.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA UPC: 026359184420

From the Back Cover

"Dandelion Dead" is based on actual events, recreating one of the most controversial and unsettling crimes in English legal history, filmed on location at the scene of the crime in Hay-on-Wye. England, 1921. The serenity of a small country town is about to be shattered by a shocking revelation about one of its leading citizens. A family will be ruined. A private matter will become a case of great public interest. Life seems good for Major Herbert Armstrong. He is a respected solicitor with a county estate, the love of his three children and a devout pride in both his life and his garden. But every landscape has its challenges-and so does every life.

Customer Reviews

Very very well acted.
CaliReader
When she summons him home from the tennis club by loudly declaiming that 'it's your bath night!'
sally tarbox
I am so glad I finally found it.
Brenda Cromwell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kendra on March 5, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Spoiler alert:

This is a two part movie. We watched the first part yesterday and the second part this evening. It was riveting from start to finish. The first part really reels the viewer in with the gorgeous scenery, charming atmosphere, lovely costumes, and English gents saying "Jolly good" and "Cheerio". What fun! However, the plot is quite a bit darker which is why the film is so good. Set against this beautiful backdrop, the charming Herbert Armstrong decides to murder his wife. And, even though I am always one to side with the victims rather than the perpetrator, this is one time I would say the wife had it coming.

Oh, she was horrible! And, he was just wonderful. She was rude, unloving, and seemed to only have her self-interest at heart. When he'd make overtures to her to talk about their issues she'd rebuff him in the nastiest way possible. He wasn't milquetoast, though-- he seemed to have quite a bit of depth under that placid demeanor. She actually had the nerve to interrupt him at a tennis tournament to tell him to get home for dinner and that it was his bath night!

(This movie is based on true events and, from what I've read on other sites (look up Major Herbert Armstrong), the depictions of these characters were very true to life.)

Consequently, we empathize with Armstrong and don't mind when she drinks her arsenic-laced tea and cocoa. It's exciting to see Armstrong come out of his shell and be actually happy (while she's ill) because we've grown to care about HIM and understand how horrible the wife made his life and the children's lives.

In the second part, though, we change our minds completely about Herbert. He's no longer just a charming happy guy freed from living with an evil shrew-- he's now selfish and unscrupulous.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE RANNIE on October 3, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Dandelion Dead" is a really riveting presentation. It kind of sneaked up on me. At first, I found myself just enjoying the recreation, on screen, of a very idyllic time (1920) and place (small country town) with the seemingly gentle and harmless character of Major Herbert Armstrong played superbly by Michael Kitchen along with his most irritating wife wonderfully (and surprisingly for me) played by Sarah Miles. The next thing I was aware of, I was completely absorbed in this murder/mystery.

"Dandelion Dead" is NOT a "who done it?" From the very beginning, I was fully aware that the Major had poisoned his harpy of a wife. (in all honesty, to me, if anyone "had it coming" it was she-what a B....!) The "mystery/suspense" is how is the major going to get caught with justice prevailing. At first, it DOES appear that he has gotten away with murder. Believe me, by that time in the film, I WAS HOOKED.

For a very engrossing "murder/mystery", buy this DVD
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy C. Wingate on January 20, 2008
Format: DVD
Like the other review I supremely enjoyed this drama. It is not just a murder-mystery but a study of jealousy and small-town crises and scandals. All three main actors are superb - especially David Thewliss - and Sarah Miles is entirely convincing as the embittered and repressed and bitchy matriarch of the family. Would not any husband wish to do away with such a harpy?

The recreation of the small English village is spot on and although it is long - over three hours - the time speeds by effortlessly.

I highly recommend this drama and it will give you hours of delicious entertainment and intrigue.

Timothy Wingate OTTAWA CANADA
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Meredith L. Burton on March 10, 2010
Format: DVD
Dramas based on true stories are often more strange than fiction. "Dandelion Dead" is an unforgettable miniseries that chronicles the life of Major Herbert Armstrong, a British solicitor living in the early part of the 20th century. Major Armstrong was convicted of the murder of his wife Catherine in 1921.
This miniseries is enthralling from the very beginning. Superb characterization is employed to make true people shine in their foibles and good points. Armstrong is shown as a downtrodden husband whom you can easily empathize with. However, as the story progresses, he becomes more erratic and unpredictable. Therefore, the viewer is glad when he receives his just desserts.

The acting in this movie is marvelous! Michael Kitchen is unsurpassable is Armstrong, bringing a vulnerability to this complex person. As he prepares the arsenic-laced cocoa and tea for his wife, the viewer is repelled, but he/she is also secretly proud of the henpecked man for standing up for his rights. Of course, when one says this, it sheds light on his/her secret dark desires. Sarah Miles does brilliant work as the repulsive Catherine, and shee, too, gives emotional depth to an otherwise irredeemable character. Toward the end of the first part of the miniseries, you see this character begin to change, so you tend to have mixed emotions about her fate. The other performers are equally brilliant.

I strongly recommend this brilliant movie. Happy viewing, and God bless.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JOHN GODFREY on December 17, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
led me to this earlier Micheal Kitchen work, Dandelion Dead. In this mini-series, he plays Maj. Hebert Armstrong, esq. In several ways the characters are similiar. One is a solicitor, the other a cop. Both are well-bred, upper middleclass gentleman, former World War I officers. Both respected & liked. Whereas Foyle has rock hard integrity, the Major, not as much. But he is more amiable. The Major is saddled with a disagreeable wife. No, that is too kind. She is absolutely horrid, played marvelously by Sarah Miles. She has not a shred of affection for him, is an unremitting nag & embarasses him in front of friends & associates. I found myself rooting for him as he decides to poison her with arsenic he has acquired to rid himself of weeds in his beloved garden. She dies a slow, painful death. He is free! But so is his hubris at getting away with murder so easily. His law practice is slipping & he has competition in the small village where he works. So...
Lovely period piece set in 1921. Very British, dry, witty. Lots of humrous content despite the subject. Kind of the sterotype we Yanks have of the Brits from that era.
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