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Back in early 1979 PBS launched a new drama series called Mystery! The very first selection was She Fell Among Thieves, a BBC production that aimed to include every characteristic of a successful detective/mystery story that could be dreamed up: the mysterious house, the large and highly suspicious list of possible victims and perpetrators, the heroic detective, and the menacing main character, in this case a woman of unparalleled charm and menace. The production was meant to be over the top and a bit farcical, and it certainly succeeded. I remember laughing hysterically part of the time and using all my wits to comprehend the latest plot twist at others.

After thirty years She Fell Among Thieves is once again available. Snap it up at once. If you remember its first showing you'll find it has aged remarkably well. If this is your first time to see it, you're in for an incredible treat.
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on June 22, 2009
I don't understand the Amazon credits listing of Judy Dench etc., since these are not the actors in this wonderful film.... the very first episode of PBS' MYSTERY! How many years did I listen to the audio tape I made of this program? Campy dialogue, wonderful music, remarkable acting and actors.... and remembering Vincent Price saying the screen writer took the original novel, its concept, and threw the rest away... the results were a wonderfully atmospheric period piece with tongue-in-cheek humor that is mostly supplied by the viewer. And Eileen Atkins steals the film as the most succulent villian... accompanied by the proper eerie moments or organ music in the score. One hell of an ending, too!
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on June 1, 2011
This was just a bit too campy for me. The two stars I gave it were for the sets and wonderful scenes. The actors were about as hammy as possible and the dialogue and story line really quite ridiculous . I cannot remember a really good chuckle. It came off more like a freak show than a farce. I purchased this dvd because one of my favorites, Judi Dench, was supposed to be in it and I did not see hide nor hair of her. WHAT HAPPENED.

I usually love British period pieces. Just felt this one was trying too hard or not enough, I have not decided.

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I looked forward to viewing this film since it was part of the BBC PBS series and PBS usually, but not always, produces very enjoyable films. I especially like the character actors in the British films and the way the stories develop, which is different than American mysteries. However, after about fifteen minutes, I began to feel that there was something strange about this film and considered turning it off.

The story is about a woman, Vanity Fair, who heads a small band of thieves and who controls them with her strong personality. She has a step daughter, who seems to be quite naïve and who is not a thief. The step daughter will inherit millions of dollars if she will marry, and the step mother, Vanity, can then take her money from her. This plot sounds good, but it is presented in a very campy manner. Camp is fun, but somehow I felt that while it was ok to watch it, it was not as funny as camp should be, the development of the plot was generally unreasonable and sometimes bordered on the ridiculous, and the company of thieves, all of whom were camp characters, including Vanity, were somewhat silly.
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on October 25, 2013
Welcome to the world of Dornford Yates! You don't have to be English to enjoy this DVD, but it probably helps. We are used to such excess.

I have read many a Dornford Yates from my grandmother's attic. They are light entertainment from a near-forgotten era.

As other reviewers have noted, the acting is somewhat melodramatic, but it accurately reflects Yates' writing style. His characters are stereotypes: The villains terribly evil; the good folk supremely pure; the beautiful heroines embody all the feminine virtues; the noble heroes are quintessential gentlemen - courageous, intelligent, caring. There are no shades of grey - well, maybe the bad-girl-turns-good (who usually dies, expiating her sins). In this production, the heroine is quite wishy-washy and fortunately doesn't take up much air time. Eileen Atkins makes a spine-shivering evil-doer.

Don't expect a high-brow production, or you will be disappointed. She Fell Among Thieves is just good entertainment; the setting lovely, the cars gorgeous, and the costumes glittering. You just need to accept that overacting is part of the package, and part of the fun.

No, Judi Dench is not in the production. Gene Shallit was the first person to introduce the Mystery series, that glorious year when Jeremy Brett and Joanna David were in REBECCA, which still cannot be bought on DVD.
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on November 5, 2009
I love period drama but this movie was more tongue in cheek than real drama. It sounded great but found it to be "overdone" in the acting and the presentation. I would recommend only for those who would enjoy a very unrealistic acting job. Not the worst by any means but not that fantastic.
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on January 20, 2013
Now this is definitely a movie that would not appeal to everyone! We didn't know what to expect, but love Judi Dench and love BBC films/series. We thought with the two together it had to be a winner!!! The actual filming, staging, presentation were wonderful... as you can expect from the BBC! This film was like one of those foreign films you may go to see and either love or hate. It has twists and turns... and I won't spoil the end for you... but it is a bit predictable. We DID enjoy it, but I give it 4 stars because it wasn't a WOW. If you like foreign films with a bit of oddity... then, you will like this one.
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on April 14, 2009
The BBC drama that launched "Mystery!" on PBS, She Fell Among Thieves is a DVD presentation in full color, featuring silver screen stars Malcolm McDowell (known for his performances in "A Clockwork Orange" and "Heroes") and Eileen Atkins (known for her performance in "Cold Mountain"). While visiting the Pyrenees on holiday in 1922, English gentleman Richard Chandos crosses paths with Vanity Fair, the nefarious Mistress of the turreted Chateau Jezreel and leader of criminals, hell-bent on pressuring her beautiful stepdaughter to marry so that she may inherit millions. Chandos must put his brains and brawn to the test to rescue the damsel in distress, but his opponent has ice water for blood and murder in her soul. An enthralling drama, highly recommended to mystery lovers as well as public library DVD collections. 78 minutes, 4:3 full screen, SDH subtitles.
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on December 9, 2011
Rather slow and a lot of chasing around the countryside, (up and down mountains); too much drama. Fun to watch, (for a short while), but not really something that quite matches this day and time, even if meant to be tongue in cheek drama !
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on June 17, 2013
If you like Period Mystery Thrillers. You will love "She Fell Among Thieves". I picked this DVD up over a year ago and then put it aside after viewing about 30 seconds of it because I thought it was going to turn out to be more of a Soap Opera than a Mystery Thriller.

Boy, was I wrong. True it is a little Tongue-in-Cheek, but that's part of the fun. I am not going to try to convince you that the acting, coutumes and plot are good or bad, but if you like all the Bulldog Drummond, Charlie Chan, Ellery Queen and Agatha Christy movies out there, you'll like this movie too. So just watch it and enjoy it for what it is and leave the grousing for those that don't know how to have a good-time.

Bottom line. I told the members of my family (who are big mystery fans) about this title and I plan to watch it again with them.
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