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P.D. James: Devices and Desires (2008)

Roy Marsden , Susannah York , John Davies  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Roy Marsden, Susannah York, Gemma Jones, James Faulkner, Tony Haygarth
  • Directors: John Davies
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, 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: Koch Vision
  • DVD Release Date: August 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 310 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00199PPCE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,055 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "P.D. James: Devices and Desires" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

A serial killer known as "the Whistler" has been terrorizing the women of London and Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh (Roy Marsden) gets caught up in the search in this adaptation of P.D. James’ best-selling mystery. With twists and turns around every corner, Dalgliesh must navigate through an assortment of bizarre suspects to stop the murderer once and for all. Will he solve the case before it’s too late?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Koch Vision presents "DEVICES AND DESIRES" (4 January 1991) (310 mins/Color) -- the 1989 detective novel in the Adam Dalgliesh (Roy Marsden) series by P. D. James --- It takes place on Larksoken, an isolated headland in Norfolk --- Commander Adam Dalgliesh, having published his second volume of poetry, retreats to the remote Larksoken headland where his recently deceased aunt, Jane Dalgliesh, left him a converted windmill --- However, a psychopathic mass murderer, known as the Norfolk Whistler, is on the loose and seems to have arrived at Larksoken when Dalgliesh finds the body of the nearby nuclear power plant's Acting Administrative Officer during an evening stroll on the beach --- We then watch the effect a following series of interlocking plots have on each other --- Certainly one of the outstanding examples of P.D. James mystery writing.

Under the production staff of:
John Davies - Director
Thomas Ellice - Screenwriter
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elegance August 31, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed watching real actors at work. The pace of the storytelling allows for the development of the characters and the plot. There is nothing like a Brit mystery!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Disappointing August 18, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Unlike many other works of P D James,this one is slow moving,probably because
Dalgliesh is not in charge of the investigation.It is also somewhat unrealistic
(even for fiction),as 7 women have been murdered at night,and women are still
going outside alone after the sun sets. The discovery of the main murderer seems
to have occured with little police input (it's a wonder the local "cop" was
not superceeded by an outsider).The technical production is good,except I do
miss not having Closed Captioning (British sound/pronunciation takes some
careful listening at times. Also,a spell out of the character names would have
been helpful). All this said,this DVD set is worth viewing and my remarks should
be considered along with more positive ones,such as those of "Mr Jim".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poor Audio May 9, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed with the audio of this DVD. I turned the volume up on my TV to the highest level and was still unable to hear most of the dialogue even when the music didn't drown it out completely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Effective Mystery August 10, 2011
This series takes Dalgliesh to the Norfolk area where his recently deceased Aunt Jane has left him her home which is a converted windmill. As one would expect, murder and mayhem precede him and compels him to use his considerable skills to help the local police unravel the mystery.

This particular series is not for general viewing by the entire family as there are several scenes with partial frontal nudity and rather graphic scenes of murdered corpses; I cannot recommend this one for children. From the perspective of British detective shows this one is good and holds ones interest through all six episodes.

As is usual liberties are taken with P. D. James' story line but all in all the series works pretty well. There are some lovely beach scenes that help establish a mood of isolation.

If you're a Dalgliesh fan you'll probably enjoy this one too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Whistler April 14, 2013
"I tend to believe in an absolute morality, independent of time or circumstance."--Adam Dalgleish

Anyone who is a PD James fan is a fan of Adam Dangleish. He is the superlative in Inspectors. I have read the entire series,and I am a fan of the DVD series. This series is thirty years old and looks it in several ways, but I like to revisit that time when everything seems to be black and white,no grey to muddy the waters.

London Inspector Adam Dalgleish, played by Roy Marsden, Is on leave, trying to settle his aunt's estate. An old friend, Meg, played by Susannah York, catches him up on all the local gossip. There is a hint of a romance here, however, action is slow for Dangleish. Meanwhile, there's a serial killer known as The Whistler roaming the countryside. The local policeman has met with Dangleish asking his advice. The murders hit home for Dalgleish at a dinner party; one of the guests is late because he stumbled on a body. Naturally, he tells more of what he saw to the assembled guests than is wise, and, then, Dalgleish finds the body of a woman from the nearby nuclear plant after she is killed by an unknown assailant. It looks like The Whistler has struck again.

There are several older actors I recognize from many BBC films, Gemma Jones, late of MI-5, James Faulkner, Nicola Cowper, Susan Crowley, and a very young Kate Beckinsall. The action may be slow but it is steady and is superb for me.

Recommended. prisrob 04-14-13
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Haven't had time to watch it yet but all discs ...
Haven't had time to watch it yet but all discs seem ok.
Published 12 days ago by JEAN PACIUS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
in good condition Thanks.
Published 16 days ago by C. Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good story line.
Published 22 days ago by Nellie 60
5.0 out of 5 stars Devices and Desires is right up there with the best of British...
P.D. James is, of course, a top notch author and her Dalgleish mysteries are right up there with the very best. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert Gotthelf
4.0 out of 5 stars another good one.
I will keep reading pdJames I am sure until I have read all her books. She does a better job than the USA writers.
Published 5 months ago by Jo-Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Flick
Mystery will keep you guessing! We have his complete collection but this one a new one and worth the price.
Published 8 months ago by Boston Native
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Series of Mysteries
If you have never been introduced to P D James Hang on to your seat, turn off the phone, and pull up your feet tuck the throw blanket and detect with a detective. Read more
Published 12 months ago by halh
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I love p d James videos - they keep you guessing who done it Roy Marsden is wonderful - low key but insightful
Published 20 months ago by Anna Schorno
2.0 out of 5 stars A Nasty Bit of Norfolk
First off, pay no attention to the `editorial reviews' section. The women of London are not being terrorized by the Whistler. The Whistler, like Dalgleish, is in Norfolk. Read more
Published on June 14, 2012 by Richard B. Schwartz
2.0 out of 5 stars A movie version ruined the tale of a great writter
P. D. James is Britain's "Queen of Crime," arguably the best of England's crime writers. She is able to write a good mystery that is a fine novel. Read more
Published on July 14, 2011 by Israel Drazin
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