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49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As seen on Masterpiece Theatre

Semi-retired, with wine glass in one hand and cigarette in the other, former ’60s rock singer Maggie Sheridan (Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect, The Queen) seems resigned to life on a crumbling country estate, ruminating about her past. But everything changes when a botched robbery leaves her friend Sir Charles Stafford dead and one of his prized paintings missing. Determined to retrieve the masterpiece and find the killer, Maggie plunges into the murky underworld of the art trade. Posing as a wealthy Polish countess, she sets off on a treacherous path from Ireland to London to New York and back again. Meanwhile, Sir Charles’s troubled son, Sebastian, embarks on his own path of discovery. Where the two trails meet, life begins to imitate art to deadly effect.

Oscar®-winner Helen Mirren delivers a tour-de-force performance with strong supporting turns by Iain Glen (Adam Bede), Lesley Manville (All or Nothing), Michael Maloney (Truly Madly Deeply), and Franco Nero (Camelot).

DVD FEATURE INCLUDES biography of Helen Mirren.

Nudity and sexual situations

Helen Mirren fans will delight in this 1997 Brit-mystery TV film (originally a miniseries) that reportedly was written expressly for her by its writer, Allan Cubitt. Painted Lady equal parts a character study of a remarkable woman (faded blues singer Maggie Sheridan, played by Mirren) and an enthralling murder mystery involving the European art underworld. And a grisly world that is. Mirren’s reclusive Sheridan has taken up residence at the grand Irish estate of her friend Sir Charles Stafford and his troubled son, Sebastian (Iain Glen), and seems content to make her music for a much smaller audience than in her heyday--a handsome young boy toy who may or may not have ulterior motives. When Sir Charles is murdered, Maggie is compelled to help track him down, which means donning a disguise as a wealthy art patron trolling through the art underground looking for a painting stolen at the time of the slaying. Mirren is as deft at playing Maggie the talented almost-has-been singer as she is a fired-up but naïve private investigator. Maggie has none of the street smarts of Mirren’s Prime Suspect character, Jane Tennison--but there’s a steely determination the characters share. Painted Lady is a gripping crime thriller starring one of the best actresses ever. Fancy that? --A.T. Hurley

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Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Iain Cuthbertson, John Kavanagh, Lorelei King, Michael Maloney
  • Directors: Julian Jarrold
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • 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: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 198 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JXPC6O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,960 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on February 11, 2009
Format: DVD
"Painted Lady" is 100% unpredictable. This one is impossible to get to the root of (solve) the mystery till the very end, so don't cheat yourself and skip immediately to the last scene selection. The facts behind who-dun-it and the ever changing mystery of why, are what makes this movie. That is why the Chicago Tribune labeled it "Deliciously Complex." That it is. For 190 minutes of its 198 minute length, you'll constantly wonder who or why.

Helen Mirren, is wonderful, in and out of her clothing. Her character, ex-singer Maggie Sheridan, seems to make friends with many, but it is the murder of Sir Charles, whom Maggie considered "like a father", that sets her on the hunt for the killer. And a search for a lost painting. The mystery becomes a tapestry of clues related to drugs, homosexual activity, murder, art trade (legal and illegal), and robbery. Maggie uses anyone and everyone in her quest. All she seems to find are more questions. She uses anyone, legal or illegal, man or woman, crook or cop, enemies and family, in her search for answers. She uses her own created alias of an art-loving rich countess. Her sister helps her learn a bit of art history, but just enough to get herself into many fixes.

The movie does get a little graphic in places, so it's not for the squeamish or the kiddies. Nothing like an attackers brains being blown across her pretty face to wake up Maggie to more danger. In Maggie's effort to help Sir Charles' son with his financial woes, he gets strung up clad only in his briefs, then used for crossbow target practice. Well, get the picture? This British mystery, unrated, is NOT G. The cover includes a splat and run of blood in the upper right corner--there's a reason for that.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on September 11, 2009
Format: DVD
Helen Mirren's arguably one of the best actresses today. Who else could make Britain's Queen come to life on the screen with dignity and grace?

In Masterpiece Theatre's "Painted Lady," she plays Maggie Sheridan, an aging rock star who's taken shelter in the guest house of a family friend and father figure. When he's murdered over a painting, she goes undercover to solve the crime.

This is an intricate mystery that takes some deliciously unpredictable turns before the story comes to its conclusion. Definitely not a film you will want to see uninterrupted, you do not want to miss a thread or you will be lost.

Warning -- this is not family fare. You have nudity, gore, and some torture depicted in this film. "Painted Lady" is definitely an art treasure on its own, well worth watching and owning.

Rebecca Kyle, September 2009
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on February 13, 2009
Format: DVD
"Painted Lady," is a British mystery/crime thriller/drama, made as a television mini-series by Granada for the United Kingdom's associated independent television stations (ITV). It was shown here on the Public Broadcasting System's "Masterpiece Theatre" in 1998 and 2000. It stars Oscar, Emmy-winning, and highly-admired actress Helen Mirren (Prime Suspect - Complete Collection (10 Disc Set) ; The Queen), in a part that might have been written for her, and probably was, by the talented Allen Cubitt(Prime Suspect 2). It was helmed by the equally-talented Julian Jarrold (Brideshead Revisited; Becoming Jane). And Mirren herself, who undoubtedly had quite a lot to do with this production, takes an Associate Producer credit on it; as does Rebecca Eaton, of Boston Station WGBH, "Masterpiece Theatre's"long-time Executive Producer. It's a two-part series that runs approximately 198 minutes, and, wonderfully enough, it's got subtitles, too.

Mirren gives every sign of having a ball playing Maggie Sheridan, former 1960's British blues crooner, now semi-retired, living in the lushest green Irish countryside, with wine glass in one hand, cigarette in the other, and boy toy not far.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By F. Jones on April 23, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
The Painted Lady is a marvelous movie in which Helen Mirren delivers a ferocious performance as a former blues singer in search of the killers of her landlord. Her portrayal alone, which spans the spectrum of human emotion from roaring rage to wounded pain deserves an Emmy. The plot at times get a little murky, but stick with Mirren everytime and she'll show you what is still good about television.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By N.N. on January 5, 2012
Format: DVD
This is a frustratingly dumb, contrived and tedious movie masquerading as an intellectual thriller. Helen Mirren is a crime-solving former drug addict and blues singer who pretends to be an Eastern European countess and art connoisseur in order to avenge the death of her best friend's father. It's not clear why she steals a weapon which is NOT the murder weapon and doesn't just tell the police what she knows. Instead she goes on a "Pretty Woman"-style shopping spree (complete with Nicole Farhi product placement), and runs around spouting a very suspect Russian accent and bidding on things at auctions. The whole film feels like a vanity project for Ms. Mirren. Every male character encountering her must ogle her like mad and/or have sex with her. Even the background research for this film is shoddy. One character corrects another, saying an image is not of Diana, but of Artemis. Diana was the Roman name for Artemis, for crying out loud, and the "art expert" is talking about a 16th century Italian painting. If you're going to make an inane, pretentious movie about hijinks in the art world, at least get the art history part right. The preposterous plot ends as nonsensically as it carried on. The only good thing is a chance to see Franco Nero, who played Lancelot in the 1967 musical "Camelot". He's possibly even more handsome now, but still not old enough to have been 20 in 1947 as the story requires. What a mess.
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Jenny Darren sings for Maggie.
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