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Painted Lady

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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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JXPC6O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,833 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


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

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

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Opinions" 17
  • "Story" 6
  • "Series" 5
  • "Characters" 4
  • "Writing" 4
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

95 of 101 people found the following review helpful By william m. cheseldine on September 22, 2004
Format: DVD
if you like helen mirren you will love this movie, since it was expressly written for her by allan cubitt. there are art forgeries and theft, there is great music, gay characters and situations, and a good sampling of gangsters and the chaos they bring upon a group of people who are attempting for the first time to live an "ordinary, quiet life". And there is murder and deep personal loss. it shows that in even well meaning situations the price for breathing is very high indeed. this is what every mystery writer should aspire to, and again our british cousins show us how it is done.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By GEORGE RANNIE on September 12, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I totally agree with the previous reviewer that this is one INTENSE murder/mystery. This film involves and is about something, I feel, little is known about--the under ground "art world". Helen Mirren proves once again that she is a hell of an actress. In fact everyone involved in this film is GREAT! The script, direction, plot, etc are fantastic!

I had to view the film twice to fully decipher the mystery and the "goings on"! It kept me on the edge of my seat with its unexpected plot twists and tensions!

If you are into intense contemporary murder/mysteries (it ain't Agatha Christi--not that there is anything wrong with that!) buy this DVD.
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28 of 28 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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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Doug Anderson VINE VOICE on October 18, 2006
Format: DVD
The nicest part of owning the DVD version of a Masterpiece Theatre mini-series is that the entire series is edited to play like a continuous 3.5 hour feature length film and you can watch the entire series in one night. The Painted Lady is one of the more innovative, compelling and consistently intriguing English mysteries to be produced by the Masterpiece set. Though this addition to the Masterpiece Theatre collection will appeal to devotees of the series, there are enough original elements here to win the kinds of viewers who may be turned off by some of the stuffier BBC productions. This one, while staid enough to keep the loyalists, is also hip enough to win a new legion of followers.

Like many English mysteries this one examines not crime so much as social relationships and this glimpse into the mysteries of British class and character is one of the most interesting that I've seen. Helen Mirren plays "Maggie Sheridan", a British Isles pop star whose bluesy-rock voice tinged with just the right amount of Celtic grandeur made her one of the biggest stars of the sixties and early seventies but due to a combination of hard-living and bad relationship choices she went from star to down and outer virtually overnight. Lucky for her, longtime family friend Sir Charles Stafford and his son Sebastian allowed her to crash in a cottage on their family estate when she hit rock bottom and its there that she has been sitting out the last two decades (the 80's & 90's) of her life. When we first see Maggie she seems to be wearing the same hairstyle and clothes she probably wore twenty years earlier and she just seems to be driftin' from one day to the next in a kind of drug & alcohol induced has-been haze livin' a care free & rent free life with her musician boyfriend.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Snowbrocade VINE VOICE on May 9, 2006
Format: DVD
Helen Mirren routinely devastates her audience with her amazing screen presence, glamour and talent. In this elaborate mystery she goes undercover and penetrates the world of international art thievery. Mirren more than once is filmed in reference to a renowned painting--something you would not expect on Masterpiece theatre but rather in an art film.

The story is suspenseful and the twists are very well done. If I have any critique, I would suggest trimming about 20 minutes out and thereby not drawing out the suspense quite so far. This two part series is 208 minutes and would have had a little more edge if it had been slighly briefer. But this is just quibbling. This is a quality television movie and certainly worth seeing.
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Jenny Darren sings for Maggie.
Apr 23, 2012 by Norskey |  See all 2 posts
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