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Prime Suspect 1 (1992)

Helen Mirren , John Benfield  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, John Benfield, Tom Bell, Jack Ellis, Craig Fairbrass
  • Producers: Don Leaver, Sally Head
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Hbo Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 208 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AYJV5
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,300 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prime Suspect 1" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Helen Mirren (Teaching Mrs. Tingle/Gosford Park) introduces the character of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the first of the series PRIME SUSPECT, which aired on PBS in January 1992. There will be five series in all, with a sixth currently set to air in the summer of 2004. When a young woman is found brutally murdered and the DCI in charge is unable to take up the case, it is passed to Jane Tennison, the first female DCI to handle such responsibility. Between a slippery suspect and resistance from her team of detectives, Tennison has her hands full. But she's got the strength to take them all on.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helen Mirren is at the top of her form.... June 25, 2004
As usual the UK has produced and delivered a series that puts to shame anything that American television has to offer. Helen Mirren is ranked one of the world's best actors-and for good reason.
I have all of the DVD's in the Prime Suspect series, having watched them first on public television's ExxonMobil Theatre. If you are one of those who make deliberate choices based on quality, then do not miss this series. It is one of, if not THE best, that television has to offer.
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79 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DCI Jane is my kind of dame . . . January 16, 2006
By dogny
DCI Jane Tennison, superbly played by Helen Mirren, is not to be trifled with. Her charging, take-no-prisoners attitude is great fun to watch. She suffers fools poorly . . . or rather they suffer from her. Why do these chauvinists love to pick fights with her? Personally, I'd give her wide berth! Prime Suspect begins the six-part series.

Full disclosure . . . I'm a flag waving, red state kind of guy. My gastritis flairs when I confess the Brits blow us out of the pond in dramatic construction. These dramas are not just good. They're awesome. Each is exquisitely plotted with three dimensional characters(maybe Jane has five dimensions). The action in the squad room has a documentary feel to it.

It is a joy to watch DCI Jane in action; a role made for Helen Mirren. She flirts with you, insults you, kicks you, and always fights for justice. Usually in a multi-part series such as Prime Suspect, I will have a favorite . . .but this is not true here: each is a gem.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Way to Get the Man is Put a Woman on the Case March 20, 2006
Prime Suspect started what has become the best series of detective specials ever.

Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) is a Deputy Chief Inspector (DCI) with the Metropolitan Police in London. But the Met is an all boys club. Jane is also starting a new relationship with a divorcee, Peter (Tom Wilkinson).

Episode 1 -

A woman was found brutally murdered in the bed sit (business apartment) of prostitute Della Mornay. DCI Shefford has been assigned the case. They find a rare blood type in the bed sit and are able to trace it to a convicted rapist George Marlow. They arrest and question Marlow and he admits to frequenting Della. But the quick end of the investigation changes when DCI Shefford has a heart attack and dies.

There is no available DCI's for the case, well no male DCI's. Jane makes a pitch to her boss and with some trepidation, he gives her the case. This makes her the first female DCI to handle a murder investigation. The old boys network circles the wagons to sabotage Jane, lead by Shefford's second Detective Sergeant Bill Otley.

The first thing that Jane does is confirm the victim's identity. But the victim's finger prints do not match Della's, they must now find out the victim's identity. They slim down the missing persons to two and Jane visits the family and discovers the girl's identity, Karen Howard. Now they have to connect Marlow with Karen Howard.

Episode 2 -

The 72 hours is up and Jane must make a decision, charge or release Marlow. Since she has no compelling evidence, Marlow is released. This displeases everyone and Otley uses this to his advantage.

Jane realizes something is wrong and looks through a desk and finds the missing Della Mornay file and diary.
Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series - poor DVD July 7, 2004
By A Customer
This is more of a review for people that loved the series Prime Suspet and are thinking about purchasing the dvd. The series is fantastic, but the dvds available in the US are quite poor quality. There are weird artifacts in the images as a result of poor compression rate, etc. If you want to get good high-quality dvds of this series you're better off ordering them from the UK ( has them), but make sure your dvd player can play Region 2 dvds!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As the other reviews here attest, this is a tremendously compelling series - initiated beautifully in 1992 with this nearly 4-hour episode (the next three episodes were about the same length...PS5 and PS6, which I don't think actually had those titles, were about 2 hours each). Lynda La Plante's script reconsiders the drab police procedural as a breathtaking and life-shaking event. Indeed there is much here that can be savored and appreciated on repeated viewings. Helen Mirren's performance is nothing less than astonishing. She is very human(e) and someone who endures much that both women and men will be able to easily identify and empathize with. However, while this series is certainly welcome (and wanted!) on DVD (although Prime Suspect 1 and 2 were available briefly on DVD in 1998 - and now out of print), this new edition - issued in 2003 - may not be the perfect release. (1) There is at least one full scene missing (Tennyson meets George's mother at her seaside rest home). (2) There seemed to be a couple of brief - though not awful - visual glitches on the first disc of my copy. (3) The handsomely packaged 2-disc set is quite expensive. None of these reasons is meant to fend anyone off of such an incredible performance (Dame Mirren) and one of the best crime series ever aired on TV. But such great work certainly deserves a little better attention.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Crime Dramas Ever! January 14, 2004
By A Customer
If you like great acting, great directing and a great suspense story, look no further. Helen Millen does a superb job of portraying a female detective (DCI Tennison) in London who takes over a homicide investigation into serial murders after her male colleague passes away. Besides trying to come up with concrete evidence to put the prime suspect away, she must battle her own department, run by male colleagues who don't trust her competence simply because she's a woman. Tennison is able to rise to the occasion, rally the department behind her, and solve the murders. Mirren does a fascinating job of portraying Tennison as an intelligent and competent detective, an overchiever who often puts her work ahead of her relationships. Even though Tennison is seen with her flaws and all, the audience believes in her and roots for her all the way. This excellent drama was originaly an HBO miniseries and is followed by several sequels, which are just as outstanding. Highly recommended!

Even though I loved this movie, I was disappointed by the DVD in that it did not have close-captioning.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful acting and great story that fully allowed development of ...
I never was around i worked nights then when it was shown on PBS and I missed a treat. Wonderful acting and great story that fully allowed development of characters and situation. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Carrie Louise Hames
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of the best shows from England. Helen Mirren is the best.
Published 1 month ago by Shawn Weedman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by John J. Scanlan
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!
Helen Mirren, the stories, the british atmosphere, everything is good. I recommend the 7 seasons.
Published 3 months ago by Dominique
4.0 out of 5 stars Good BBC Crime Drama
Overall, a good little series, with some bizarre serial-killing going on, as only the BBC can do it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by voption
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start to the Prime Suspect series.
This first series (a 4-part continuing episode) is engaging, sometimes to tough to watch, but worth the effort. Great acting. Great story.
Published 17 months ago by Danny P. Sendzik
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime Suspect
Very good series, will order the next one...can't beat Helen Mirren as an actress she is one of the best as far as I am concerned!
Published 18 months ago by Ellen Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
The rare drama worthy of Ms. Mirren's considerable talents. This is the first, and I think best, of a series of British TV movies involving Jane Tennison. Read more
Published 20 months ago by J Bellington
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor Sound & No Closed Captions or Subtitles
We gave this a good try. Watched the first episode twice and the second episode once. The sound quality just does not make it. We miss 15 to 20 percent of the dialog. Read more
Published on December 28, 2011 by Sky King
5.0 out of 5 stars Prime Suspect 1
I thought this was an excellent production from the first time I saw it, and am looking forward to watching it again. Read more
Published on November 8, 2011 by Bran j. Simion
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Topic From this Discussion
language besides english?
Is it subtitled in other languages? Which oneīs? Anybody knows?
Mar 18, 2010 by Juan M. Hoffmann |  See all 4 posts
Ending to Season One?
I am also disappopinted but this really is how the Season One ends.
Jan 25, 2008 by Lolin |  See all 4 posts
Region 2 different?
I don't know about this particular DVD, but I've found other Region 2 DVD's to be a bit darker than their U.S. counterparts. Still perfectly acceptable, however.
Oct 25, 2010 by Le Vieux |  See all 3 posts
Blu-ray vs Wide screen Be the first to reply
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