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Prime Suspect 7 - The Final Act

180 customer reviews

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(Sep 11, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Perhaps the greatest role and performance of a female police detective, ever"--San Francisco Chronicle

In yet another subtle, powerful performance, Oscar® winner Helen Mirren truly inhabits the role of Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison. The Final Act finds her searching for Sallie Sturdy, a 14-year-old girl presumed murdered. Facing the hospitalization of her father, descending deeper into alcoholism, and resisting pressure to retire quietly, Tennison vows to bring Sallie's killer to justice before ending her career. Along the way she forges a surprising friendship with Penny Philips (Laura Greenwood), the missing girl's best friend. In the teenager's longing and fierce independence, the aging cop sees something of her younger self.

Jane Tennison emerges as a deeply flawed but ultimately sympathetic human being--one who accepts responsibility for her choices, knowing full well the price she and others have paid for each. The Final Act serves as the perfectly fitting conclusion to what some critics have called the best crime series ever televised.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE 50-minute behind-the-scenes feature, photo gallery, and cast filmographies.

Some coarse language and graphic content

Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) has dedicated her life to pursuing criminals and, as she nears retirement, the stresses of the job and of proving herself in the man's world of law enforcement have taken their toll: she has virtually no life of her own as well as a serious alcohol problem. Ever dedicated to her job, Tennison is determined to solve one final case, that of a 14-year old girl Sallie Sturdy (Maxine Barton) who's gone missing, before she retires. Even as Detective Superintendent Tennison's father takes seriously ill and alcohol-induced blackouts hinder her investigative capabilities, Tennison remains resolute in her determination to solve the case. As the investigation progresses, Tennison develops an unusually close relationship with the missing girl's young friend Penny Phillips (Laura Greenwood), seeing much of her younger self in the headstrong girl, and struggles to maintain her focus and use her crime-solving instincts and sharp eye for detail to bring Sallie's killer to justice. In the end, Tennison must also find a way to come to terms with her own alcoholism and impending retirement.

Prime Suspect was a groundbreaking British television series because of its portrayal of a powerful woman who dared to aspire to a leadership role in the man's world of police detective work. In the 15 years the series ran (1991-2006), every season tackled politically volatile subject matter, from sexism to racism and homophobia, while maintaining an intense attention to detail and a steadfast commitment to the accurate portrayal of law enforcement's investigative process. It was, one could argue, the precursor to modern crime series like CSI and Law and Order. Fittingly, these final episodes in the Prime Suspect series deal head-on with the controversy of inappropriate relationships between minors and adults. Oscar-winner Helen Mirren gives an incredibly strong performance and is backed by the considerable talents of Laura Greenwood, Stephen Tompkinson (as Sean Phillips), and the rest of the cast. Bonus features include a 45-minute behind the scenes featurette about the entire series, photo gallery, and cast filmographies. --Tami Horiuchi

Beyond Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act

Essentials by Actress: Helen Mirren

British Mystery Theater

The Prime Suspect series

Stills from Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act (click for larger image)

Special Features

  • 50-minute behind-the-scenes feature
  • Photo gallery
  • Cast filmographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Stephen Tompkinson, Laura Greenwood, Eve Best, Gary Lewis
  • Directors: Philip Martin
  • Writers: Frank Deasy
  • Producers: Andrew Benson, Andy Harries, Claudine Sturdy, Rebecca Eaton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2007
  • Run Time: 182 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000R349HU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,597 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Prime Suspect 7 - The Final Act" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Masterpiece Theater" has long been a benchmark in bringing quality British TV to American viewers. With a prestigious history, some legendary programs--including "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "I, Claudius"--have found acclaim, awards, and international audiences. Of late, "Masterpiece Theater" has been showcasing some ambitious literary adaptations with mixed results. Last season's high point, and a must for any lover of film, was the flawless adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Bleak House." A triumph in every regard, and featuring Emmy nominated turns by Charles Dance and Gillian Anderson, this program should be essential viewing for those that value literate, classy and wildly entertaining TV. This season's offerings have included "To The Ends Of The Earth" (an adaptation of William Golding's seafaring trilogy--'Rites Of Passage,' 'Close Quarters' and 'Fire Down Below'), a robust new version of Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre," a reimagining of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," and the swan song of Helen Mirren's Jane Tennison in "Prime Suspect 7-The Final Act."

Unlike most entries in the "Masterpiece Theater" library this year, "Prime Suspect 7" is not a literary adaptation of a classic work. Instead, it is the final installment of the wonderful "Prime Suspect" series which began 15 years ago. In 1992, audiences were introduced to Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison who was the only woman in a London homicide squad. Passed over for promotion due to her gender, her big break came when another DCI suffered a heart attack. Stepping up as the leader of the squad, she encountered disdain and ridicule from the men of the unit--but through the years has garnered a grudging respect due to her investigative skills.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2007
Format: DVD
"Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act" finds Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) a 35-year veteran of the police force, weeks away from retirement, and struggling to keep her head above water as she solves her last case. The hysterical parents of 14-year-old Sallie Sturdy keep the pressure on to find their daughter's killer, as Tennison's alcoholism threatens to consume her personal and professional being. Tennison finds both an outlet for maternal instincts and a reminder of her own youth in Sallie's friend Penny Phillips (Laura Greenwood), who may know more than she is telling abut the crime. Penny's father and school headmaster (Stephen Tompkinson) and the girls' thuggish friend Curtis Flynn (Heshima Thompson) both have suspect connections to Sallie and suspect alibis. With no one, including Tennison, in full possession of his or her senses, this case careens toward its conclusion.

Without Helen Mirren's reticence and force of personality, this final episode of "Prime Suspect" would be pure melodrama. Many of the characters are so overwrought that I would expect to find them heavily medicated or institutionalized. "Prime Suspect" always included melodrama, but these performances are so hysterical that they undermine the show's gritty realism. I fault director Philip Martin for that. Helen Mirren's sharpness and deliberation prevent Jane Tennison from becoming a similar caricature. She grabs the audience's sympathies, even as Tennison's behavior is sometimes alienating. As a window on the weight that decades of grim work have placed on Jane Tennison's shoulders, "The Final Act" succeeds admirably. In other respects, this episode is flawed.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Julian G. on June 10, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The best Prime Suspect was definitely saved for last. In Prime Suspect 6, Jane Tennison rose to an entirely new level as she fought insubordination and calls to retire, while solving a complex international murder. In Prime Suspect 7, Jane Tennison faces new challenges, but most of these challenges come from within, as she struggles with alcoholism and the death of her father, all while trying to solve her most challenging case yet. The drama and suspense of Prime Suspect 7 is as great as we have seen in the past, but what makes this Prime Suspect the best yet is the extraordinary depth of Jane Tennison. Helen Mirren delivers yet another brilliant and masterful performance in the role that has defined her career.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 5, 2012
Helen Mirren has given a bravura performance in the finale of 'Prime Suspect'. She has won accolades for the series, but this one is her best.

Devoid of make-up, hair askew , DS Jane Tennison reaches the depth of despair. She is drinking so much she has blackouts and cannot remember the nights before. She has entered the final stage of her career before retirement, and the final stages of alcoholism. Will one or both of them drag her down? She goes to AA and sees her old protagonist, DI Otley, the cop who went bad, played by James Bell. This is his finest performance, and they strike up a friendship. Otley becomes her mentor in AA. Jane's father becomes quite ill and dies. Old family wounds reopen, and Jane falls further down the alcohol hole. The case she is involved with is very complex, a young woman, 14, is murdered. Many people are considered suspects,and Jane is at her best and her worst.

Jane is retiring and she has no idea what will fill her life. Her life has been her job, and now that is gone. We can only surmise what will come. I would like to think Jane continues with AA and meets a man who fulfills her needs and she lives happily ever after.
Is there a happy ending for Jane Tennison, who knows, but she deserves one.

Highly Recommended. prisrob 09-04-12

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