'The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, Set 1'
(Colin Firth, Amanda Redman, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (1997) 2007 / Acorn Media)
Overview: 'The Ruth Rendell Mysteries - Volume 1' include four adaptations of Rendell's brand of psychological mystery, tales of relative or questionable guilt, stories of truth-seekers who had long been obtuse, thrillers in which murder suspects are in the spotlight because of previously, under-the-radar neurotic tendencies.
DVD Verdict: The 'Ruth Rendell Mysteries - Volume 1' harbors a collection of psychological crime dramas first broadcast in England but more likely seen here in the US on public television. From cold, rock-strewn moors to comfortable suburban estates, award-winning writer Ruth Rendell explores the dark fissures between friends and family members that motivate murder. Volume 1 begins with the fascinating "Master of the Moor," (Approx. 154 min.) starring Colin Firth as Stephen, a man who has found, since his troubled childhood, great comfort in the moor near his longtime village home. That is, until the presence of murdered women for whom Firth's character comes under suspicion, a situation not helped by some unusual quirks in Stephen's background and personality. An intriguing class drama, "Vanity Dies Hard" (Approx. 155 min.) concerns two, longtime friends, wealthy Alice (Eleanor David) and struggling Nesta (Jane Gurnett), who come to a crossroads in their relationship when Alice marries a young, hunky teacher, Andrew (Mark Frankel). A square peg in Alice's world of refinement and gossip, Andrew begins tying Alice to their home, a situation she must reject when she suspects Nesta has disappeared--and Andrew might have something to do with it.
"The Secret House of Death" (Approx. 103 min.) finds newly divorced mother Susan (Amanda Redman) trying to avoid the culture of gossip that consumes other women in her suburban neighborhood. But when Susan discovers the bodies of an adulterous neighbor and his lover in her neighbor's house, she begins putting the pieces together and not coincidentally puts her life at risk. Finally, "The Double" (Approx. 103 min.) is a mind-bender about a fellow, Peter (Jason Flemyng), who becomes involved with a woman who is the apparent double of his girlfriend. A prediction of death and questions about who this mystery double really is make this a captivating drama. Talented casts bring Rendellís unforgettable characters to life in four complex stories of suspense. Buy them today if you love 'Inspector Morese' or the 'A Touch of Frost' TV series'. This is a Full Screen Presentation (4:3) and comes with the Special Features of:
Ruth Rendell Biography