Acorn Media // 1983 // 623 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 23rd, 2013
Agatha Christie's lively detective duo is a PBS Mystery! favorite.
The fine souls at Acorn Media are the masters of bringing over intriguing British relics. Their latest effort once again appeals to my mother.
Hey, I'm not trying to be a dismissive a-hole here. Just speaking the truth. While I've seen plenty of engaging Acorn stuff, regardless of your demographic, it certainly feels like the majority of the studio's releases appeal to a specific viewing audience that enjoys watching TV while sitting in a bed with their glasses perched precariously upon the end of their noses.
Partners in Crime fits this definition perfectly. The series tells the story of a husband and wife detective agency in the 1920s, and the batch of mysteries these two indulge in. Apparently, Britain in the '20s was an extraordinarily violent place.
Tommy (James Warwick) and Tuppence (Francesca Annis) Beresford are the partners in crime, though, in reality, they're working hard at fighting crime. But "Partners in Crimefighting" sounds lame.
Actually, now that I think about it, that sounds pretty cool.
Together, they've kickstarted a private detective agency, which allegedly isn't very busy (their young assistant constantly gripes about this), but wouldn't you know they're always managing to get embroiled in big-ass mysteries involving murderers, thieves and my favorite, forgers. Sometimes they'll get assignments from the local constable, other times clients will seek them out. What is ironclad: they will get to the bottom of the malfeasance.
Let's take a closer look at our heroes:
Tall, lanky, suave and a lover of pocket watches, Tommy can't get enough of a good mystery and is particularly adept at stumbling unexpectedly into situations that invariably lead to people pointing guns at him. Luckily, his wife/constable/two-women-wearing-mud-masks always seem to be get there just in time before the rapscallion blows his head off.
Beautiful and stylish, Mrs. Beresford is able to move beyond her simply atrocious first name and become a valued member of the detective agency. Her analytical mind is only trumped by her unfailing sense of early 20th century British female style, a selling point that will most definitely woo the grandmother in your family.
This set contains eleven stores, including the feature-length kick-off film that develops the characters and their romance. Individual mysteries clock in at about 50 minutes and are of the slow burn type. Lots of dialogue, lots of static sets, and more than few opportunities for you to crack the case yourself. Partners in Crime won't blaze through your DVD player with swift pacing, but that's not the point. Kick off your shoes, sip your Arnold Palmer and get to case-cracking mom!
Not Guilty. I nodded off repeatedly, but this ain't in my wheelhouse.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 623 Minutes
Release Year: 1983
MPAA Rating: Not Rated