Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Murder, She Wrote - The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
N/A out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: Not Rated

Starring:
Angela Lansbury as Jessica Beatrice McGill Fletcher
Tom Bosley as Sheriff Amos Tupper
Michael Horton as Grady Ambrose Fletcher

Special Features:
None

Other Info:
Fullscreen (1.33:1)
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 18 Hours 38 Minutes

Synopsis:
This is the first season of Murder, She Wrote which originally aired in 1984. The following is from the DVD cover:

"A new chapter begins as Season One of TV's most popular and widely acclaimed detective series, Murder, She Wrote, comes home to DVD for the first time ever!

Angela Lansbury stars in the role that earned her 12 consecutive Emmy nominations as everyone's favorite super-sleuth, Jessica Fletcher, a famous mystery writer who has a knack for solving murders on and off the page.

Along with the quirky residents of Cabot Cove, Maine, Jessica is joined in her deliciously suspicious tales of mystery and mayhem by some of the most celebrated guest stars of screen and stage, including Jerry Orbach, Leslie Nielsen, Joaquin Phoenix, Andy Garcia, Martin Landau, Milton Berle, Peter Graves, Vicki Lawrence and many more.

Investigate all 21 Season One episodes and the suspenseful original pilot movie, The Murder of Sherlock Holmes, of the illustrious and thrilling series that will have you guessing "whodunit" until the very end."

Murder, She Wrote The Complete First Season is not rated.

The Series:
When I used to live overseas in the late 80's, my grandmother would tape American television and send the tapes to us. Murder, She Wrote was one of the series that we regularly got. Despite the series not being aimed at kids, my sisters and I enjoyed watching the show and trying to guess who the murderer was before the show ended. The appeal of the "whodunit" is exactly why this show was able to run for so long. It found a formula that worked and stuck with it.

The premise of the show was admittedly absurd. It seemed that no matter where Mrs. Fletcher went, someone turned up dead. It was almost like she was some sort of angel of death. But she would use her considerable powers of intuition and observation and solve the crime for the police. Even though it was a predictable formula, the real attraction was the mystery which, for the most part, always kept you guessing.

Angela Lansbury created a memorable TV character with Jessica Beatrice McGill Fletcher. The homemaker turned author turned detective was unlike any crimefighter seen on TV before. She was smart, down to earth, a bit of a busybody, and quite spirited. It made her an appealing character for all types of audiences whether young or old, male or female.

All of these old shows feature cameos by famous stars early in their careers and this one is no exception. For example, in the pilot episode you see the old woman from Throw Momma From The Train. A few minutes later Lansbury gets mugged by a young Andy Garcia. Ned Beatty even stars in the pilot. You'll also find cameos by Jerry Orbach, Leslie Nielsen, Joaquin Phoenix, Andy Garcia, Martin Landau, Milton Berle, Martha Raye, Rue McClanahan, Bruce Jenner, Dick Butkus, Peter Graves, Vicki Lawrence and many more.

If you're a fan of mysteries or a fan of Murder, She Wrote from when it first aired, then I think you'll thoroughly enjoy this set. It's disappointing that there are no bonus features, but it will provide you with hours of entertainment.

The Extras:
There are no bonus features on this DVD.

The Bottom Line:
Mystery fans will definitely want to add Murder, She Wrote to their DVD collections. Entertaining whodunits and Angela Lansbury's performance make it well worth checking out.

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