Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974)

TV Movie   |    |  Mystery

Judge Dee and the Monastery Murders (1974) Poster

China, 7th century. On their way to a provincial centre Judge Dee and his three wives spend the night at a taoist monastery. Soon the judge discovers that the secluded place holds a secret ... See full summary »


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20 February 2005 | writtenbymac-1
| Bad adaptation of an excellent novel
Your reaction to this movie will probably depend on how many Judge Dee novels you've read, and whether you really liked them or not. I've read every single one of them, several times each, and love them. This TV movie does them no justice at all. In the movie, Judge Dee doesn't look or act like Judge Dee. His lieutenant, Tao Gan, doesn't look or act like Tao Gan. The movie is slow and plodding, the acting is mundane, the pace is tedious; the actors speak about one word a minute, maybe to give the illusion of a foreign language. I got none of the flavor of ancient China which is so delightful in the novels. The movie's Judge Dee comes across as a fat, bald, slow-moving, slow-thinking guy -- in the novels he's big, tough, an accomplished boxer, and extremely smart and perceptive. That said, the actual plot of the movie is mostly true to the novel. But it could have been so much better. If you liked this movie even a tiny bit, do yourself a favor and read one of the wonderful Judge Dee novels by Robert van Gulik.

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