Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell, Julian Ovenden, Anthony Calf
Director: Jeremy Silberston
Series: Foyle’s War #4 (season 1, episode 4), a Masterpiece Mystery! Series Movie
Release Date: 17 November 2002
Length: 100 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 4/5 stars
DCS Foyle (Michael Kitchen) is busy investigating a stabbing victim who was found in a house bombed by the Germans with a knife buried in his chest. Foyle is convinced that his death has something to do with his job as a lorry (truck) driver in charge of transporting priceless artwork to Wales, where it will be stored in a closed mine to keep it safe from the war effects. But Foyle just cannot find the connection between the murderer and the artwork. Foyle’s son, Andrew (Julian Ovenden), is transferred back home to work on a top-secret project involving the testing of a brand new technology called radar. He stumbles upon a mystery, however, when he discovers that a girl working at the facility died under mysterious circumstances. He tries to help, but finds himself arrested and charged with treason for stealing military plans. Now Foyle must solve a second murder linked to the first and help his son clear his name!
This is a real nail-biter addition to the Foyle’s War series! I had no idea what was going to happen and found myself in suspense with the arrest of the Andrew (Julian Ovenden), the younger Foyle. There are a lot of plots running through this particular movie and that is what made it interesting and riveting. DCS Foyle (Michael Kitchen) is investigating two suspicious murders that have no real link except for the method of death; Andrew Foyle is trying to find his way through the minefield at work where there are plenty of suspicious characters who seem determined to hide some dark secrets; Sam (Honeysuckle Weeks), Foyle’s driver, has resigned as her parents want her to return home where she will be safe; priceless artwork has gone missing; German bombing raids are flying overhead and you may have to run for cover at a moment’s notice.
I felt like this movie really captured the feel of what it would be like to live in Great Britain during World War II. There was a feeling of fear, suspicion, the unknown, and a feeling of futility in that the older generation cannot serve in the military and are stuck at home. I particularly felt DCS Foyle’s emotions in this episode as his son cannot tell him anything about what he is doing, where he is based, what he is doing on his night ops, where his son has been imprisoned, what he has been charged with, and pretty much anything else going on in his son’s life. I cannot even imagine how frustrating this would be as a parent. I could tell that DCS Foyle was very proud of his son for serving in the RAF (Royal Air Force), but was also concerned that flying would put him directly in harm’s way. Andrew, his son, was not quite as worried and had a general feeling of being reckless and devil-may-care, but this does not stop him from turning to his father when he ends up in deep trouble. Sam, Foyle’s driver, didn’t imagine that she would serving the war effort by driving around a member of the police, but she enjoys working with Foyle and feels like she is contributing in some small way. Paul Milner (Anthony Howell), Foyle’s Sergeant, is still on his own with his wife away visiting her sister in Wales and I am not sure that she is coming back. There is a lot going on in the personal lives of all of the main characters, but overlying all of them is the stress and tension of the war with Germany. All of the actors did a terrific job in conveying these layered emotions in a realistic, understated way. I was very impressed by the cast in this movie and was completely fooled as to who the villains of the piece really were.
The plot is very interesting in this movie and I loved the historical feel. I have not seen very many movies that deal with the war at home and I felt like this movie in the Foyle’s War series really captured the war effort on the homefront in Britain. I especially loved that they used this episode to show viewers what England did to protect its artistic treasures. It is not necessarily something that I would have thought of right off the bat, but it is a very important consideration and I love that they were making plans for after the war to keep their artistic legacy intact. The settings felt very real and the costumes were well selected and appealing.
I think that this is one great movie to watch! I confess that, as I began watching the most current episodes first, that I did not have an emotional attachment to the characters like I do now that I am watching season 1. I am really glad that I decided to go back and rent season 1 on DVD as the movies have all been really well made and I have come to know and love the main characters. I am hoping that they all survive the war and that they are able to find some happiness in their lives. This is definitely a mystery series that is worth watching!
This movie contains 2 victims that have been stabbed in the chest. The knife is still sticking out when the bodies are found and there is blood involved, thought not as much as I would expect for this kind of mortal wound. One of the victims is still alive when he is found, but dies pretty quickly thereafter. There is a scene of interrogation in jail that is a little intense, but there is no physical violence. Parts of the plot deal with a rape and sexual abuse of a young woman, suicide, the increase of out-of-wedlock pregnancies in women during the war, theft, and some bombing by the Germans. There are some scenes showing the characters smoking and drinking. Recommended for ages 8 and up.