The Rosary Murders

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • R
  • Mystery

Despite the best efforts of actors Sutherland and Durning and coscreenwriter Elmore Leonard, THE ROSARY MURDERS is a dreadfully dull murder mystery that will intrigue no one, except perhaps fans of The White Stripes. The Detroit church where the movie was shot was attended by Jack White's family, and the 12-year-old White has a small, uncredited role as...read more

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Despite the best efforts of actors Sutherland and Durning and coscreenwriter Elmore Leonard, THE ROSARY MURDERS is a dreadfully dull murder mystery that will intrigue no one, except perhaps fans of The White Stripes. The Detroit church where the movie was shot was attended by Jack White's family, and the 12-year-old White has a small, uncredited role as an altar boy.

Set during the winter in a cold, blustery Detroit, the film stars Sutherland as a kindly priest who is thrown into the investigation of a serial killer who murders priests and nuns every Friday. The killer's calling card is a string of rosary beads left in the hand of every victim. Other than a nicely subdued performance from Sutherland, there is nothing particularly engrossing in THE ROSARY MURDERS. Although the film is based on a best-selling novel by ex-priest William X. Kienzle, its central moral dilemma is a cliche that has been seen in films ranging from Hitchcock's I CONFESS to A PRAYER FOR THE DYING (1987). The body count in this film is high, and precious few victims are given any personality--thus the audience will undoubtedly have difficulty mustering any concern for Sutherland's quest. Director Walton does a fine job evoking some eerie moods, and cinematographer Golia captures the gloomy, somewhat spooky interiors of old Catholic churches. Unfortunately, Walton indulges in several shamelessly clunky Hitchcock hommages, including one where a priest walks up behind an old woman in a rocking chair and softly calls, "Mrs. Gates?" (lifted directly from the "Mrs. Bates?" scene in PSYCHO).

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Despite the best efforts of actors Sutherland and Durning and coscreenwriter Elmore Leonard, THE ROSARY MURDERS is a dreadfully dull murder mystery that will intrigue no one, except perhaps fans of The White Stripes. The Detroit church where the movie was… (more)

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