Greg Wise (Sense and Sensibility) and Keeley Hawes (Karaoke) star in this sumptuous adaptation of Wilkie Collins' classic mystery, the first detective novel ever written.
The Moonstone, a sacred Hindu diamond was stolen from the head of the Moon God, in its shrine by John Herncastle in 1799. The stone is said to be cursed if it is removed from the shrine.
In 1846, Herncastle visits his ister to wish his niece, Rachel, a happy birthday. His sister refuses to see him, and he vows that he will always remember his niece's birthday- a vow which later takes on sinister undertones.
Two years later, just before Rachel's birthday, a man named Franklin Blake announces to Rachel that the Moonstone has been bequeathed to her by Herncastle. Blake gives her the jewel on her birthday and offers to mount the jewel for her, in order that she might wear it. Inevitably, the jewel is found missing the next morning and Rachel believes Blake stole it. Determined to prove his innocence, Blake leaves in order to pursue the real truth behind the theft.
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One of the best mystery tales of all time, The Moonstone, based on Wilkie Collins' 1868 novel, is the story of a stolen Hindu diamond that makes its way into the care of Franklin Blake (Greg Wise of Sense and Sensibility). Acting as executor of the estate of the late Colonel John Herncastle (Terrence Hardiman), Franklin is obliged to deliver the diamond, called the Moonstone, to Herncastle's niece, Rachel Verinder (Keeley Hawes of Tipping the Velvet). The two fall in love, but after the disappearance of the Moonstone, Rachel refuses to speak to Franklin or anyone else, and rebuffs an investigation by a renowned detective (Antony Sher), who suspects Rachel herself is involved with the apparent theft. The long trail to the truth is endlessly surprising, requiring the participation of a number of fascinating characters who each contribute something to the solution. A handsome production directed by Robert Bierman (Vampire's Kiss), The Moonstone is most entertaining whenever Sher is on screen, humming incessantly, prattling on about roses, and sharing scenes with such estimable supporting players as Patricia Hodge (Betrayal) and Peter Vaughan (The Remains of the Day). --Tom Keogh
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