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Films: W is for...

Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?

All-star, pan-European murder mystery comedy in which the whole of Interpol find themselves asking… ah, you’re ahead of us. Central to the film is Robert Morley, who turns in the expected baroque stylings as an insufferably arch food critic forced against his will to diet by doctor John le Mesurier. Morley becomes the chief suspect when the continent’s top names in cuisine, as named in an article by him, start kicking the bucket. There’s a nice tie-up with that other Morley scene-chewing classic, Theatre of Blood, here, as the deaths are all once again “appropriate” – a master baker is locked in his own oven, a man whose signature dish is pressed duck gets, well, pressed like a duck, etc. The suspects mount up – Jean Rochefort is a jealous chef left off Morley’s list, Jacqueline Bisset is a dessert specialist, who should be the last to cop it, and George Segal is her chef-hating, hamburger chain-owning husband. A feast of food, sumptuous interiors and pan-continental scenery is, as you’d expect, on hand, as is a top cast with the likes of Frank Windsor, Peter Sallis, Joss Ackland and Nigel Havers keeping the British end up.



  1. Cindylover1969

    December 2, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    From the people who gave us “Dallas.” Yep, one of Lorimar’s better big-screen endeavours.

  2. George White

    March 6, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Also has in the manner of Man About the House, a run around a British TV studio, in this case “UK TV” Centre (although I’m pretty sure it is TVC they filmed at, at least for the exterior) where Peter Sallis hosts a cooking show where Bisset is doing her dessert.
    Unfortunately, it does not have real British TV people playing themselves (Sheila “Keeper of Traken” Ruskin and John “Omega Factor” Carlisle play actors doing a Play for Today, but Carlisle is referred to as Nigel, not John, so they’re not playing themselves)

  3. George White

    March 6, 2016 at 10:20 am

    It also must be one of the few films to namecheck TV Times where a woman complains to the TV Centre receptionist, looking for Candid Camera, to be told that is made in another studio, and to look in TV Times.

  4. Ross

    August 6, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    My irresponsible father (haha) took me to see this at the cinema when I was only 4 years old.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    September 15, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Shown quite a lot on Border Television to fill up a couple of Sunday afternoon hours in the eighties, and none the worst for it as this was some harmless caper with a stellar cast.

  6. George White

    September 16, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    I do feel it only comes to alive in the English bits. It’s that problem a lot of Eurocomedy has – the clashing humours.
    Something like the Brain doesn’t quite work, with the gurning of Bourvil.
    Thank god they didn’t put Louis de Funes, even though Rabbi Jacob is quite fun.

  7. richardpd

    February 9, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    At least Jacqueline Bisset’s second casting paring with Joss Ackland, the other I know of is in The Green Tycoon.

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