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by Mark Burger

DVD Pick of the week: A Study in terror (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

This forgotten 1965 gem was the first film to pit Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper — and may well be the best.

John Neville plays the Great Detective and Donald Houston his Dr. Watson, prowling the fog-shrouded streets of 1888 Whitechapel in search of the elusive killer, backed by a rich supporting cast including Robert Morley (an utter delight as Sherlock’s brother Mycroft), Frank Finlay (as Inspector Lestrade), Anthony Quayle, John Fraser, Adrienne Corri, Cecil Parker and Judi Dench, here playing the ingenue.

Finlay (reprising Lestrade) and Quayle would return for Murder by Decree, the better-known, more star-studded of the Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper films, but there’s much to be said for this fast-moving, shrewdly written (by Derek and Donald Ford) and beautifully photographed (by Desmond Dickinson) mystery. It’s a little classic in its own right, and a must for Holmes buffs.

A Study in Terror is one of a series of rare titles available through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s new “Screen Classics by Request” series. Log onto www.Columbia-Classics.com for details. Each title retails for $19.94 plus shipping.

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This marked thefirst Technicolor feature shot there, but it’s nogreat shakes. A minor work from director LewisMilestone, although the cast (including FinlayCurrie and the always-welcome Richard Boone)tries hard and there’s an impressive cattle stampedelate in the game. Originally released in theUS as Kangaroo. THE BIBLE STORIES (Sony Pictures HomeEntertainment): A pair of made-for-TV films dramatizingthe lives of Biblical heroes: Ben Crossplays the title role in “Solomon” (1997), co-starringVivica A Fox (as the Queen of Sheba), AnoukAimee and Max von Sydow; and Patrick Dempseyplays the title role in “Jeremiah” (1998), co-starringKlaus Maria Brandauer and the indomitable OliverReed. Each DVD retails for $14.94. CHLOE (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment):Director Atom Egoyam’s tale of sexual manipulationstars Amanda Seyfried in the title role, ayoung prostitute hired by Julianne Moore todetermine if husband Liam Neeson is beingunfaithful… but that’s just the beginning ofthe story. 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