The Scold's Bridle (1998)

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Released 6-Sep-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 147:29 (Case: 146)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (74:05) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David Thacker

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Miranda Richardson
Bob Peck
Douglas Hodge
Sian Phillips
Trudie Styler
Beth Winslet
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Minette Walters is one of the most popular modern psychological thriller writers in the world. Since 1992 she has had 12 books published and so far 5 of them have been made into telemovies for the BBC. All five of the telemovies have been released here locally as part of a Minette Walters box set by Roadshow. I decided to watch and review them in the order they were made rather than the order the books were published. This book was published in 1994 (her third novel) and the movie was first shown in 1998.

    This one is the most overtly sexual story of the five included in this set but also has a set-up and structure which is the most reminiscent of a standard British television mystery like a Midsomer Murders episode. It features a large cast of suspects, all of whom could have done it or been involved and is centred upon the investigating officer's approach to finding the killer. An old woman, Mathilda Gillespie, who was rich, intolerant, arrogant and widely hated is found dead in her bath, wearing a medieval contraption known as a scold's bridle. A scold's bridle is something worn on the head which was used to punish nagging wives. It involves various uncomfortable bars and a mouthpiece which makes it impossible to talk. Initially it is thought to be suicide, however, the investigating officer, Sergeant Cooper (Bob Peck) is not convinced. Mathilda had previously been in a marriage of convenience with a gay man which ended in divorce. The suspects include:

    I felt this was a good story but not quite as strong as the others in the set. Despite this, it is well acted and keeps you interested over the 2 and a half hour running time. It is presented here in two parts as it was shown on television.


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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good, significantly better than the first two.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which I would guess is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite sharp and clear. Shadow detail is reasonable but nothing special. I did not notice any low level noise.

    The colour was very good, quite vibrant and well saturated. There was some minor colour bleeding from light colours.

    There were no major artefacts to mention.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 74:05 which is the end of the first part. It was not noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Junior Campbell is tense and includes some moody piano. Trivia buffs will be interested that this composer also composed the theme tune for Thomas The Tank Engine .

    The surround speakers were not used.

     The subwoofer was not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu included music, and the ability to select parts, scenes and subtitles.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This disc is available in the same box set format in Region 2 and is not available in Region 1. The local product wins.


    A quality television mystery with lashings of sex based on the book by Minette Walters . Disc 3 of a 5 disc set based on her novels.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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