Acorn Media Group Presents: DIRTY TRICKS

29 12 2010

“Chief curators of the best Brit TV” (Time), Acorn Media starts off 2011 with three acclaimed DVD debuts on January 4th.  The first of those three titles PSD will look at is 2001’s DIRTY TRICKS.

Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) leads an all-star cast in the International Emmy-winning black comedy Dirty Tricks. Broadcast on BBC America, Clunes stars as a charmingly ruthless social climber involved in a series of suspicious deaths.”

Dirty Tricks is a dark/black comedy in which Edward (Martin Clunes), an English tutor, is caught up in infidelity, kidnapping, and murder.  As the credit’s highlight, Edward is “Our Hero” of this dark tale.  From the opening sequence of Edward hiding from the police and asking us (yes Edward repeatedly breaks the “fourth” wall and discusses the on-going issues with the audience)  whether or not he looks like a murderer.  Well if the Little Red Riding Hood could mistake a big eared and big lipped Wolf as her granny, its not to hard to believe that the big eared and big lipped Edward could be mistaken as a murderer.

Just so you don’t think i’m being mean to Martin Clunes, even he pokes fun at his facial features.

“Jug ears and child-bearing lips” – his description of himself, said in a documentary about the making of “Doc Martin” (2004) which was shown in 2006.

Edward’s wild dilemma begins when he befriends an accountant, Dennis (Neil Dudgeon).   Edward’s lack of money and “place” in society immediately forces him to resent Dennis and the friends that were also invited to a dinner party.  It’s Dennis’ wife Karen (Julie Graham) who’s wild sexual advances leads Edward to a wild affair right under Dennis’ nose.

This is the first pairing of Julie Graham and Martin Clunes, who’d go on to star as a most unique romantic couple in William and Mary.  Their sparks fly heavily and often in Dirty Tricks and its obvious their back-and-forth affair is the real key to the pace of the whole show.

Though Karen is not whom Edward is truly in “love” with, as wealthy widower Alison (Lindsey Duncan) becomes his ultimate conquest.  This pursuit though is marred by the untimely death of Dennis and then later on the death of Karen, which puts poor Edward under the radar of the police.

We don’t truly meet the police detective Moss (James Bolam) until the second part of the show, but his intelligent and quiet demeanor gives Edward a real test.  I won’t spoil the elaborate and entertaining trip that Edward takes you on to prove that not only is he NOT a murderer but that he deserves to escape the trappings of Oxford.

Overall the show is a great companion piece to Martin’s earlier work in the British version of MEN BEHAVING BADLY, in which you first witness his manipulative, money-grubbing, and completely amoral personality that becomes so enjoyable to watch.  If you’re a fan of lead characters you’re not really suppose to like but find yourself repeatedly agreeing with, like Larry David in CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, then you’ll love Dirty Tricks.

The show is based on the book by Michael Dibdin (the Aurelio Zen mysteries) who’s dark sense of humor is so apparent in DIRTY TRICKS.  Though Italian detective Aurelio Zen is his more famous character, Dirty Tricks’ Edward sure does invoke more of a personal view of the Irish author who sadly passed away in 2007.  Its no coincidence that Michael taught English at the university in Perugia, Italy (which can be said to have influenced a lot of his books).

Dirty Tricks is a great way to start your “look” into Martin Clunes as well as Julie Graham who’s performance as Karen is just so wonderful.

Dirty Tricks has garnered a lot of well wishers.

Winner of an International Emmy® for Best Drama

“A terrific cast” The Daily Telegraph

“Hilarious (and decidedly naughty)”The Daily Telegraph

“Thriller with a sharply comic edge”The Mirror

Dirty Tricks makes its North American home video debut on January 4, 2011 from Acorn Media (DVD Single, $29.99,

“Acorn Media U.S. has become known for bringing the best of British and Canadian television to home video, including the evergreen series Midsomer Murders, the critically acclaimed Foyle’s War starring Michael Kitchen, Fortysomething starring Hugh Laurie, Two Fat Ladies as seen on The Food Network, the beloved Adams Chronicles, and the Emmy Award winning Brideshead Revisited; documentaries such as the popular Visions travel series, Robbie Coltrane Incredible Britain, and Joseph Campbell’s Mythos; as well as performance features like Broadway’s Lost Treasures and Soweto Gospel Choir.

To see a montage of Acorn programs, please click here.”

Acorn’s DVD sets are available from select retailers, catalog companies, and direct from Acorn Media at (888) 870-8047 or




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