With Christian Bale as a dashing detective named Augustus Landor, the mystery crime movie ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ is directed by Scott Cooper. The movie explores Landor’s expedition to solve gruesome murders along with a youngling in the military. He does so because of the cadet’s rules and regulations. Hence, Landor has to enlist help from a person in the middle of the chaos. Based on Louis Bayard’s book, the movie’s protagonist is a renowned detective with worldly experience.
Moreover, the youngling in the military goes on to become famous as the legendary poet Edgar Allen Poe. The Netflix movie explores the suspense and the gripping events of murders and Landor’s subsequent efforts to find the perpetrators. If you realized your love for period murder mystery movies with this one, then you need to watch the following mystery movies set in olden age. You can watch most of these movies similar to ‘The Pale Blue Eyes’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
10. An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1982)
Chris Petit’s ‘An Unsuitable Job for a Woman’ revolves around Cordelia, a female detective in a male-dominated field. Adapted from Phyllis White’s eponymous novel, the mystery movie follows her efforts in solving a suicide case. As soon as she agrees to dive into the details of the case, she unknowingly sets off a domino effect of actions that impact everyone involved. Cordelia discovers horrific secrets about the boy’s family as well. At the core of the plot, both ‘An Suitable Job for a Woman’ and ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ are murder mystery movies with hidden secrets and motives.
9. The Name of the Rose (1986)
A thrilling blend of mystery, drama, and historical fiction, with stunning cinematography, ‘The Name of the Rose’ is a mystery film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Moreover, it is based on the novel of the same name by Umberto Eco. Set in an Italian monastery in the year 1327, the film follows the story of Franciscan friar William of Baskerville. Besides, he is accompanied by Adso of Melk, and they together investigate a series of bizarre deaths at the monastery.
The monks suspect the deaths are the work of the Devil, but William believes there is a more rational explanation. Additionally, the complex politics and power struggles within the monastery add to the intrigue. William and Landor have more in common than we perceive at first sight. They are both great detectives with an eye for obscure details.
8. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
‘Sleepy Hollow’ is a supernatural horror film directed by Tim Burton. It is a loose adaptation of Washington Irving’s 1820 short story ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ which is itself based on Dutch folklore. The film is set in the late 18th century in the village of Sleepy Hollow, New York, where a series of mysterious deaths have occurred. The town’s residents believe the deaths are the work of the Headless Horseman, a ghostly figure who is said to haunt the area.
The film follows Ichabod Crane, a New York City constable tasked with investigating the murders. As Crane struggles to make sense of the strange happenings in Sleepy Hollow, he must also confront his own fears and doubts. Both Landor in ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ and Crane are stuck in a strange place with no comprehension of the eerie events. Therefore, they have to keep their wits about them to solve the mystery.
7. Death on the Nile (1978)
Directed by John Guillermin, ‘Death on the Nile’ is a mystery film based on Agatha Christie’s 1937 eponymous novel. The film is set in the 1930s and follows the story of detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates a murder that takes place during a luxury cruise on the Nile River in Egypt. The victim is Linnet Ridgeway, a wealthy young woman who has recently inherited a fortune and has caused a stir among her circle of friends and acquaintances.
Among the suspects are Linnet’s husband, her former lover, and several other passengers on the cruise, including a wealthy heiress, a shy young nurse, and a wealthy bachelor. As Poirot interrogates the suspects and gathers clues, he uncovers a mesh of jealousy, greed, and deceit that leads him to the shocking truth behind the murder, much like Landor in ‘The Pale Blue Eye.’
6. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
Set in the late 19th century, the mystery movie ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ is directed by Terence Fisher. Moreover, it is based on the 1902 novel of the same name by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The film follows detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. John Watson as they investigate a series of strange occurrences on the fog-shrouded moorland of Dartmoor in Devon, England. The latest Baskerville heir, Sir Charles Baskerville, dies under mysterious circumstances.
Consequently, Charles’ nephew and successor, Sir Henry Baskerville, becomes the target of the hound. As Holmes and Watson delve deeper into the mystery, they uncover a sinister plot involving a long-standing family feud, a secret society, and a deadly poison. Sherlock and Watson’s stories are as classic as they come. On the other hand, Landor and Poe make an unlikely duo tasked with solving a murder.
5. The Spider’s Web (1960)
Another Agatha Christie story makes it to this list of awesome murder mystery movies. Bernard Knowles’ mystery film ‘The Spider’s Web’ is based on the eponymous play by Agatha Christie. The film is set in the 1930s and follows the story of detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates a murder that takes place at a grand country estate. The victim is Sir Charles, a wealthy businessman who has recently made a number of enemies due to his ruthless business practices.
The murder poses a group of possible suspects, as Poirot gathers clues and interrogates them. Subsequently, he stumbles upon motives and a betrayal that opens his eyes to the truth. Poirot and Landor’s quick wit coupled with their minute attention to detail make them stand out from the other detectives in the field.
4. From Hell (2001)
Based on the eponymous graphic novel by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell, the movie ‘From Hell’ is directed by the Hughes brothers. The mystery thriller film is set in the late 19th century in London, England, and follows the story of Inspector Frederick Abberline as he investigates a series of brutal murders that have terrorized the city.
The victims are all women who work as prostitutes in the East End of London, and their deaths seem to be connected to the activities of a secret society known as the Freemasons. While Abberline tries to solve the case and catch the killer, he must also grapple with his own demons, including an addiction to opium and a troubled past. Even the most talented detectives cannot figure out the mysteries that dwell within them. Such inner conflicts trouble both Landor and Abberline.
3. Clue (1985)
You must have heard of the board game named ‘Clue,’ and as you rightly guessed, the movie is derived from the same game. ‘Clue’ is a mystery film directed by Jonathan Lynn. The film is set in the 1950s and follows the story of six strangers who are invited to a remote mansion for a dinner party, only to find themselves caught up in a murder mystery.
The guests are an eccentric bunch of people, including the host, a sardonic housekeeper, a shifty businessman, a femme fatale, and a military man, to name a few. As the guests try to figure out who killed Mr. Boddy, they are aided (and hindered) by the mansion’s two live-in servants. ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ and ‘Clue’ are quintessential murder mystery flicks with clever plots and intriguing endings.
2. And Then There Were None (1945)
Being the third Agatha Christie adaptation on the list, it implies how murder mysteries were Christie’s forte. ‘And Then There Were None’ is a mystery film directed by René Clair. Set in the 1930s, it follows the story of ten people who are invited to a remote island off the coast of Devon, England. They find themselves trapped on the island and accused of murder.
As the guests try to figure out who is the murderer, they are stalked by an unseen killer who kills them one at a time. While there is no central detective in the movie like Landor, the respective movies have a central group of people affected by the murder. ‘The Pale Blue Eye’ has the cadets and ‘And Then There Were None’ has the people on the island.
1. See How They Run (2022)
Tom George’s contemporary movie ‘See How They Run’ is inspired by Agatha Christie’s play ‘The Mousetrap.’ The movie is set in 1950s London where movie production as an adaptation is halted. The murder of a crew member sparks questions and intrigue in the minds of everyone on set. A talented but jaded inspector named Stoppard and a motivated rookie constable, Stalker, embark on the investigation. Consequently, they are perplexed by the whodunit within the vicious world of theatre. Landor and Inspector Stoppard have a lot in common, from their experience to their weariness of the world.