The crime thriller The Pale Blue Eye, starring Christian Bale as the dashing detective Augustus Landor, is directed by Scott Cooper. The film is about Landor’s expedition, during which he and a young soldier solve gruesome murders. He does so by virtue of cadet rules and regulations. Therefore, Landor must enlist the help of a person who finds himself in the midst of chaos. The protagonist of the film, based on the book by Louis Bayard, is a renowned detective with worldwide experience.
In addition, the young man in the military later became famous as the legendary poet Edgar Allen Poe. The Netflix film chronicles the suspense and compelling events of the murders and Landor’s subsequent efforts to find the perpetrators. If this movie made you fall in love with historical crime movies, then you should check out the following crime movies set in old age. You can watch most of these movies similar to The Pale Blue Eyes on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
10. An Inappropriate Job for a Woman (1982)
Chris Petit’s A Bad Job for a Woman centers on Cordelia, a female detective in a male-dominated industry. Based on Phyllis White’s novel of the same name, the crime thriller follows her efforts to solve a suicide case. Once she agrees to dive into the details of the case, she unknowingly sets in motion a domino effect that affects everyone involved. Cordelia also uncovers terrifying secrets about the boy’s family. At the core of the plot, both A Suitable Job for a Woman and The Pale Blue Eye are crime thrillers with hidden secrets and motives.
9. The Name of the Rose (1986)
The Name of the Rose is a suspenseful blend of crime, drama and historical fiction, with stunning cinematography directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. It is also based on the novel of the same name by Umberto Eco. Set in an Italian monastery in 1327, the film follows the story of Franciscan friar William of Baskerville. He is also joined by Adso von Melk, and together they 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. The complex politics and power struggles within the monastery add to the intrigue. William and Landor have more in common than meets the eye. 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, itself based on Dutch folklore. The film is set in the late 18th century village of Sleepy Hollow, New York, where a series of mysterious deaths have occurred. Local residents believe the Headless Horseman, a ghostly figure said to haunt the area, is responsible for the deaths.
The film follows Ichabod Crane, a New York City police officer who is assigned to investigate the murders. As Crane tries 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 and cannot understand the sinister events. Therefore, they must use their wits to solve the puzzle.
7. Death on the Nile (1978)
Directed by John Guillermin, Death on the Nile is a crime film based on the 1937 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. Set in the 1930s, the film follows the story of detective Hercule Poirot as he investigates a murder that occurs during a luxury cruise down the Nile River in Egypt. The victim is Linnet Ridgeway, a wealthy young woman who has recently inherited a fortune and is causing a stir among her friends and acquaintances.
The suspects include 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 suspects and gathers leads, he uncovers a web of jealousy, greed and deceit that leads him to the shocking truth behind the murder, much like Landor did in The Pale Blue Eye.
6. The Hound of Baskerville (1959)
The crime thriller The Hound of the Baskervilles is set in the late 19th century and was directed by Terence Fisher. 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 investigating a series of strange occurrences on the mist-shrouded moors of Dartmoor in Devon, England. The last Baskerville heir, Sir Charles Baskerville, dies under mysterious circumstances.
As a result, Charles’ nephew and successor, Sir Henry Baskerville, becomes the target of the tracker dog. As Holmes and Watson unravel the mystery, they uncover a sinister plot involving a long-standing family feud, a secret society and a deadly poison. The stories of Sherlock and Watson are as classic as they get. Landor and Poe, on the other hand, are an unlikely duo tasked with solving a murder.
5. The Spider’s Web (1960)
Another story by Agatha Christie makes this list of great mysteries. Bernard Knowles’ crime thriller The Spider’s Web is based on the play of the same name by Agatha Christie. Set in the 1930s, the film tells the story of detective Hercule Poirot, who investigates a murder that takes place at a large 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 raises a number of possible suspects, which Poirot interviews and collects leads. In the aftermath, he encounters motives and a betrayal that opens his eyes to the truth. Poirot and Landor’s quick wits coupled with their attention to detail set them apart from the other detectives in the field.
4. From Hell (2001)
The film From Hell is based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell and was directed by the Hughes brothers. Set in late 19th-century London, England, the mystery thriller follows the story of Inspector Frederick Abberline as he investigates a series of brutal murders that have terrified the city.
The victims are all women working as prostitutes in London’s East End, and their deaths appear to be linked to the activities of a secret society, the Freemasons. As Abberline tries to solve the case and catch the killer, he must also contend with his own demons, including an opium addiction and a troubled past. Even the most gifted detectives cannot fathom the mysteries that lie dormant within them. Such internal conflicts bother Landor and Abberline.
3. Clue (1985)
You’ve probably heard of the board game Clue, and as you guessed, the film is derived from the same game. Clue is a mystery film directed by Jonathan Lynn. Set in the 1950s, the film tells the story of six strangers invited to a dinner party at a remote mansion, where they become involved in a murder investigation.
The guests are an eccentric bunch, including the host, a sardonic housekeeper, a seedy businessman, a femme fatale and a military man, to name a few. In their attempt to find out who killed Mr. Boddy, the guests are assisted (and hindered) by the house’s two servants. The Pale Blue Eye and Clue are classic crime films with clever plots and exciting endings.
2. And Then There Was None (1945)
The third Agatha Christie film adaptation on the list suggests crime fiction was Christie’s forte. And Then There Were None is a crime film directed by René Clair. Set in the 1930s, it tells the story of ten people who are invited to a remote island off the coast of Devon, England. They are trapped on the island and accused of murder.
As the guests try to figure out who the killer is, they are pursued by an unseen killer who kills them one by one. While there is no central detective like Landor in the film, each film focuses on a group of people affected by the murder. In The Pale Blue Eye it’s the cadets and in And Then There Were None it’s the people of the island.
1. Watch Them Walk (2022)
Tom George’s contemporary film ‘See How They Run’ is inspired by Agatha Christie’s play ‘The Mousetrap’. The film is set in 1950s London, where film production is halted for an adaptation. The murder of a crew member raises questions and intrigue that plagues everyone on set. A talented but jaded inspector named Stoppard and a motivated young cop, Stalker, take up the investigation. They are faced with a riddle that they cannot solve in the vicious world of the theatre. Landor and Inspector Stoppard have a lot in common, from their experience to their disenchantment with the world.