193. The Draughtman’s Contract (1982)

An artist is invited by Mrs Herbert to make twelve drawings of her estate in exchange for sexual favours in the absence of her husband.

The artist, Mr Neville, believes he is being very clever by weaving visual clues to the shenanigans into his sketches. But when Mr Herbert is away longer than expected, Neville unintentionally sets himself up when it appears that a murder has been committed and the guilty party are going to ensure he is held responsible.

Wonderfully filmed and stunningly beautiful, The Draughtsman’s Contract is an intriguing murder mystery set during the Restoration. Hardly any of the characters, including Neville himself, are particularly likeable, but your sympathies do lie with the artist as he realises with horror the predicament in which he finds himself. However, it is also a bit of an oddity and at times towards the end is a little uncomfortable to watch, saved only by Michael Nyman’s sublime soundtrack.


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