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Scandal rocked Edinburgh in 1788 when town councillor William Deacon Brodie's secret life of drinking, gambling, theft, and whoring was revealed following his botched attempt to steal a fortune from the city's customs and excise offices. Produced for the BBC and based on a true story, this Scottish adventure has all the elements of a great historical thriller--theft, treachery, romance, revenge, and scandalous revelations. Despite being a day late and a dollar short for everything but his own execution, Brodie (Billy Connolly) makes a surprisingly affable protagonist who, in the end, will win over even the most cold-hearted viewers. In fact, the revelation of antagonist Bailie Creech's even more objectionable depravities makes Brodie seem almost angelic in comparison. While not overly graphic visually, the story may not be thematically appropriate for all viewers because it includes larceny, prostitution, pedophilia, and death by hanging. Overall, it's an excellent production featuring strong performances, evocative costumes, and Dolby Surround sound. The pervasive understated Highland sense of humor and Brodie's charmingly flawed character make Deacon Brodie a must-see. --Tara Chace
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