GenreCrime, Drama, Mystery Costume designMarit Allen Duration CountryUnited Kingdom
CastBillie Whitelaw WriterP. D. James, Elizabeth McKay Release dateFebruary 1982 Similar moviesUnder Suspicion (1991)
An unsuitable job for a woman playing god part 1
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman is a 1982 British crime film directed by Chris Petit. It was entered into the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival. It is based on the novel of the same name by P. D. James.
After finding her former boss, a private detective, is dead and has left her his agency, Cordelia Gray is asked to investigate the suicide of the man's son. She becomes obsessed with the boy and his suspicious death.
Billie Whitelaw as Elizabeth Leaming
Paul Freeman as James Calendar
Pippa Guard as Cordelia Gray
Dominic Guard as Andrew Lunn
Elizabeth Spriggs as Miss Markland
David Horovitch as Sergeant Maskell
Dawn Archibald as Isobel
Bernadette Shortt as Temp
James Gilbey as Boy
Kelda Holmes as Girl
Margaret Wade as Secretary
Alex Guard as Mark Callender
In a review in The New York Times, Janet Maslin wrote "As befits an English country-house mystery, the film has enough wood paneling, wildflowers and overall gentility to appeal to the genre's most ardent fans. But a couple of the film's transitions are abrupt enough to make the head spin, and its final action sequences are woefully perfunctory. The denouement is as disappointing as Mr. Petit's inability to breathe life into Cordelia, her sleuthing and her peculiar obsession." A review in Variety summarized; "Perhaps it is unfair to unravel this tale which is handled from a distance by director Christopher Petit robbing it of a more forceful narration, timing and revelation."