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Miss Marple Collection #1

Joan Hickson , Donald Pleasence , Christopher Petit , John Davies    Unrated   VHS Tape
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Dame Christie's most popular character, prim and proper Miss Jane Marple, is adored worldwide by mystery fans for her razor-sharp mind, intuitive understanding of criminal behavior, and trademark knitting needles. Enjoy four feature-film adaptations of Miss Marple's greatest mysteries in one collectible 2-pack. It's hours of great whodunnits for all ages.


One of Agatha Christie's most popular characters, the beloved Miss Marple, is brought to life in these classic BBC and A&E Home Video mysteries. Included in the box set are 4:50 from Paddington, Sleeping Murder, The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side, and A Caribbean Mystery. The delightful Joan Hickson is always entertaining as the prim and proper Miss Marple, complete with her elderly woman charm and perpetually clicking knitting needles.

In 4:50 from Paddington, Miss Marple's good friend Elspeth McGillicuddy witnesses a man strangle a woman on a passing train, and it's up to Miss Marple to uncover the mystery. In Sleeping Murder, the Reeds move into their dream house, where Mrs. Reed is plagued by the vision of a body in the hall. In turn they call upon Miss Marple to help them uncover this strange phenomenon. When the American movie star Marina Gregg in The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side is almost murdered while filming her new picture, she's fortunate to have the help of Miss Marple to sniff out the evil culprit. A Caribbean Mystery has Miss Marple, who's in need of rest and relaxation, deciding to holiday in the West Indies. Her holiday soon turns into a working vacation when it's time for her to gather the usual suspects. This box set is a must-have for the video libraries of all whodunit enthusiasts and Miss Marple admirers. --Samantha Allen Storey

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Most helpful customer reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
There she sits: A white-haired lady dressed in tweeds, a pair of knitting needles in her lap, more interested in village gossip than in the goings-on of the world at large -- and out of nothing, she utters sentences like that.

For more likely than not, another murder has been committed; and Miss Jane Marple, elderly spinster from the village of St. Mary Mead, just happens to find herself near the scene of the crime. And also more likely than not, while the police are still toddling around searching for clues she'll find the solution -- relying on her ever-unfailing "village parallels;" those seemingly innocuous incidents of village life that make up the sum of her knowledge of human nature, and to which she routinely turns in unmasking even the cleverest killer. "Miss Marple is a white-haired old lady with a gentle, appealing manner -- Miss Wetherby is a mixture of vinegar and gush. Of the two Miss Marple is the more dangerous," already observes Vicar Clement, the narrator of Miss Marple's literary debut, 1930's "Murder at the Vicarage" (although in the BBC series, only her fifth adventure).

Originally airing in the 1980s, the BBC's adaptations of Agatha Christie's twelve Miss Marple novels featured Joan Hickson in the title role; quickly establishing her as the quintessential Miss Marple even in the view of the grandmother (or rather, grand-aunt) of all village sleuths and "noticing kinds of persons"'s creator, Dame Agatha herself. (After seeing Hickson in an adaptation of her "Appointment With Death," as early as 1946 Christie reportedly sent her a note expressing the hope she would one day "play my dear Miss Marple.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New Miss Marple DVD is a disappointment! Oct. 3 2001
I'd been eagerly waiting for the DVD release of this wonderful series but am now very disappointed. This is the second set of A&E DVDs I've had to return recently because of poor quality. THE 4:50 FROM PADDINGTON DVD is the worst I've seen. It looks like an old and worn out video. It's dirty and the colors are washed out. No restoration work there! SLEEPING MURDER is better but not as good as it could be. Frankly, I didn't even bother to watch the other two shows, I returned the set. I've bought other A&E DVDs made from much older shows, like The Saint, from the sixties, and all 12 episodes are crisp and clear and the color is nice and bright. Also, why did they edit these shows? You lose important information that way, especially in mysteries.
It appears that A@E no longer cares about the quality of the products they sell. They should check them before they're made available to the public. Visually they lack the high standards that one expects from DVDs. Hopefully A&E will rectify this in future releases of this set.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
It's surprising that the BBC (or is it ITV?) has not denounced these DVDs and demanded their destruction. The charm of the original made-for-TV films is utterly degraded by incompetent transfer from the originals by A&E. It looks almost as if the master tape was played on a big-screen TV then recorded by a VHS tape recorder using a middling camera with lens lightly smeared with vaseline. One can't even read the text of labels into which the camera pans.
The fault for this travesty lies purely with the transcription - I own VHS tapes recorded in Europe from the telly which have comparatively superb resolution (but which, alas, can only be played on an European TV).
Buy these DVDs only if you are incurably devoted to Joan Dickson's superbly understated performances of Miss Marple's adventures, and are able to pretend you are myopic - or that you have removed your glasses if you already are. Otherwise, save up your money for something less frustrating. Take Sitar lessons, or buy a good book, or a CD of your favorite music. At least they will endure, and be worth revisiting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Comments on edits made to stories Oct. 15 2001
Much to my annoyance I found out that at least two of the stories in this set have been edited. For those trying to make a decision whether or not to buy these disks, I have outlined the cuts below:
Sleeping Murder - intact: no cuts.
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side - appears to be intact.
4.50 from Paddington - edited: 5 mins 11 secs
Scenes edited are:
* Miss Marple and Mrs McGillicuddy directly after the latter arrives at Miss Marple's where she talks about how the people on the railway wouldn't believe a word she said about what she saw on the train(30 secs)
* Miss Marple collects the mail after it has been dropped off by the postman (13 secs)
* A continuation of the conversation between Lucy Eylesbarrow and Emma Crackenthorpe as they walk down the hall after the former arrives there where they discuss the imminent arrival of the rest of the family and the peculiarities of the family will / Emma introduces Lucy to Mrs Kidder (the cook) / Dr Quimper leaving and chatting to Emma / Mrs Kidder leaving for the day and Lucy asking if she minds if she does a bit of tidying up / Lucy cleaning the kitchen (3 mins 10 sec)
* Dr Qumper walking with Inspector Slack away from the barn watched by the two boys / Slack talking to Quimper about the family (1 min 26 secs)
As you can see substantial edits here that actually affect what information we receive about the will, plus the removal of chunks of character development - grrr.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very nice transaction, dvd picture nice and clear, no problems.
Published 13 days ago by loretta coney
2.0 out of 5 stars False advertising! There are no subtitles.
False advertising! There are no subtitles. I love the Joan Hickson Miss Marple series but since I have a hearing deficit, I prefer movies with subtitles. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Rach
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Marple Classic Mysteries was simple wonderful
Every Mystery kept you waiting to find out the end.
I would recommend these stories to anyone who love old mysteries and the madgic of Miss Marple
Published 21 months ago by Sharron Bolte
3.0 out of 5 stars Miss Marple and her Carribean Holiday....
I bought this because all I had was a VHS of this movie. I bought it in good faith thinking that the movie was the same that I had on my VHS, when in fact it isn't. Read more
Published on Oct. 13 2011 by Duchess
5.0 out of 5 stars Dear Miss Marple!
Joan Hickson makes a very good Marple. This series is also very loyal to Agatha's written text, which always makes for a fan's good viewing. Read more
Published on March 10 2011 by Paulina Medeiros
4.0 out of 5 stars List of Movies Included
I found it extremely frustrating that the product information does not include a list of the 9 movies that are included in this set, so I'm providing them here (in alphabetical... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2011 by Glenda Marie
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Brit mystery series
If you like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Crocker, Inspector Lynley, Inspector Morse and Midsummer Murders, you'll love this too!
Published on Oct. 4 2009 by Kate the Movie Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars The A&E Aunt Jane's but no CBS/Fox Aunt Jane's
In this case many people are disappointed with the quality of the recordings. I am concerned with the availability and for one am glad to get a copy while they are still being... Read more
Published on July 4 2006 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Agatha Christie stories come to life !
I have purchased this movie collection because of my love of Agatha Christie's Books and let me just say,it was worth every penny! Read more
Published on June 27 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I took a chance....
I am entering a review solely to reassure potential buyers that the DVD quality of this set is not "unviewable", and the sound quality is not "inaudible" as one... Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by mystery lover
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