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Miss Marple Mysteries

Joan Hickson , Gwen Watford , David Giles , Guy Slater    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 44.98
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Miss Marple Mysteries + Miss Marple, Set Two + Marple: The Classic Mysteries Collection
Price For All Three: CDN$ 194.00

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Product Description


In the hands of Agatha Christie, the murder mystery is like a sonata crossed with a magic trick--an intricate formal structure that depends on ingenious misdirection. On top of that, the movies made from her novels are an opportunity for great British character actors to languish in icy disdain, insinuating glances, arch humor, and trembling suggestions of guilt. This set gathers together three fine BBC productions, starting with The Body in the Library (in which a blond stranger's corpse turns up in a British squire's house), A Murder Is Announced) (in which a supposed parlor game has fatal consequences), and A Pocketful of Rye (in which a nursery rhyme becomes a recipe for a series of poisonings). All star Joan Hickson as Christie's much-loved elderly sleuth, Miss Marple. The way Hickson's eyes light up at the mention of mysterious death makes her seem like a delightfully dotty old ghoul; she hovers at the periphery of investigations, noticing the telling details that police inspectors overlook. The productions lay out plot threads and clues with surgical precision, while the actors play stock characters with exquisite relish. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

The beloved dowager detective Miss Marple (Joan Hickson) unravels three of Agatha Christie's most popular brainteasers: A Murder Is Announced, A Pocketful of Rye and the series premiere, The Body in the Library.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"There she sits: an elderly spinster; sweet, placid ...,

... so you'd think," retired Scotland Yard chief Sir Henry Clithering (Raymond Francis) says when describing St. Mary Mead's best-known inhabitant to his friend, wealthy paraplegic Conway Jefferson in the first adaptation of a Miss Marple mystery, "The Body in the Library." "Yet," Sir Henry continues, "her mind has plumbed the depths of human iniquity, and taken all in a day's work." And Vicar Clement, the narrator of Agatha Christie's first Miss Marple story, 1930's "Murder at the Vicarage," couldn't agree more: "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," he observes on one occasion.

The BBC's 1980s adaptations of Christie's twelve Miss Marple novels quickly established Joan Hickson as the quintessential Jane 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 "play my dear Miss Marple.") Prior versions, partly involving rather high-octane casts, had seen as Miss Marple, inter alia, Angela Lansbury and Margaret Rutherford, but had been less faithful to Christie's books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid showcase Jan. 12 2003
By A Customer
Restricting my comments to the quality of the 3-disc release: I was very worried, based on a review published here, that the video quality of this product might be poor. It isn't; in fact, it's very good. I don't know why the reviewer would have complained about this unless his/her copy of the DVD was really as poor as described, which I have to accept that it was. All I can say is, mine isn't. A couple of nights ago, one of our Bay Area PBS channels did re-broadcast one of the 3-part episodes on this disc, and the quality of their print was awful. So, I can tell the difference between grainy and spotty on the one hand, and sharp and clear on the other...it's quite plain on my equipment, which is only average. Unlike the other reviewer's, my discs are quite sharp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare collection of Aunt Jane�s Aug. 13 2002
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
"Body in the Library"
Mrs. Dolly Bantry (Gwen Watford) tries to inform her husband of the reported body and is accused of imagining the report due to reading trashy books in bead at night. As usual Jane is always in the right place to view the potential suspects. Clues are everywhere yet who would mix body's and books?
Speaking about night I would not start this film to late, as it seems to go on forever at 151 minutes. As it was a made for TV (1984), I suspect that this movie is a composite of a series. And there are places where it takes leaps to different situations with out any transition. You can guess the plot in general but the details are surprising. It is wrapped up so quickly that you will need to run the ending a few times to put it all in perspective
"A Murder is Announced"
A man dies in Chipping Kleghorn under mysterious circumstances and suddenly Aunt Jane is coming to stay. As with most Agatha Christie's movies, everybody and nobody could have done it. Miss Jane Marple is the catalyst that helps Inspector Craddock (John Castle) and others to view the situation differently and extrapolate the "who" that done it.
It is interesting that the inspector in some movies, is related to Jane and in other movies not. Inspector Craddock here is interesting as he is polite and tolerant of the people he is interrogating.
It is fun to try and match the real names of the actors with the part that they are playing. Would you suspect that Hannah is (Elaine Ives-Cameron)? Or that Miss Hinchcliffe is (Paola Dionisotti)?
Anyway keep your eyes open, as there is not a wasted movement or word in this movie.
"A Pocket Full of Rye"
Rex Fortescue is out of character as he arrives at is office.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for Marple fans Sept. 27 2002
My 3 favorite Miss Marple programs. Video quality excellent. If they had left off all the ads at the beginning of each CD it would have been even better. A nice value.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Sept. 22 2003
By A Customer
My Gift Set Miss Marple DVD collection is of excellent quality. Miss Marple is my favorite Christie sleuth and I am so pleased to have these episodes (Body in the Library, Pocket Full of Rye, Murder is Announced) on DVD. I noticed no grainy quality whatsoever. There are a few ads in the beginning and the episodes are individually split up into separate parts as in when they were broadcast on TV but these facts really did not bother me. I especially enjoyed the "Who's Who" feature which gave brief bios of the BBC actors. All-in-all very enjoyable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Miss Marple May 14 2013
By seggrnd
Verified Purchase
Joan Dickson was the quintessentiel Miss Marple. She embodied the perfect sleuth, hidden behind the facade of an old spinster who had studied human nature through the everyday life of an English village.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Joan Hickson is just perfect as Miss Marple. Nobody else can compare to her portrayal.
Published 8 days ago by Elaine Chilcote
4.0 out of 5 stars Cheers for Hickson as Marple!
Enjoyed Joan Hickson in this Miss Marple series. Christie fans would enjoy this, also I beleive
Published 1 month ago by Kalynnyk
5.0 out of 5 stars Hickson does it again
Jean Hickson is very much Miss Marple. Christie thought she would be, and she was right. The series is not closed captioned, but to watch this master of her craft record the true... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Philemon Paquette
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Now I have the series I watched on TV all to myself, and I can watch it over and over.
Published 4 months ago by Anne Romain
4.0 out of 5 stars Just what I expected
The casting is very good so the characters are enjoyable. Joan Hickman is my favorite Miss Marple. They three movies follow the books very well. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Joan Hickson was chosen by Agatha Christie herself to play Miss Marple.
She is good but a little too meek and mild especially for a murder case. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Seniorty
5.0 out of 5 stars one for the fans
Very good acting; very good scenes and decor. It shows a certain way of life and what is beyond what looks simple but is not. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Voyager
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't find these episodes in any other set!
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 Great fun
To begin, Joan Hickson is marvelous as Miss Marple--even better than Margaret Rutherford--no easy task! Read more
Published on March 10 2004 by "vanhubris"
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