Miss Marple Mysteries
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Miss Marple Murder Mysteries (DVD)
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
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... 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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
The episodes included in this set are:
The Body in the Library (1984);
A Murder is Announced (1985) and
A Pocket Full of Rye (1985).
It also includes "Crime does pay" described as a historic meeting of Miss Marple (Joan Hickson) and Poirot (Suchet) in a centenary celebration of Agatha Christie.
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent. Very well done and very lovely countryside. Yes, it's old now, but good mature acting and cast. I totally enjoyed ALL of the seasons... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Helen
I am a big fan of Miss Marple Mysteries, and love to watch all of Miss Marple series, really enjoyed this one.Published 10 months ago by N.
All are worth watching over and over. The quality of acting is superior and the scenes are more descriptive.Published 11 months ago by George Schlosser
This 3 DVD-mystery set was filmed in the mid-1980s and they're still fantastic. The attention to detail in costuming, sets and casting is wonderful. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Elle Ess
Classic material which holds up well with the passage of time.Published 14 months ago by Trevor B. Owen
Joan Hickson is just perfect as Miss Marple. Nobody else can compare to her portrayal.Published 17 months ago by Elaine Chilcote
Enjoyed Joan Hickson in this Miss Marple series. Christie fans would enjoy this, also I beleivePublished 18 months ago by Kalynnyk
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 morePublished 20 months ago by Doc Phil
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