The old and wealthy Mr. Enderby dies of a heart attack but the ever suspicious Miss Marple has her doubts. Who or what gave him a heart attack? Enderby's poor relatives gather at the The Gallop, a combined boarding-house and riding school. Miss Marple also gets there to find out if any of them had any particular reasons to see him dead. Written by
As was customary film practice at the time, the lightbeam from Crossfield's torch in Black Jack's stable was provided by an actual studio light rather than the actor's prop. This is obvious as the light spot on the wall remains fairly constant whilst the character moves frantically - and at one point the torch casts a clear shadow in its own light. See more »
Over the years, several actresses have played Agatha Christie's creation, Miss Jane Marple, spinster of the parish of St. Mary Meade. Their portrayals have generally ranged from understudied to vapid. Margaret Rutherford's performance was unquestionably the most forceful and feisty, though perhaps not very close to Agatha Christie's character as intended. Likewise, "Murder at the Gallop" is rather a pastiche of scenes from a Hercule Poirot novel, "After the Funeral", rather than being a single Miss Marple novel.
Also featuring were Robert Morley, playing, well, Robert Morley, and Duncan Lamont in his usual role as a surly underling.
The film is a departure from most films, even for the period, in being shot in sharp-focus black-and-white.
Plotwise, in "Murder at the Gallop", Miss Marple first witnesses the apparently natural death of a wealthy man while trying to rattle a charity collection box at his home. Her suspicions aroused, she subsequently investigates in blunt fashion, and discovers the dead man's sister, also murdered. Even though the police are now involved, she continues to poke and pry; and it turns out that Miss J. T. V. Marple was a champion horsewoman in her youth.
The final uncovering of the murderer lacks the usual drama, and is arrived at through a literal process of elimination, the other suspects having themselves been murdered.
Still, "Murder at the Gallop" is generally an enjoyable, fast-paced romp.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?