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Murder Ahoy (1964) Poster

(1964)

Trivia

A fifth Miss Marple film, based on Agatha Christie's 1942 novel "The Body in the Library", was mooted but never made.
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The novel central to the plot, J. Plantaganet Corby's "The Doom Box", was devised by the scriptwriters and never really existed. The prop-makers mocked up copies in both hardback (for the Battledore) and paperback (for Miss Marple).
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Margaret Rutherford undertook a month of fencing practice for the film's denouement.
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The screenplay was not based on any published Agatha Christie story. It did, however, borrow a few obscure plot details from "They Do It With Mirrors" and there is a delightful moment when Miss Marple pays homage to Christie's long-running play, "The Mousetrap."
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We see Miss Marple's impressive library. It is composed mainly of Pan and Penguin crime paperbacks (including duplicate editions of "Follow the Saint" by Leslie Charteris and Georgette Heyer's "The Foundling"; Edgar Wallace is another of her favourite authors) alongside crossword, quiz and limerick books, Noël Coward's "Pomp and Circumstance" and "Return to Peyton Place" by Grace Metalious. There are also copies of Agatha Christie's "Three Act Tragedy", "Appointment With Death" - and intriguingly, the Miss Marple short story anthology "The Thirteen Problems".
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Terence Edmond's appearance as Sgt Bacon partly capitalises on his then-recent rôle in Z Cars (1962), where his policeman character PC Sweet had been shockingly killed off.
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Some of the film takes place on Trafalgar Day, partly dating the events to October 21st (the anniversary of Lord Horatio Nelson's death onboard HMS Victory), an important date in the British Naval calendar.
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Miss Marple was the 1931 Ladies' National Fencing Champion.
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There is a reference to the fictional UK county of Rutherfordshire, an obvious tip-of-the-hat to the film's star.
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Miss Marple's recently-deceased uncle was Rear Admiral Sir Hubert Marple; her grandfather Sir Bertram Marple (Admiral of the Fleet) founded The Cape of Good Hope Youth Reclamation Centre and its training ship the Battledore.
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Although the first couple of Rutherford's Marple films did well at the UK box office. the third did not and this fourth and final effort sat on the shelf in the UK for more than a year before finally getting released in October 1965 as the bottom half of a double bill with The Sandpiper.
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