Adaption of Agatha Christie's "Mrs. McGinty's dead". Miss Marple is the only jury member who believes that an accused is innocently charged with murder, so she joins a local acting troupe and tries to figure out who the real murderer is. Written by
As a result of this case, Craddock is promoted to the rank of Chief Inspector. See more »
The courtroom's main doors are decorated with the coat-of-arms of the king of Norway. See more »
[the judge has just declared a retrial because the jury cannot agree on a unanimous verdict - it is Miss Marple whose verdict differs from all the other jurors]
If ever there was an open-and-shut case, this was it. One member of that jury was being deliberately perverse.
[Miss Marple walks up]
Miss Jane Marple:
Many more than one, Inspector, I assure you. Eleven, to be precise.
Police Constable Wells:
That woman has made a mockery of my one and only murder.
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George Pollock deserves kudos for mixing crime with comedy
George Pollock's name never gets mentioned among major directors. Yet four of his Miss Marple films as best remembered for Ron Goodwin's music and the wonderful Dame Margaret Rutherford and real life husband Stringer Davis.
The four films of Pollock combined mystery with comedy in a way that it entertains even after 40 years after the films were made. The elements that hold up these four films were great casting, good screenplay, crisp editing, and charming music and sound effects. Pollock is not a David Lean or a philosopher-director. He is merely making cinema that is gripping and entertaining and how well he accomplishes this.
This film is the second only to "Murder Ahoy" among the four. And since "Murder Ahoy" followed "Murder Most Foul", it would be only too clear that Pollock was gaining in confidence and elegance with each film. In each of his "Murder" films Pollock cast a major British actor. In this one it is the talented Ron Moody (Fagin of "Oliver!"). In each of the four films the chosen British actor provides a counterpoint and balance to Dame Rutherford's major role. One tends to remember Miss Marple and not the other meaty roles (Lionel Jeffries, Robert Morley, James Robertson Justice)in each of the "Murder" films. All the four were memorable but Moody and Jeffries were truly remarkable. I found this a major work of Moody though not as memorable as his interpretation of Fagin and Uriah Heep in other films.
The juxtaposition of crime and comedy looks natural thanks to Pollock and imaginative casting. Pollock is probably a quiet achiever deserving more attention by critics and historians of British cinema.
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