An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
Rosemary Barton, the beautiful wife of a top attorney, dies during their anniversary party at an exclusive restaurant. Later a suicide note is found along with traces of cyanide in her drink, but murder cannot be ruled out.
Robert Michael Lewis
Although the evidence appears to be overwhelming in the strangulation murder of a blackmailer, Miss Marple's sole 'not guilty' vote hangs the jury 11-1. She becomes convinced that the real murderer is a member of a local theatrical troupe, so she joins them in order to gather information. The clues lead back many years to a single disastrously unsuccessful 1951 performance of a dreadful play written by the group's hammy director, H. Driffold Cosgood. Although at that time, several of the current cast members were only children, more murders follow before Miss Marple ultimately exposes the killer. Written by
The music playing at the opening of the hospital scene is a reference to the television show Dr. Kildare (1961), down to the shot of the doors to the ward. The score alludes to the theme music from the series, "Three Stars Will Shine Tonight", composed by Jerry Goldsmith. See more »
The courtroom's main doors are decorated with the coat-of-arms of the King of Norway. See more »
Miss Jane Marple:
Mr. Cosgood, whatever I may or may not be, I am definitely no angel... Good-bye! Good luck!
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This is the third entry in MGM's quintet of Miss Marple whodunits starring Rutherford as the eccentric yet highly intelligent spinster detective who time and time again has proved herself more competent than the investigating police even though she is only armed with her knowledge of crime detective novels.
In this feature, Miss Marple is on jury service at the trial of a young man called Howard Taylor whom is accused of killing his landlady Mrs McGinty for her savings. All members of the jury are convinced of Taylor's guilt except Miss Marple. As a result they are unable to say if Taylor is guilty or not guilty and the trial has to be postponed until a later date. This gives Miss Marple the breathing space she needs to find the real killer. The trail leads her to discover that Mrs McGinty was a blackmailer and that she was blackmailing a member of "The Cosgood Players", which is run by the bungling playwright and director Driffold Cosgood (RON MOODY). She manages to secure a place in the company following an unlikely rendition of Robert W. Service's poem "The Shooting Of Dan McGrew" and she is now able to investigate her fellow actors. Two more murders follow within the company before Miss Marple is able to lay a trap for the killer. As usual the hapless Chief Inspector Craddock (CHARLES TINGWELL) resents her interference but as usual she comes out on top even though Craddock is promoted to Chief Inspector for his work on the case but it was Miss Marple who solved it for him!
All in all, MURDER MOST FOUL (adapted loosely from Agatha Christie's 1952 publication Mrs McGinty's Dead in which Hercule Poirot solved the case), has all the comedy delight and charm of its two predecessors, which made the series so popular. Director George Pollock who by now had proved that he was a very efficient craftsman effortlessly blends the humor with mystery and one isn't allowed to overlap the other - something that has ruined mystery films in the past. Rutherford plays Miss Marple with a great deal of authority and as always she steals the show. But Ron Moody as Cosgood, Tingwell as Craddock and Stringer Davies (Rutherford's real life husband) as her trusty sidekick Mr Stringer all deserve good notices as does composer Ron Goodwin, director Pollock and cinematographer Desmond Dickinson whose black and white camera-work lends the production a considerable atmosphere of the mysterious.
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