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Murder Most Foul (1964)

 -  Comedy | Crime | Drama  -  March 1964 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,752 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 15 critic

When Miss Marple joins a theatrical company after a blackmailer is murdered, several members of the troupe are also dispatched by this mysterious killer.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Margaret Rutherford ...
...
H. Driffold Cosgood
Charles 'Bud' Tingwell ...
Inspector Craddock (as Charles Tingwell)
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Justice Crosby (as Andrew Cruikshank)
Megs Jenkins ...
Mrs. Gladys Thomas
Ralph Michael ...
Ralph Summers
...
Bill Hanson
Stringer Davis ...
...
Sheila Upward
Pauline Jameson ...
Maureen Summers
Annette Kerr ...
Dorothy
Alison Seebohm ...
Eva McGonigall
Windsor Davies ...
Sergeant Brick
Neil Stacy ...
Arthur (as Neil Stacey)
Maurice Good ...
George Rowton
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Storyline

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 Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

New misdeeds are afoot afoot the footlights!


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

March 1964 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Vier Frauen und ein Mord  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the penultimate production in the series of four films with Margaret Rutherford as Miss Jane Marple. The last is Murder Ahoy (1964) (made the same year as Murder Most Foul (1964)), in which Inspector Craddock has been promoted to the rank Chief Inspector. After the series concluded Rutherford and her husband Stringer Davis reprised their roles of Miss Marple and Mr Stringer only once more, for a brief cameo appearance in The Alphabet Murders (1965). See more »

Goofs

The scissored copy of the Milchester Gazette found by Miss Marple is undated; as this is a mock-up especially for the film it would seem that the date was - intentionally or otherwise - overlooked. See more »

Quotes

Miss Jane Marple: [to Craddock] It may irritate you, Inspector, but sometimes women have superior minds. You'll simply have to accept it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Steele Flying High (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme From Dr. Kildare
(uncredited)
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Admirable light-hearted mystery."
12 September 2005 | by (Poole, Dorset) – See all my reviews

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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