In Acapulco, Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The causes seem to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
Emily Boynton, step-mother to the three Boynton children and mother to Ginevra, blackmails the family lawyer, Jefferson Cope, into destroying a second will of her late husband which would ... See full summary »
A friend of Miss Marple's sees a woman being strangled in a passing train. When police cannot find a body and doubt the story, Miss Marple enlists professional housekeeper, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to go undercover.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 »
When the two cats exit Miss Marple's room, a bird-like toy on a string can be seen moving in the background and up to the ceiling, attracting the cats so they'll follow down the hall. See more »
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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