While Miss Marple is on vacation in a luxurious Caribbean resort, a fellow guest confides he has evidence that another resident of the hotel is an unscrupulous serial murderer but is poisoned before he can reveal his identity to her.
Aging Major Palgrave, an idiosyncratic but charming mystery writer, reveals to Miss Marple that one of the guests at a luxurious Caribbean resort they're staying at is a Bluebeard-type wife murderer. Unfortunately, the Major succumbs to an apparently accidental overdose of alcohol and blood pressure medication before revealing the killer's identity. When it's discovered that the medicine belonged to another guest and the revealing photograph the Major was carrying is missing, Miss Marple realizes that the serial killer has struck again and more murders will follow. Written by
When Marple opens a book on psychiatry, we see that the book was taken in the library five times from 1941 to 1951. However, To Define True Madness first came out in 1953 (by Sidgwick and Jackson), and the cover shown before belongs to the revised (Penguin Books) edition in 1955. In the Agatha Christie's work (Chapter 21) neither the title of the book nor the library insert is mentioned. See more »
This is a pretty poorly made TV movie typical of the early 80s, with an overly syrupy score and bland cinematography and awful acting by everyone under the age of 60. So it can be taken as proof of Agatha Christie's genius that a straightforward telling of one of her stories is pretty enjoyable even when done by hacks. The best part is watching the way Miss Marple manipulates the situation, pulling the strings of those around her while managing to seem harmless and perhaps dotty. In spite of her floating accent, Hayes makes an excellent Miss Marple, and Hughes and Evans are also quite good. The rest of the acting varies from mediocre to truly incompetent, but the story is strong enough to survive. The ending is unfortunately weak and feels as though it was rushed through, so the feeling of satisfaction one gets in a Christie book is sadly lacking, but overall it's pretty watchable, and I give it 6/10, which is about as much as you can give something filmed with the care of an episode of MacMillan and Wife.
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