The normally friendly village of Lymston is plagued by vile anonymous letters. When a mother of three takes her own life, following such a letter, Ms. Marple is not at all convinced things are as they seem.
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.
While on vacation at a resort hotel in the West Indies, Miss Marple correctly suspects that the apparently natural death of a retired British major is actually the work of a murderer planning yet another killing.
Her old friend Maude Calthrop, wife of the village vicar, summons Miss Marple when several of the local residents receive a poison pen letter. All of the recipients thus far are men and all are accused of some act of moral turpitude. When the local solicitor's wife, Angela Symington, is found dead with a poison pen letter at her side, the coroner rules that she took her own life. Not surprisingly, Jane Marple disagrees and is convinced it was murder. When a second villager is killed, it appears Miss Marple is correct. She also deduces the real purpose of the letters. Written by
The title of the film (and the novel it's based on) is, like that of many other works by Agatha Christie, a quotation of a piece of poetry. "The Moving Finger" are the first words of a well known work by the medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyam. See more »
Somebody finds a book used for cutting out letters to make threatening notes. However, the print in this book is much smaller than the letters used in the notes. See more »
Not one of the best entries in the Joan Hickson - Miss Marple series. For one thing, the story is not one of Agatha Christie's strongest; I admit that the identity of the killer caught me by surprise, but in retrospect that happened because the script makes his/her motive almost completely obscure. For another thing, with the exception of 1 or 2 well-done atmospheric scenes (like the discovery of the second body), the film flirts dangerously with dullness. And for yet another thing, although the cast is adequate (it's surprising that Deborah Appleby's career went nowhere after this, because she is indeed - as her character is described by someone else - "a breath of fresh air"), nobody really creates a character as memorable as, say, Selina Cadell's Miss Dove in "A Pocketfull Of Rye". OK for one viewing. (**1/2)
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