IMDb > "Miss Marple: The Moving Finger" (1985)
"Miss Marple: The Moving Finger"
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"Miss Marple: The Moving Finger" (1985) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1985-

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Julia Jones (dramatised by)
View company contact information for Miss Marple: The Moving Finger on IMDbPro.
The residents of a quiet English village begin to receive nasty, threatening letters. The wife of the local vicar calls in her friend Miss Marple to investigate. Full summary »
Plot Keywords:
(5 articles)
November DVD Playhouse
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 5 November 2010, 7:15 PM, PDT)

[TV] The Great Detectives Anthology
 (From JustPressPlay. 25 October 2010, 4:00 AM, PDT)

[TV] Agatha Christie: Poirot & Marple
 (From JustPressPlay. 30 July 2009, 8:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Disappointing adaptation takes all the mystery out of the story. See more (14 total) »


 (Series Cast Summary - 1 of 28)
Joan Hickson ... Miss Marple (unknown episodes)

Series Directed by
Roy Boulting (2 episodes, 1985)
Series Writing credits
Agatha Christie (2 episodes, 1985)
Julia Jones (2 episodes, 1985)

Series Produced by
Guy Slater .... producer (unknown episodes)
Series Original Music by
Alan Blaikley (unknown episodes)
Ken Howard (unknown episodes)
Series Cinematography by
Ian Hilton (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Graham Walker (unknown episodes)
Series Production Design by
Paul Allen (unknown episodes)
Series Costume Design by
Christian Dyall (unknown episodes)
Series Production Management
Andrew Benson .... production manager (unknown episodes)
Series Art Department
Helen MacKenzie .... properties buyer (unknown episodes)
Linda Sherwood-Page .... graphic designer (unknown episodes)
Series Sound Department
Martyn Clift .... film recordist (unknown episodes)
John Hale .... dubbing mixer (unknown episodes)
Rob Maynard .... dubbing editor (unknown episodes)
Series Editorial Department
Bernard Ashby .... chief film editor (unknown episodes)
Series Music Department
John Altman .... musical director (unknown episodes)
Series Other crew
Alexandra Bridcut .... assistant floor manager (unknown episodes)
George Gallaccio .... production associate (unknown episodes)
Juley Harding .... production assistant (unknown episodes)
John Kay .... assistant floor manager (unknown episodes)
Tony Redston .... location manager (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
102 min
Black and White (still photographs: of Gerry Burton's and Megan Hunter's trip to London) | Color
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This was filmmaker Roy Boulting's final project.See more »
Revealing mistakes: The corpse of Mrs Symmington blinks while the doctor is examining her.See more »
Gerry Burton:[Trying to get a loose end cleared up] But WHY did she?
Superintendent Nash:Ask Miss Marple. She usually has the right answers.
See more »
Movie Connections:


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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Disappointing adaptation takes all the mystery out of the story., 28 May 2015
Author: intriguement from United States

I love Agatha Christie. I've read most of her books several times, and "The Moving Finger" is one of my favorites. Each time I open it, I am captivated anew by the adorable English-village setting and the delightful relationship between witty Jerry and his spunky sister Joanna. As I continue reading, I am drawn in further by the rich cast of unique characters and a host of clues. Even though I know who committed the murder -- and it IS a bit obvious in retrospect -- I always enjoy trying to spot all the clues and remember how they fit together.

Unfortunately, this adaptation really doesn't live up to the book. To be blunt, it's boring.

First, I found the acting wooden. None of the characters seem to believe that they live in a village terrorized by anonymous letters and brutal murders. For example, at the end, the murderer's former employee/confidante explains that she needs to leave the village. Instead of seeming shocked and saddened, she positively beams! The placid music and bland lighting add to the absurdly calm atmosphere.

The book features two romances. In both cases, the man and woman start off friends, then have some misunderstandings. All four people experience painful self-discovery: For example, pampered city girl Joanna must decide if she has what it takes to be a rural doctor's assistant. Christie understands how to craft a believable (and interesting!) courtship story. In contrast, in the movie, both couples fall in love almost at first sight (although the understated acting does not convey a lot of passion), and both romances run a smooth, uneventful course.

Miss Marple actually plays a minor role in the book. However, the whole point of film adaptations is to bring beloved characters to life! Viewers want and expect to see Miss Marple blinking her china-blue eyes, fussing with her fluffy white knitting, and reminiscing about trivial events in her village 50 years ago. Sadly, in this adaptation, Miss Marple gets very little screen time, and her character is not developed beyond "old woman." I don't think this adaptation would inspire a new viewer to love Miss Marple and read more about her.

Finally, and most importantly, this adaptation eliminates most of the MYSTERY. Miss Marple's limited screen time allows her to mention the key points of the case, but not to display her deduction process. The script leaves out most of the clues from the book, so the viewer has no real chance to solve the puzzle. (And isn't that the fun of it?) When the solution is presented, there's no thrill of discovery. Miss Marple explains in about two lines because she has so few clues to fit together.

All in all, watching this adaptation felt like reading Cliffs Notes. I got the basic gist of the plot, but I missed out on the pleasure of the setting, characters, and mystery.

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