In this Pilot episode we are introduced to Jessica Fletcher, a recent widow, who lives in Cabot Cove, Maine. Jessica is an English teacher who becomes a mystery book author thanks to her nephew, Grady Fletcher. Grady submits his Aunts manuscript to a publishing company who loves it and publishes it immediately. It is a best-seller and Jessica goes to New York City to promote her new book. While there Jessica gets involved in a murder while at her publishers home for a costume party. When her nephew becomes a suspect of the murder, Jessica must find the real killer. Written by
Production Designer Hub Braden, early in his career, had been the scenic designer for a summer at the Kennybunkport Playhouse, in Maine. During his return to Kennybunkport for a vacation, he discovered an Atlantic ocean inlet bay which a main town road bridged over. The inlet has a very small sign on either end of the bridge with the inlet bay's name: Cabot Cove. See more »
When the girl is auditioning (singing) in the theater, the pianist is moving his hands but he's actually not touching any keys. See more »
[Police Chief Gunderson questions Preston Giles and his house guests]
Chief Roy Gunderson:
Suppose you tell me what happened here last night, Mr. Giles. Folks don't go 'round gettin' half their heads blown off for no reason. I'm lookin' for motive.
For killing Caleb McCallum? Surely you jest. Half the country had reason to kill him. The other half didn't know him.
Chief Roy Gunderson:
Not funny, friend.
But accurate. The Captain wasn't particularly well loved. Though I doubt that any of us despised him enough to kill him.
Except for me....
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This 2 hour pilot episode of Murder She Wrote shows us how Angela Lansbury became the celebrity mystery writer we knew and loved. Michael Horton made the first of his many appearances as her nephew Grady sends in a story she wrote as a hobby and it becomes a best seller. So this former English teacher develops into the cosmopolitan world traveler and American version of Agatha Christie, Jessica Fletcher.
In this episode we get two murders to solve, first that of Dennis Patrick a rather sleazy gumshoe given to blackmail killed at a costume party that Lasnbury is attending given by Arthur Hill. Another of the guests at said party Brian Keith is also later murdered.
Hill and Lansbury seem to be getting something going. It was as serious as I ever saw in the whole history of the show.
Also Lansbury puts herself in harm's way. Her encounter with those street thugs is as much danger as I ever saw her in.
A nice program sendoff for a beloved TV character.
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