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Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: Sleeping Murder (1987)

Miss Marple: Sleeping Murder (original title)
When a young bride moves into a country manor, long repressed childhood memories of witnessing a murder come to the surface.




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At a reception for a fading film star making a screen comeback, a gushing, pushy fan is poisoned by a drink apparently meant for the actress.

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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.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Hickson ...
Geraldine Alexander ...
Giles Reed
Frederick Treves ...
Terrence Hardiman ...
John Bennett ...
Geraldine Newman ...
Jack Watson ...
Mr. Foster
Joan Scott ...
Mrs. Cocker
Jean Heywood ...
Georgine Anderson ...
Mrs. Hengrave
Edward Jewesbury ...
David McAlister ...
Joan West


BBC TV adaption of the Agatha Christie's novel. A young recently married woman, Gwenda Reed, comes back to England after living most of her life in New Zealand. While her husband, Giles, is out of the country she buys a house for them and starts recalling memories which make her start to think that perhaps she had lived in the house before. It's only then, while dining out with friends, that a chance remark triggered off a frightening memory, as a little girl, looking down at a woman's body and the murderer with "monkey paws" hands. Gwenda is determined to find out the sources of this memory. The killer, thought that he/she was safe after eighteen years and is prepared to kill to cover up the past. But Gwenda has help as one of her dining friends is Raymond West, who has a very special Aunt who is willing to help Gwenda - Miss Jane Marple... Written by Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>

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Crime | Drama | Mystery




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Release Date:

11 January 1987 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: Sleeping Murder  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The director thought the script was much better than the book. See more »


In Part 2, Gwenda mentions that her step-mother Helen went missing "about 20 years ago" & "shortly before the War" (i.e. mid- to late 1930s), which means that this story is, in fact, set in the 1950s (as are most of the Joan Hickson Miss Marple adaptations). Thus, the yellow car may not be an anachronism at all.

The "posh car" owned by the tour bus company owner is a bright yellow roadster that looks suspiciously like a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, though it may have been a British make of similar design. But the headlights and taillights are unmistakably from the period of 1955-1957. If this mystery series is set in the post-WWII era of 1946-48, that car would have been about 10 years before its time. See more »


Gwenda Reed: Why didn't *we* think of that?
Miss Jane Marple: Because you believed what he told you. It's very dangerous to believe people - I haven't for years.
See more »

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User Reviews

Faithful, and beautifully shot, with a captivating performance from Geraldine Alexander
13 October 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Sleeping Murder is one of my favourite Agatha Christie books, I will warn you though I find it very creepy. As an adaptation, this version is surprisingly faithful, much more faithful than the Geraldine McEwan adaptation; that started off well but was ruined by some unnecessary plot changes. This 1987 adaptation looks wonderful, with some beautiful photography and lovely scenery and costumes without being too fancy. A number of scenes gave me nightmares when I first saw it, especially the ending. The book had real nervous edge and left some really haunting imagery inside your head, and the adaptation did very well in that aspect. The script is good, the pace isn't that slow, the music was haunting and beautiful and the acting was solid. Joan Hickson as usual is terrific in the title role, and Geraldine Alexander, like Sophia Myles in the recent version, was entirely captivating as Gwenda. Frederick Treves despite the shaky Scottish accent is quite effective as Kennedy, but John Moulder-Brown is rather wooden as Giles. All in all, a very effective adaptation of an excellent book. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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