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.
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.
Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
When Miss Marple's visiting friend sees a woman being strangled on a passing train, they immediately report it to the police. Inspector Slack sees Miss Marple as a bit of a busy body and drops the investigation after only a few days. Miss Marple however determines that there is only one spot along the line where a body could have been dumped and it happens to be very near the Crackenthorpe estate. She asks a professional housekeeper, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to go there undercover as a domestic. She soon finds the dead woman's body at which time the police take on a renewed interest but it is left to Miss Marple to solve the mystery. Written by
Coincidentally, the main setting for this story is "Rutherford Hall"; between 1961 and 1965 actress Margaret Rutherford played Miss Jane Marple in several productions, including "Murder She Said" (1961), a previous version of this same story. See more »
When Dr Quimper takes the old man's blood pressure near the end of the movie, he doesn't have the stethoscope earpieces in his ears. See more »
Miss Jane Marple:
But of course you must go on searching, Inspector! Now you might say that Elspeth is not a sophisticated person, but, I assure you, she has both feet firmly on the ground. She saw what she saw!
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An average mystery tale that is slow and not easy to engage with
Mrs McGillicuddy is on her way to see her friend Miss Marple when she looks out of the train window and sees, in an adjacent train, a woman being strangled by a man. Disturbed and doubted by the police she asks Miss Marple to look into it. With nothing but mockery from Detective Inspector Slack, the pair try to pinpoint the location of the murder and thus the possible places where the body would be dumped. The most likely would be the ample grounds of the Crackenthorpe estate but they can't go wandering around that looking for a body. So instead Marple turns to her niece Lucy Eyelesbarrow for help getting her to take a job within the grounds to allow her to look around.
Although I am more into the Columbo's of this world, an enjoyable mystery is an enjoyable mystery and I thought I would take the opportunity to revisit the Miss Marple stories as told by the BBC back in the late 1980's. This film opens well enough, with a seemingly impossible murder to track down far less solve but gradually it does. After the actual crime the film does drag a little for the first hour as we get to know the characters and Lucy looks around. Once the body is found I had hoped it would spring into life a little bit but it didn't really and the "facts" and the discoveries didn't grab my interest that much. The stiff and proper approach is all well and good and I could live with that but I didn't like the way it seemed to infect even the narrative and the delivery. It is all delivered slowly and without any particular hook to grab the audience and I must admit that I found myself caring less and less as the film went on.
The cast are all reasonably good. Hickson was a good Miss Marple and it is not her fault that the film forgets her for the first hour and then uses her sparingly for the second. Meager is OK as Lucy but it is too much of an ask in my opinion for her to carry the majority of the film by herself. The support cast is all fairly reliable without anyone marking themselves out; Horovitch does his usual Marple-weary thing to good effect.
Overall an OK film but nothing special. The slow pace is not a problem but the uninvolving story and slow mystery meant I wasn't really hooked at any point a bit of a weakness for a mystery story. The cast are all OK but the specific nature of the resolution meant it was being told to me rather than carrying me along. Marple fans will probably like it but the majority of viewers will struggle.
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