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Agatha Christie's Marple: The Murder at the Vicarage 

The Murder at the Vicarage (original title)
No one seems surprised when Colonel Protheroe is found murdered in the local vicarage. Red herrings abound, especially when his widow and her lover both confess to the murder.

Director:

(as Charles Palmer)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Photographer
Jana Carpenter ...
May Ainsworth
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Siobhan Hayes ...
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Storyline

Colonel Lucius Protheroe is probably the least-liked individual in St Mary Mead. All resent his superior and demanding attitude. So, when he is found dead in the vicarage study, there is no end of suspects. His wife Ann was having an affair with a local artist, Lawrence Redding. His daughter Lettice bridled under his strict rule. There is also the vicar and his assistant, whom Protheroe suspected of stealing church funds. Finally, there is the mysterious Mrs. Lester with whom he clearly had some previous connection. Jane Marple, recuperating at home from a sprained ankle, had a bird's eye view of all the comings and goings at the vicarage around the time of the murder and she gladly assists Inspector Slack in solving the crime. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

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Release Date:

19 December 2004 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode takes place in December 1915 and 1951. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the film, when Miss Marple is ready to go to church, you can see a calendar on the table showing August 1951. On the calendar, the month begins with a Tuesday. In fact, the 1st of August 1951 was a Wednesday. See more »

Quotes

Colonel Protheroe: [referring to the artist, Lawrence Redding, while at the dinner table] I forbid you to see him again!
Lettice Protheroe: He was only painting me.
Colonel Protheroe: [disbelieving] Oh!
Lettice Protheroe: But I wish he were doing something, with all the stupid fuss you're making.
Colonel Protheroe: Don't be common!
Lettice Protheroe: Well, don't be horrid, then! You've already driven the DuFosses to bed because of your foul mood.
Colonel Protheroe: Well, you can go, too!
Lettice Protheroe: Gladly!
[throws napkin on the table, gets up and walks off]
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Connections

Followed by Agatha Christie's Marple: A Murder Is Announced (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
so Jane Marple had a past, did she?
24 May 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Murder at the Vicarage" is another of the Geraldine McEwan Miss Marple mysteries. These films have several things in common: 1) they are beautifully produced, with great attention paid to photography, costumes, etc.; 2) they cast very good actors; 3) they don't pay a heck of a lot of attention to the original novel.

As I've said a million times previously, it's been ages since I've read these books, so the details are lost on me. I do know one thing: Agatha Christie never gave Jane Marple a past with a married soldier. There is a reference to someone named Lionel in the books and apparently Mummy put a stop to it. We can assume, I think, that Jane Marple had suitors, the most serious of which was Lionel, but she never had an affair with a married soldier. It just shows how little the writers know about such a famous character.

Everyone goes on and on about Joan Hickson. Okay, those adaptations were terrific, and she was a wonderful actress. But when I read the Miss Marple books, I pictured her as a sweet old lady. For me Hickson was very dry in the role. I go on record here (again) - I liked Helen Hayes and Julia McKenzie in the role. McEwan, who is a fabulous actress, is not quite right in her interpretation. She's too sophisticated and too much in peoples' faces. Miss Marple was a keen observer of human nature, having watched the citizens of St. Mary Mead. When murder occurred, some of the behavior would remind her of Mr. so and so and Miss so and so - and she'd put the thing together. It's just not that way in these scripts.

Anyway, Murder at the Vicarage is a strong story, about the death of Colonel Lucius Protheroe, a very hated gentleman in St. Mary Mead. His wife, Ann, is having an affair with a local artist, known for his somewhat risqué work. His daughter wasn't happy with his rules concerning her behavior. Pretheroe thought the vicar's assistant was stealing from the church. Jane has a sprained ankle and does a lot of observing from her window. And she very cleverly solves the mystery.

This film is a treat for baby boomers in that it features Jane Asher, Paul McCartney's old girlfriend. And talk about names - Derek Jacobi as Colonel Pretheroe and Janet McTeer as Anne - two huge stars of theater, and of course Jacobi has had quite the film career as well. The producers don't spare any expense, obviously. And Herbert Lom? Fantastic.

Despite some of its adaptation problems - I mean if it's not broke why are you fixing it - I guiltily admit this was a treat to watch. One way to enjoy these is just forget it's supposed to be Miss Marple and based on an Agatha Christie book.


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