By the Pricking of My Thumbs (2005)
"Mon petit doigt m'a dit..." (original title)

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The Beresfords investigate mysterious deaths at an old people's home.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rose Evangelista
Laurent Terzieff ...
Maître Anet / Monsieur Sévigné
Françoise Blayes
Bernard Verley ...
Le général
Alexandra Stewart ...
Mme Boscovan
François Bettens ...
Rudi (Marie-Christine's husband)
Françoise Seigner ...
Tante Ada Beresford
Elisabeth Macocco ...
Mme Pacard
Isabelle Giami ...
Melle Aupic
Hervé Pierre ...
Docteur Mauroy
Alexandre Pesle ...
L'enseigne-vaisseau Boulanger
André Thorent ...
Le curé


Prudence and Belisaire are what can be called an eccentric couple. How can you bear such impossible Christian (?) names in the first place? There must be no other Belisaire in France ; as for Prudence there are few more imprudent ladies than she is ! Just imagine : Belisaire is both a colonel in the military secret service and a past master at ... ironing ! And Prudence, not very inclined to be the model mother, prefers playing the amateur detective. Unsurprisingly, when several pensioners of an old people's home start dying mysteriously, Prudence is only to happy to leave daughter, son-in-law and grandkids behind in her beautiful home to follow the trail of adventure. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Mystery


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Release Date:

13 April 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

By the Pricking of My Thumbs  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


€5,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,568,127 (France) (22 April 2005)


$24,538 (Belgium) (20 May 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The song sung by Prudence and Belisaire is an aria ("Je crois entendre encore") from the opera by Georges Bizet, "Les pêcheurs de perles" (1863). It is heard again in the sequel "Le crime est notre affaire" but with no plot importance. See more »


Prudence Beresford: There's no such thing as a quiet village.
See more »


Followed by Crime Is Our Business (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Agatha made in France
16 May 2005 | by (Montigny-lès-Metz, France) – See all my reviews

This is - for all I know - only the second French adaptation of an Agatha Christie crime story in France. The last time was ... in 1932 ( "Le Coffret de Laque, directed by Jean Kemm)! But this new French effort was worth the waiting. Indeed, Lady Agatha's whodunit has been gallicised and updated so deftly that the viewer never suspects all the adaptation work behind the slick storytelling. When I say gallicised understand a stylized France. And when I say updated I mean a rather iconoclastic present.

All you can expect from an Agatha Christie novel you will find here : thrills, plot twists, mysterious clues, a surprising final resolution. But, thanks to Pascal Thomas' talent you will be given even more : social comment ( old age, family ties, the 2003 heat wave ), black humor (jokes about death, madness, etc.), brilliant dialog, plus a wonderful cast of either well-known character actors typed against cast (Geneviève Bujold, Valérie Kaprisky, Maurice Risch, Laurent Terzieff), of talented beginners(Pierre Lescure) or little known but excellent actors(André Thorent, Anne Le Ny). To say nothing of the sizzling leading couple of the always perfect Catherine Frot and André Dussollier.

However what is most enjoyable is the offbeat tone that imbues the whole film. The atmosphere, although apparently realistic, constantly borders on the fantastic.A farcical type of fantastic, as if "Mon petit Doigt m'a dit" had been made by a Claude Chabrol born in Belgium !

22 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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