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"Agatha Christie's Marple: The Moving Finger (#2.2)"
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"Agatha Christie's Marple" The Moving Finger (2006)

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Agatha Christie (based on the novel by)
Kevin Elyot (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Moving Finger on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
5 February 2006 (Season 2, Episode 2)
Troubled war veteran Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna rent a cottage in a seemingly tranquil English village which is plagued by a spate of poison pen letters... and murder. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Hardly one for the Christie traditionalists but gaudy, surprisingly lively and strangely entertaining See more (26 total) »


  (Episode Cast overview, first billed only)

Geraldine McEwan ... Miss Marple

James D'Arcy ... Jerry Burton

Ken Russell ... Rev Caleb Dane Calthrop

Frances de la Tour ... Mrs. Maud Dane Calthrop (as Frances De La Tour)
Thelma Barlow ... Emily Barton

Jessica Hynes ... Aimee Griffith (as Jessica Stevenson)

Sean Pertwee ... Dr Owen Griffith

Imogen Stubbs ... Mona Symmington

Harry Enfield ... Richard Symmington

Kelly Brook ... Elsie Holland

John Sessions ... Cardew Pye
Rosalind Knight ... Partridge

Emilia Fox ... Joanna Burton
Ellen Capron ... Agnes

Talulah Riley ... Megan Hunter
See more »

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Australia:PG | Australia:M (DVD rating) | Finland:K-12 (TV) (2012) | UK:12 (video rating) (2006)

Did You Know?

The title of the film (and the novel it's based on) is, like that of many other works by Agatha Christie, a quotation of a piece of poetry. "The Moving Finger" are the first words of a well known work by the medieval Persian poet Omar Khayyam.See more »
Continuity: At the start, we see the motorcycle fly into the air with various parts being flung off, including the head lamp. A few moments later, we see the bike again and the head lamp is reattached.See more »
Miss Marple:Mr. Burton what about you?
Jerry Burton:I'm going away.
Miss Marple:To do what?
Jerry Burton:Do you know I haven't a clue? I expect I'll find something.
Miss Marple:Perhaps what you're looking for is right here under your nose.
Jerry Burton:She doesn't want me Miss Marple.
[referring to Megan]
Miss Marple:Faint heart Mr. Burton. I once let someone go. He had... commitments you see... a war to fight. But I've often wondered if under other circumstances I would'e done the same. It seems to me Mr. Burton that, we should count ourselves blessed if we are allowed just one shot at happiness.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References The Collector (1965)See more »

11 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Hardly one for the Christie traditionalists but gaudy, surprisingly lively and strangely entertaining, 2 April 2006
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Having survived a motorcycle accident/suicide attempt with only two broken legs, Jerry Burton comes to the quiet village of Lymstock to recuperate in peace. However being introduced around the village Jerry and his sister Joanna quickly get to hear everyone's dirty secrets and benefit from the gossiping that comes with any afternoon tea. However this is just the superficial stuff because underneath most of the village is receiving poison pen letters. When Mrs Symmington, one of the village's residents, commits suicide as a result of one such letter, things become more serious and accusations are flying between everyone. Luckily the houseguest at the vicarage is none other than the unassuming Miss Marple (visiting following a suicide of an old acquaintance), who may be able to help cast some light on the situation.

Opening a backdrop that makes no attempt at reality, then flashing up a gaudy title cad followed by a sequence that is washed out apart from blood red colours a la Sin City I knew that this film was not going to have much in common with the old BBC Miss Marple series than I know. This was my first shot at the new ITV version of Miss Marple (or "Marple" as they have called it in a fit of modernism) and I wasn't sure quite what to expect once the first few minutes had thrown me off my stride. The mood did settle down after that but the tone was still very much of a lively modern mystery rather than the drier and more repressed drama from the BBC. I'm not sure this is an entirely welcome thing but it did at least make it more suitable for Sunday night viewing.

The plot follows Jerry as much as it does Miss Marple and it perhaps says more about my feelings towards McEwan than anything else but I felt this was quite a good thing. It also allows us (the audience) to encounter the clues at the same time as Jerry and not have to have them all put together there and then. This device worked reasonably well although I didn't think the mystery was developed that well. The nature of the telling is good though as it is entertaining, bright and lively. The direction and production helps because rather than being dry, everything is colourful and full, meanwhile the visual style is more adventurous than the earlier series would have suggested possible.

The cast continues this "big and bold" theme by basically having loads of famous names in it – from main characters right down to lesser roles. Personally I'm not sure about McEwan as Miss Marple; she doesn't suit the role and she doesn't convince me that she is that smart or cunning in the way Hickson did, although she is still good value. D'Arcy is fairly good as the main leading actor, he is quite interesting and doesn't push to steal the film from anyone else. The support cast are heaving at the sides and demonstrates such eclectic casting that I couldn't help but be taken in. The material seems to have been evenly spread which means no one person stands out that much. Allen is fun in a simple "bumbling detective" style role, while Enfield, Brook, Fox, Stubbs, Sessions, Russell, de la Tour and others easily fill out the film with plenty of good turns.

A strangely modern Marple then but quite enjoyable at that. The narrative is solid enough and produces a reasonably good mystery to work with but it is the cast and the generally lively production that sticks in the memory and makes this better than it should have been. I struggled with McEwan because Marple has always been a bit drier in my mind but I must admit that this glossy production was hard to dislike for what it did.

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