When troubled war veteran Jerry Burton and his sister Joanna relocate to the quiet little village of Lymstock in order to allow Jerry to recuperate from injuries received in what he claims is a motorcycle accident, they are expecting nothing more than country sleepiness and tedium. Much to their surprise, however, they find themselves embroiled in the middle of scandal and secrets; someone is sending vicious poison-pen letters to the residents. A local dignitary has already taken his own life over the letters, and it's not long before local gossip Mona Symmington also commits suicide after receiving a letter. But when the letter-writer apparently resorts to murder, Jerry finds his curiosity stoked despite himself, and he's not the only one; Miss Jane Marple is also in Lymstock, and she's decided that it's long past time someone got to the bottom of this unpleasant business.Written by
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 »
Mrs. Symmington can be seen quite clearly standing next to her husband attending the funeral for the murdered maid Agnes Brown. Mrs. Symmington was murdered and buried before Agnes Brown. In fact, Agnes attended Mrs. Symmington's funeral. See more »
I often find the most unlikely people doing the most surprising things. Don't you agree, Miss Marple?
On the contrary, Mr. Pye, I usually find the most likely people behaving exactly as I would have expected.
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This was a bit better than most of the ITV Marples so far. The story was coherent and the village setting at Chilham in Kent was charming. James D'Arcy and Emilia Fox were good. They seemed to take their parts seriously - a thing sadly not to be taken for granted in this series.
As usual, however, the producers had to try to muck all it up with weird features and freakish performances.
The 'aren't we clever by being retro' back projection does not come off - it is just naff.
Harry Enfield's performance is a bit like his old stiff-upper-lip-in-old-British-films caricatures - unfortunately. Keith Allen's character is a feeble joke, and Ken Russell is off the scale of pointless nuttiness - and dressed in an outfit left over from some old Victorian melodrama.
Yet again, in another misguided feature of this series, the Mr Pye character isn't allowed just to seem precious and affected, but has to make an explicit speech on gay rights. Yes, really, in an Agatha Christie story set in the early 1950s -- hard as it may be to believe for those who haven't seen it.
On a general note: I've noticed in these films that there tends to be a mix of actors who are taking the proceedings seriously (usually lesser names) and others (well-known names) who just seem to be having a cheap laugh or slumming to make a quick few quid.
The biggest flaw of the series is its lack of respect for Agatha Christie. The makers appear to look down on her stories as low-grade pap that can be used or abused at their whim. Christie and Marple come in handy as famous names to market the films, and the books are a quarry for bits of material that can be bent to fit their own agenda.
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