Miss Marple: A Pocketful of Rye (1985 TV Movie)
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The mystery gets underway as soon as Rex Fortescue is killed. He's a rich, nasty old man who has a fortune tied to some nasty business in his past, and enough enemies to make everyone a likely suspect. Crisply acted and played in elegant British fashion by an assortment of reliable British supporting players, it keeps you interested in solving the crime along with the baffled inspector, who is no match for Miss Marple.
Hickson is perfectly cast as the wise old lady and makes the character seem as though Christie had her in mind for the role.
One actor who I like is Peter Davison, at first I did not recognize him. Peter plays Lance son of the father that is rich and is murdered. This is a 1985 movie and Peter Davison plays in "The Last Detective" a series on British TV in which he is a detective and also plays in a series called "Campion".
As in most Agatha Christies stories there are a lot of knots to tie to find out who the killer or killer are. This is one of those movies.
I enjoyed it.
Agatha Christie wrote her characters big, and those characters create brilliantly into this adaptation, Gladys, The Crumps, Rex. Everyone performs but I'll highlight those I believe to be the standouts, firstly Fabia Drake, who makes Aunt Effy one of the standout characters, she is superb, the scene where she first encounters Miss Marple is exceptional, she had steel. Peter Davison, a year after he finished Doctor Who, managed better then anyone not to become typecast, here he gets to show the nice guy side we've all seen, but also let rip at the end, a brilliant actor. I also enjoy Selina Caddell's Miss Dove, she is so on point to the character in the book, so straight laced and serious, it's a measured performance.
It goes without saying that Hickson performs another masterclass, absent for pretty much the first half, when she does appear she adds massively to it, that's not to say the start flagged without her, far from it.
The attention to detail from beginning to end is incredible, lavishly produced, it's all the small touches that make it feel so big, the Gardner at the start, the arrival of Pat and Lance off be aeroplane, this level of detail just isn't there so much these days, presumably cost.
There is enough intrigue here for first time mystery fans, and there's more then enough quality for those of us that know this story inside out. Utterly brilliant 10/10
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, University Paris 8 Saint Denis, University Paris 12 Créteil, CEGID
Though a fairly faithful adaptation of the book, one of Agatha Christie's later thrillers, there is not a great deal of detection or thought process in the play and when presented with the killer, my reaction was simply 'oh'.
When you can see them, some nice early '50's details.
Her whole game is based on the rules of the genre. She bends them, twists their influence. Each story takes one of these rules and goofs with it. But it all depends on the rules.
Now watch these TeeVee Marple movies. Not a one of them respects the rules. In the books, you work the puzzle. But TeeVee viewers just want it to be worked out on the screen and don't care to have the clues properly presented.
Its a scandal to anyone whose mind is still alive.
The one interesting feature here is the boff gold digger. BBC's bread and butter is faces and spaces, and they spend particular attention to faces. The engineered face in this crowd is Adele, what is now called the Christina Ricci look.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.