BBC Adaption of Agatha Christie's novel; in the small village of St. Mary Mead, Colonel and Mrs. Bantry, owners of the local manor Gossington Hall, are shocked when a young lady's body is found in their library. They call in the police who soon run up against a brick wall; only finding out that the body is that of a dancer in London who the Bantrys didn't even know. But how and why was her body left in the library? To find out the truth, the Bantrys call in the help of their good friend Miss Jane Marple.Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
While I slightly prefer A Murder is Announced(my personal favourite of the 12 feature length adaptations) and Sleeping Murder, The Body in the Library is a beautifully done adaptation of a very good book. And yes, it is much better than the Geraldine McEwan version, which was spoiled significantly by that wretched ending. I know people will say it is unfair to rag on the Geraldine McEwan adaptations, but I have to admit while I don't despise them with the exception of about four they are disappointing, particularly Nemesis, Sittaford Mystery and At Bertram's Hotel.
Back to this version. While a tad overlong and a little slow, The Body in the Library is an interesting and very worthwhile adaptation, not to mention more faithful. It is lovingly photographed, with the photography, costumes and scenery as always beautiful, and the music is lovely. The story rarely loses interest, the direction is attentive and the script is sophisticated and thoughtful. The acting once again is very good, with Joan Hickson simply terrific as Miss Marple(and I concur with the reviewers who say she was the best Miss Marple, she is certainly the warmest and the wisest) and Gwen Watford delightful as Mrs Bantry. So in conclusion, a very good start to 12 worthwhile, beautifully filmed and thoughtfully acted and written adaptations with Joan Hickson. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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