7.7/10
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Miss Marple: Sleeping Murder (1987)

When a young bride moves into a country manor, long repressed childhood memories of witnessing a murder come to the surface.

Director:

John Davies

Writer:

Ken Taylor (screenplay)
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More Like This 

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During a stay at one of London's most elegant and venerable hotels Miss Marple uncovers a sinister undercurrent of corruption and murder beneath Bertram's stuffy veneer.

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An elderly spinster living in the village of St. Mary Mead, helps her friends and relatives solve mysterious murders.

Stars: Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie, Stephen Churchett
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Hickson ... Miss Marple
Geraldine Alexander ... Gwenda Reed
John Moulder-Brown ... Giles Reed
Frederick Treves ... Doctor James Kennedy
Jean Anderson ... Mrs. Fane
Terrence Hardiman ... Walter Fane
John Bennett ... Richard Erskine
Geraldine Newman ... Janet Erskine
Jack Watson ... Mr. Foster
Joan Scott ... Mrs. Cocker
Jean Heywood ... Edith Paget
Georgine Anderson ... Mrs. Hengrave
Edward Jewesbury ... Mr. Sims
David McAlister ... Raymond West
Amanda Boxer ... Joan West
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Storyline

BBC TV adaption of the Agatha Christie's novel. A young recently married woman, Gwenda Reed, comes back to England after living most of her life in New Zealand. While her husband, Giles, is out of the country she buys a house for them and starts recalling memories which make her start to think that perhaps she had lived in the house before. It's only then, while dining out with friends, that a chance remark triggered off a frightening memory, as a little girl, looking down at a woman's body and the murderer with "monkey paws" hands. Gwenda is determined to find out the sources of this memory. The killer, thought that he/she was safe after eighteen years and is prepared to kill to cover up the past. But Gwenda has help as one of her dining friends is Raymond West, who has a very special Aunt who is willing to help Gwenda - Miss Jane Marple... Written by Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

UK | Australia | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 1987 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: Sleeping Murder See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Agatha Christie originally entitled the manuscript for this novel "Murder in Retrospect." However, in 1942 Dodd, Mead Co. published Christie's novel "Five Little Pigs" in the U.S. with the title "Murder in Retrospect" (it retained its original title in the U.K. publication). She then renamed the story "Cover Her Face" but had to change it yet again, when P.D. James published her début novel in 1962 with that title. The novel itself was written around 1940 as her last novel featuring Miss Marple (around the same time that she was writing "Curtain" which was the last Hercule Poirot); it was published in 1976 after her death. See more »

Goofs

In Part 2, Gwenda mentions that her step-mother Helen went missing "about 20 years ago" & "shortly before the War" (i.e. mid- to late 1930s), which means that this story is, in fact, set in the 1950s (as are most of the Joan Hickson Miss Marple adaptations). Thus, the yellow car may not be an anachronism at all.

The "posh car" owned by the tour bus company owner is a bright yellow roadster that looks suspiciously like a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, though it may have been a British make of similar design. But the headlights and taillights are unmistakably from the period of 1955-1957. If this mystery series is set in the post-WWII era of 1946-48, that car would have been about 10 years before its time. See more »

Quotes

Gwenda Reed: Why didn't *we* think of that?
Miss Jane Marple: Because you believed what he told you. It's very dangerous to believe people - I haven't for years.
See more »

Connections

Version of Agatha Christie's Marple: Sleeping Murder (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
12 February 2005 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Mysteries of the past should be left alone; otherwise, they may awaken danger. Using that well-known idiom, Dame Agatha pens another whodunit, wherein a young married woman's infatuation with an old, stately English house translates into buried secrets and impending murder.

Having already read Christie's novel and concluded that this story was not quite as good as some of her other works, I watched the BBC adaptation of "Sleeping Murder", not expecting a lot. The film, like the book, gets off to a slow, tedious start. The plot gets better as it plods along. Toward the end, Director John Davies injects some needed suspense. The screenplay is a bit talky. Acting is adequate. I especially like Joan Hickson as Jane Marple who delightfully meddles in the business of a newlywed couple, and who naturally is a step, or several steps, ahead of everyone else in solving the crime.

The story is not dependent on majestic scenery or unusual visual perspective, so that cinematography is fairly unimportant. But sets are important here, and so the filmmakers have given adequate attention to production design and costumes. Overall, they have done a good job with a Christie story that is relatively weak, and thus rendered a film that is reasonably entertaining.


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