The normally friendly village of Lymston is plagued by vile anonymous letters. When a mother of three takes her own life, following such a letter, Ms. Marple is not at all convinced things are as they seem.
A friend of Miss Marple's sees a woman being strangled in a passing train. When police cannot find a body and doubt the story, Miss Marple enlists professional housekeeper, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to go undercover.
While on vacation at a resort hotel in the West Indies, Miss Marple correctly suspects that the apparently natural death of a retired British major is actually the work of a murderer planning yet another killing.
When a despised magistrate is found shot to death in the library of the local vicarage, his wife and her lover, a portrait painter living on the church grounds, both confess to the crime. Miss Marple's keen powers of observation clear both of them of the crime, but other suspects abound. Included are the murdered man's daughter, who posed for the artist, a neurotic cleric who's embezzled church funds, the local doctor, an ex-convict who poached on the magistrate's land, and a missionary's enigmatic widow who argued with him the day before he was killed. An exasperated Inspector Slack must reluctantly accept help from the analytical Miss Marple.Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Robert Lang (Colonel Lucius Protheroe) was omitted from the closing credits even though his name appeared in the opening titles and he played a significant role in the opening scenes before his character was murdered. See more »
The first 20-30 minutes of "The Murder At The Vicarage" are quite poorly done: a collection of random characters are seen walking and talking without having been properly introduced to the viewer, which, coupled with some heavy accents, makes the story difficult to follow for anyone who has not read the book. The lack of any familiar faces in the cast does not help, either; several of the women are so similar in appearance it's sometimes hard to even distinguish who is who. And there are important characters (like Lawrence Redding, for example) who get no more than 3 or 4 scenes in the entire film. The direction is uninspired, to put it kindly. Things improve a little in the last 20 minutes, when Miss Marple devises a trap for the killer, but on the whole this is definitely one of the weakest Agatha Christie films I have seen so far (though the recent French "By The Pricking Of My Thumbs" remains the worst). (*1/2)
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