Colonel Lucius Protheroe is probably the least-liked individual in St Mary Mead. All resent his superior and demanding attitude. So, when he is found dead in the vicarage study, there is no end of suspects. His wife Ann was having an affair with a local artist, Lawrence Redding. His daughter Lettice bridled under his strict rule. There is also the vicar and his assistant, whom Protheroe suspected of stealing church funds. Finally, there is the mysterious Mrs. Lester with whom he clearly had some previous connection. Jane Marple, recuperating at home from a sprained ankle, had a bird's eye view of all the comings and goings at the vicarage around the time of the murder and she gladly assists Inspector Slack in solving the crime.Written by
Julie Cox (who plays a young Miss Marple), Marc Warren (who plays Captain Ainsworth), and Rachael Stirling (Griselda Clement) all appeared together in the Agatha Christie's Poirot episode "Five Little Pigs" See more »
In the beginning of the film, when Miss Marple is ready to go to church, you can see a calendar on the table showing August 1951. On the calendar, the month begins with a Tuesday. In fact, the 1st of August 1951 was a Wednesday. See more »
"Murder at the Vicarage" is another of the Geraldine McEwan Miss Marple mysteries. These films have several things in common: 1) they are beautifully produced, with great attention paid to photography, costumes, etc.; 2) they cast very good actors; 3) they don't pay a heck of a lot of attention to the original novel.
As I've said a million times previously, it's been ages since I've read these books, so the details are lost on me. I do know one thing: Agatha Christie never gave Jane Marple a past with a married soldier. There is a reference to someone named Lionel in the books and apparently Mummy put a stop to it. We can assume, I think, that Jane Marple had suitors, the most serious of which was Lionel, but she never had an affair with a married soldier. It just shows how little the writers know about such a famous character.
Everyone goes on and on about Joan Hickson. Okay, those adaptations were terrific, and she was a wonderful actress. But when I read the Miss Marple books, I pictured her as a sweet old lady. For me Hickson was very dry in the role. I go on record here (again) - I liked Helen Hayes and Julia McKenzie in the role. McEwan, who is a fabulous actress, is not quite right in her interpretation. She's too sophisticated and too much in peoples' faces. Miss Marple was a keen observer of human nature, having watched the citizens of St. Mary Mead. When murder occurred, some of the behavior would remind her of Mr. so and so and Miss so and so - and she'd put the thing together. It's just not that way in these scripts.
Anyway, Murder at the Vicarage is a strong story, about the death of Colonel Lucius Protheroe, a very hated gentleman in St. Mary Mead. His wife, Ann, is having an affair with a local artist, known for his somewhat risqué work. His daughter wasn't happy with his rules concerning her behavior. Pretheroe thought the vicar's assistant was stealing from the church. Jane has a sprained ankle and does a lot of observing from her window. And she very cleverly solves the mystery.
This film is a treat for baby boomers in that it features Jane Asher, Paul McCartney's old girlfriend. And talk about names - Derek Jacobi as Colonel Pretheroe and Janet McTeer as Anne - two huge stars of theater, and of course Jacobi has had quite the film career as well. The producers don't spare any expense, obviously. And Herbert Lom? Fantastic.
Despite some of its adaptation problems - I mean if it's not broke why are you fixing it - I guiltily admit this was a treat to watch. One way to enjoy these is just forget it's supposed to be Miss Marple and based on an Agatha Christie book.
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