Agatha Christie's Marple (2004–2013)
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A Pocket Full of Rye 

A detestable businessman is murdered while at work, and a handful of rye is found in his pockets. Soon after, members of his household fall victim to a killer intent on recreating scenes from a popular nursery rhyme.


Charlie Palmer (as Charles Palmer)


Agatha Christie (novel), Kevin Elyot (screenplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Julia McKenzie ... Miss Marple
Rose Heiney Rose Heiney ... Gladys
Laura Haddock ... Miss Grosvenor
Kenneth Cranham ... Rex Fortescue (as Ken Cranham)
Thea Collings Thea Collings ... Tilly
Lucy Cohu ... Pat Fortescue
Rupert Graves ... Lance Fortescue
Matthew Macfadyen ... Inspector Neele
Edward Tudor-Pole ... Professor Bernsdorrf (as Edward Tudor Pole)
Ralf Little ... Sergeant Pickford
Helen Baxendale ... Mary Dove
Ken Campbell Ken Campbell ... Crump
Anna Madeley ... Adele Fortescue
Joseph Beattie ... Vivian Dubois
Wendy Richard ... Mrs Crump


When Rex Fortescue dies while sitting at his desk in the City, it's determined that he was in fact poisoned. He was married to a much younger wife, who now stands to inherit. His son Percival, a partner in the family firm, was a disappointment to him and a daughter, Elaine, hasn't amounted to much. Another son, Lance, had a falling out with his father many years before and relocated to East Africa. He suddenly appears soon after his father's death claiming that they had reconciled and been invited by him to return to England with an offer to rejoin the firm. Miss Marple takes a particular interest in the case when her former maid Gladys, now working in the Fortescue household, is also murdered. She soon learns that the elder Fortescue had received veiled threats for some time and that they might have something to do with a long ago business deal that made his initial fortune. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

5 July 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agatha Christie Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


The last TV project for both Ken Campbell and Wendy Richard. Campbell died during post production; Richard passed away nearly a year after filming was completed. See more »


When Miss Marple is going through Gladys' belongings, she finds a postcard from the alleged boyfriend. When the card is first seen, it has two stamps on it; moments later, when Miss Marple, crosses the room toward the window and the card is seen for the second time, there is only one stamp on it. See more »


Version of Tayna chyornykh drozdov (1983) See more »


Bye Bye Blackbird
Music by Ray Henderson
Lyrics by Mort Dixon
See more »

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User Reviews

Half a spoof,half a movie....
4 July 2010 | by igorlongoSee all my reviews

The first outing of McKenzie as Marple was certainly a difficult one.As other fellows reviewers have remarked it,they were so eager to not disappoint purists that poor Julia(an excellent actress indeed) was left with nothing to do except to be a nice and understanding but not so clever schoolmistress,totally lacking the sharp and steely glint in the eyes making Joan and Geraldine two very different but equally redoutables birds of prey.Without a touch of eccentricity,present usually in all the versions of Marple( in Joan Hickson it was her complete lack of pity,as a sort of righteous Madame Defarge ,a real Nemesis with a scourge and a whip in her arthritical hands;in Geraldine McEwan it was her dizzy and batty compassionate understanding of everyone,ruthless or hopeless as they could be)it's quite impossible to understand why a serious copper as Matthew McFadyen was compelled to hear her theories.Luckily ,after a bit of confusion here and in Evans,Great Julia has found her way,partially in Easy and very skillfully in the marvelous Mirrors,and now is at last a Superior Sleuth as Marple must be. Same can be told of this version of Rye.The first half of the movie is actually a version not of the book but of the T R Bowen version of the book.But it's a very telegraphed version ,and so overacted that the result is simply a not so pleasant spoof of the previous movie:gosh,if I want to watch Hickson ,I watch Hickson ,not a second rate version of her movies.The second half,instead,when they had finished everything it was put in the Hickson movie,magically the movie picked its own shape,the characters like creepy Mary Dove ,batty Jennifer and stuffy Percival were better developed and the very good actors had at last something to act(not Lance,Rupert Graves was always good from the beginning ,as the excellent McFadyen).People acting only in the first half of the movie as a particularly pointless Cranham(he was a much better Rex Fortescue when he played George Barton in Sparkling Cyanide) were left with nothing to do.People appearing only in the second half as sinister Prunella Scales and slick and soapy Larkin were luckier and more in the possibility to make a good impression,even if their parts were so short! No, Kevin Elyot is perhaps the better adapter of Christie works.But they must left him to fight for himself,without the obligation to steps in other one's shoes.And in Mirror Crack'd ,he has demonstrated again that he can do something good in itself ,without the silly burden to mimic past versions of the same book.But until now ,They Do It With Mirrors is the only McKenzie movie standing out as a very good ,flawless TV Movie on the same level of the better Hicksons and McEwans.

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