Agatha and the Truth of Murder (TV Movie 2018) Poster

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Christie investigates
Prismark1026 December 2018
In 1926 Agatha Christie disappeared in real life for eleven days. She appeared in a north Yorkshire hotel with no knowledge of what happened to her. She was under pressure at the time as her marriage was falling apart.

This television film speculates that Christie pretended to be a lawyer called Mary Westmacott who assembled some suspects for the death of Florence Nightingale Shore six years earlier. She was a nurse like her famous grandmother and found bludgeoned in a train compartment.

Christie is persuaded by Florence's lover, Mabel Rogers also a nurse to investigate the death.

The film is really Agatha Christie, crime investigator as she goes about questioning the suspects. When a suspect dies Inspector Dicks appears on the scene. He has a very direct and frank approach which Christie finds initially off putting.

It is an enjoyable mystery, rather low budget and nothing to do with any realistic cause of Christie's disappearance which has been explored in other movies. There are even some discussions about Agatha Christie's writings such as the obvious suspect but I felt it should had been done in a more playful manner.
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So much better then expected.
Sleepin_Dragon24 December 2018
When I heard the premise, and heard that it wasn't endorsed by Agatha Christie's family, or indeed the estate, I feared the worst, so in truth I watched it with exceedingly low expectations, and is so often the case, I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot, direction, acting, and general vibe were all terrific.

The last time I watched something which tried to explain away Agatha's disappearance it involved The Doctor, Catherine Tate, and a giant wasp, this proposed a slightly more Earthly solution, but was equally as entertaining and witty.

Great acting, I loved Ruth Bradley's interpretation of the great writer, Samantha Spiro and Pippa Haywood were excellent also.

Bravo to those involved, a great Agatha Christie fix, ahead of The ABC Murders.

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A fictional idea about what happened during Agatha Christie's real disappearance
Tweekums25 December 2018
In 1926 the authoress Agatha Christie famously disappeared for eleven days then reappeared claiming no knowledge of what happened; this story imagines what might have happened. Agatha is suffering writer's block and her husband is seeking a divorce; then she is approached to solve a real murder. Initially unenthusiastic she later agrees and starts investigating. Pretending to be a lawyer named Mary Westmacott she assembles the suspects, with the lure of a large inheritance and starts questioning them. She quickly realises that real mysteries and works of fiction are quite different.

I confess I was a little unsure about the premise of putting a real person in an obviously fictional situation... but surprisingly it really works if you can suspend your disbelief somewhat. The story nicely combines known facts about her life at the time with an interesting fiction. The mystery she investigates has the feel of one of her stories, perhaps somewhat helped by the way the time period is captured. There are a good number of suspects, each with their own motives, as well as one or two red herrings. The cast are really good; most notably Ruth Bradley as Agatha Christie, Pippa Haywood, as the woman who brought the mystery to her and Tim McInnerny as one of the suspects. As stated before it is necessary to suspends one's disbelief at times; noticeably towards the end when a local policeman recognises our protagonist but does tell the authorities despite it being made clear that there is a nationwide manhunt for her. Overall though this was a fine murder mystery that could easily have come from the pen of the great women herself.
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another take on Agatha Christie's disappearance
blanche-24 December 2019
There have been several takes on what happened to Agatha Christie when she disappeared for 11 days after her husband asked her for a divorce. All have been interesting. The most factual was the film Agatha starring Vanessa Redgrave. In that film, Christie, using the name of her husband's girlfriend, goes to a spa. With her vivid imagination it's likely she enjoyed being incognito, or it could have been the result of a psychotic break.

This particular film makes a fun supposition. Agatha (Rut h Bradley) is having problems because her mysteries have become too predictable. A woman named Mabel (Pippa Haywood) approaches Agatha and asks her to solve a real murder, that of her lover, Florence, six years earlier. At first Agatha doesn't accept; later, she decides to disguise herself, make a plan with Mabel to lure suspects to Florence's house, changes her name to Mary Westmacott, and leaves her home.

This is an entertaining and light story, beautifully costumed and photographed, with good performances. Ruth Bradley is a delightful Christie, who doesn't want to give her husband a divorce, but the fact is, he's in love with someone else.

The fun part is that Agatha Christie is in a slump with her stories, all right - she becomes convinced one person, then another, then another, is responsible for Florence's death. She soon realizes real-life mysteries are a little different.

Very enjoyable.
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Starring Agatha Christie as a young Miss Marple!
Coventry4 August 2020
Yours truly is a genuine Agatha-Christiephile. I know that's not an official term, but what else would you call someone who's literally obsessed with everything regarding the legendary female mystery-author. I worship her novels & short stories, love the flamboyant film-adaptations of her most famous books and am fascinated with the enigmatic facts of her personal life. In 1926, Christie disappeared for a period of eleven days. An impressive search party followed, and she was eventually located in a hospital supposedly with amnesia. Multiple speculations arose, but the true circumstances and reason of her disappearance were never fully clarified. This modest made-for-TV production is a fictional tale about where she could have been, much like the 1979-film "Agatha", directed by Michael Apted and starring Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman. At first, I was reluctant to see this, but I'm glad I did because it's a compelling and well-acted, albeit largely inconspicuous little film.

The 36-year-old Agatha Christie balances on the verge of a massive depression in 1926. Her husband Archie insists for a divorce, so that he can marry his much younger mistress, and she suffers from a writer's block because her fans always guess the identity of the culprit of her stories via the wrong method. When she's literally begged to help solving the real-life murder of nurse Florence Nightingale, who got brutally bludgeoned to death on a train six years earlier, she sees an opportunity to both escape her personal problems and to perform research and seek inspiration for her work.

The plot isn't exactly plausible, but it's nice to see how the writers attempt to hint at the possible origin of famous Agatha Christie stories that followed after 1926, like the luring of guests to a remote location (And Then There Were None - 1939) and the train settings for "4.50 from Paddington" and "Murder on the Orient Express". The anti-climax actually fits the plot rather well. None of the performances are highly memorable, but the entire cast does their best. You're still better off reading an authentic Christie novel, but "The Truth of Murder" certainly isn't a waste of time.
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Entertaining, if slight
gridoon20226 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Ruth Bradley is amazing as Agatha Christie: an elegant, sensitive, respectful portrayal - you can't take your eyes off her, and judging by photos I've seen she looks a lot like young Christie too. The film itself is entertaining and handsomely crafted, but what lets it down is the whodunit story, which is rather short on detection; there is one big red herring at the start of it, but Agatha seems to pull the solution out of her hat. For a wilder - and lighter - suppositional take on Christie's 1926 disappearance, I recommend the Doctor Who episode "The Unicorn And The Wasp". **1/2 out of 4.
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Just read a book instead.
deloudelouvain12 February 2019
I must have missed something when I read the extremely positive reviews for this movie. I read quite alot of books from Agatha Christie and they were all better than this movie. About the acting there is not much bad to say as they all did their job like they should but don't expect award winning performances either. The story is just not captivating enough. After awhile I got bored and couldn't wait for the end to come, the sooner the better. It's just a weak story, with suspects that are too stupid to mention, and with detectives that couldn't solve a mystery if it happened right in front of their eyes. I really don't get why this movie gets positive reviews, it's just dull and boring.
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A Truth? Part 2
westsideschl4 April 2021
In 1926 Agatha was missing for 11 days; probably related to an upcoming divorce from her first husband as well as the recent death of her mother. Is she on a case that could lead to a new book? Also, the movie mentions her trying to overcome the ease with which readers solved her murders; "the least expected did it". She mentions the importance of working on her plots & subplots; subterfuge & misdirection.
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Interesting mystery...
Thanos_Alfie27 February 2021
"Agatha and the Truth of Murder" is a Crime - Mystery movie in which we watch Agatha Christie missing for eleven days facing and trying to solve a real-life murder. She has to deal with a murder that occurred some years ago and now she has to solve it.

I liked this movie because despite its simple plot it was interesting and it was full of mystery and suspense. Something that also made it even more interesting it was the plot twists that I did not expect. The direction which was made by Terry Loane, it was simple but good, without many filler scenes. Regarding the interpretations of the cast, Ruth Bradley who played as Agatha Christie she was very good and I believe she succeeded on her difficult role as Agatha Christie. Some other interpretations that have to be mentioned were Pippa Haywood's who played as Mabel, Tim McInnerny's who played as Randolph and Ralph Ineson's who played as Detective Inspector Dicks. To sum up, I have to say that "Agatha and the Truth of Murder" is an interesting mystery movie that despite the fact that it was not endorsed, licensed or authorised by the estate of Agatha Christie, it was entertaining and watchable.
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Mixed opinion !
cekadah3 March 2019
I both loved and felt let down after viewing this movie. The idea, the foundation, the concept of this movie is wonderful. But after watching I felt let down. Why? I am unsure.

Agatha Christie stories are a great joy for me. And this film is a fine addition - but it just doesn't grasp my interest. In other words I won't be watching a second time.

Finely written, nicely acted. But the ending came across as bit contrived. I encourage anyone into murder mysteries to watch this movie.
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A light and fluffy romp
stevelomas-6940131 March 2019
Far too modern an interpretation that adds nothing. The most interesting bit was the disclaimer at the end. Other than that some of the acting could be best defined as 'Scenery chewing'.
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Defective not Detective
namstonk20 August 2019
Bland tedious rubbish. Fine for a wet Sunday afternoon if in your late 70's.
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Far too straightforward a story
frukuk25 December 2018
I can see why they wanted to hang this on the Agatha Christie hook, but I struggle to see what it actually has to do with Agatha Christie. It's far too straightforward a story to merit any such association.

It was far too short and underdeveloped and, with a running time of 2 hours on Channel 5 in the UK, it was far too frequently punctuated with adverts (commercial breaks).

Perhaps not a Christmas turkey, but certainly an unappetising portion of cold chicken.
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A slow but entertaining little film with an interesting basic setting
patrickfilbeck14 November 2021
This fictional processing of the 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie is a nice little who-was-it story related to Florence Nightingale. The film starts with arousing great interest through the opening scene and the background music as well as the dense atmosphere, then develops solidly, but without reaching any real peaks - and that's perfectly fine. A nice little film, but now and then a little too inconsistent in questions of the atmospheric effect, as well as the chosen costumes. The acting performances are not big leaps in terms of acting, but they are all enjoyable. It remains a film that certainly brings fun and excitement and also an interesting basic theme for a unique viewing, but is either a must for the dogmatic part of the Christie fans or receives extensive rejection.
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Strong themes, questionable end
Hallelujah28914 January 2022
Agatha Christie went missing for eleven days. Whatever could have happened to her? Perhaps she had a murder mystery of her own to solve.

"Agatha Christie and the Truth of Murder" paints a plausible picture of a desperate author in the midst of divorce who would attempt anything to get her writing mojo back: perhaps build a gold course, or solve a near decade old murder case of a bludgeoning on a train.

Whether or not this this plausible behavior from the real life author I don't know, but the character of Agatha Christie works for the film. Like her fictional murder suspects she has motive.

"Agatha Christie and the Truth of Murder" has a satisfying character arc between Agatha Christie's desire to finish her murder mystery novel, solve an actual murder, and find resolution to her husband's desire for divorce.

The music is also atmospheric and the cast is a good range of actors young and old who act well.

The ending leaves a sour note of questionable morality regarding characters getting what they deserve-or not. My rating is between 6 and 7 out of 10 for this reason. But I give the movie a higher score for its themes rather than it's ending.
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Average at best
bangel332211 March 2019
So disappointed with this. It felt really rushed for me. Like they didn't spend enough time building tension and the suspects were weak and it so obvious who the killer was. It was so boring but yet the lead actress was good. The storyline was good, but I think maybe it might have come across better had it been a mini series or so. Worth a watch if you're bored but not missing much of you don't watch it.
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mgd_m15 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Idiotic plot, dull developement, the murderer is quite obvious, and some sneaky political agenda.
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Was This A Send-Up?
coolantic29 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Riding in on the coat tails of The ABC Murders and the wall to wall David Suchet Poirot repeats, I was rather looking forward to this. But was disappointed. Why is it that every 'hook' programme these days has to bang the LGBT drum? That string added nothing to the plot save the idea of family embarassment being a possible motive for the original murder. Apart from that we also get anachronistic atitudes and dialogue. Some of the characters were far too coarse in their expressions in mixed company. The Police Inspector's initial comments to the suspects were most disrespectful and unprofessional, and I couldn't believe it when he told Agatha his wife had given him "clap". Surely he would have said VD at worst? As for the plot, I've played more convincing games of Cluedo! The idea that Agatha and Mabel could rent a stately home and set up an elaborate scam inviting all of the previous suspects to attend by suggesting they might be heirs to a a fictitious fortune is just stretching credibility too far. The final reveal was laughable. It starts as a suggestion quickly dismissed by the suspect, and then the other suspects suddenly reveal bits of previously concealed evidence which proves the case. Must do better.
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grahamvr31 March 2019
Great cast, good story although not a Christie novel. Well made.
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Missed opportunity...
Franklie21 December 2020
After two attempts, we finally made it through the whole show.

The character of Agatha is wooden and cold and unpleasant, absolutely nothing that would make us care about her. Other characters aren't much better. She could have used some Miss Fisher type spark.

The scenery and pace are a bit dreary. Would have appreciated an escape to beautiful England.

It's a run-of-the-mill mystery that has nothing to do with Agatha or her disappearance and could have been solved by her or anyone at any time.

Crude vocabulary not cool for today or correct for then.

We're HUGE fans of British mysteries and appreciate it when they portray characters, real or imaginary, as they were in real life or in the original books.

Biggest disappointment was Agatha's boring personality.
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Terrible, just terrible
gb90121 February 2019
The best bit was the unintentionally funny sequence when the chap, having fallen out of the window after being shot, had the nurse run up and deadly straight said " has anyone checked for life signs"! Self same nurse was just far, far too serious and Christie too sure of herself. Preposterous that that police officer, when he got wind of Christies ruse, went along with it?
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Wanting to imitate the genius
MiguelAReina29 January 2021
First in a series of three tv movies starring Agatha Christie, the film works better as a portrait of the character, with elements drawn from her personal life, than as a criminal investigation. In this sense, it is a predictable and uninteresting story, which wants but cannot imitate the novels of the English writer. Agatha Christie is in crisis because all her readers already know how to predict who the murderer is. Screenwriter Tom Dalton can't get the story to avoid this predictability.
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A good stage drama level movie
ParisImpressionH-Y-11 January 2019
The most precious thing is that the IQ of all characters in the whole process is online! This has rarely been seen in movies in recent years. The selection and performance of the actors is also very good. The dialogue is also reasonable and in line with the identity and character of the character. The touch-up parts such as the lens and the soundtrack are not good enough. The entire script also lacks a grand material or spiritual foundation. Overall it can only be considered a good stage drama level movie.
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Awful, annoying lead, with sexism subplots that really detract.
mshavzin8 December 2020
I liked Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar. I LOVED Agatha and the Midnight Murders. But this one is UTTER CRAP! The whole building a golf course thing was annoying. Yes, women are capable. So are men. If you want to show that women are capable, then do it by showing that they are wiling to learn, not that they are simply good at everything. And when you're entertaining people, don't say anything abut it at all. This kind of reminds me of the Gillette commercial. I don't want a feminism subplot at all. It was so overpowering that it took all the enjoyment out of the story, really.
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An exquisite Whodunnit
lexva524 March 2020
I thoroughly enjoyed this fictional (but implausable) take on the reason Agatha Christie went missing in 1926. She dissappeared to go and solve a murder! And we are too happy she did that :) Very good acting throughout and good script and sometimes sharp dialogue and witty observations bring this fictional tale alive and make for an enjoyable 90 minute of viewing. References to Agatha's novels abound in this film
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