Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Agatha Christie Miss Marple Movie Collection |
Murder at the Gallop / Murder Ahoy / Murder Most Foul / Murder She Said
Actors: Margaret Rutherford, Arthur Kennedy, Lionel Jeffries, Ron Moody, Muriel Pavlow
Director: George Pollock
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Murder She Said (1961): Margaret Rutherford's debut as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple Murder at the Gallop (1963): Murder and mystery start with a funeral Murder Most Foul (1964): Miss Marple joins a theatrical troupe whose... more »
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Miss Marple: Hollywood Style
Eric Pregosin | New Carrollton, Maryland United States | 12/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first thing that catches your eye (rather your ear) about these 4 approximately 90 minute movies made by MGM in the 1960s is the catchy theme music used in the opening and closing credits. These 4 films may not be the in depth stories shown on BBC (and then A&E or PBS) in the mid to late 80s, but they are still delightful thanks to the performance of their star Margaret Rutherford, who brings some humor to the role. The 2 other regulars in them are Stringer Davis as her friend Jim Stringer (notice the similar name) who "strings" along and eventually helps her solve the case, and Charles Tingwell as the Scotland Yard Inspector amazed and sometimes befuddled by the "old bat's" Sherlock Holmes like methods to solve mysteries. In Murder She Said (a sort of variation on 4:50 From Paddington) Miss Marple poses as a maid at a mansion near a train station where she witnessed a murder on a passing train trying to solve the case. Look for future BBC/PBS Miss Marple Joan Hickson in this one as the cook. In Murder At The Gallop, she tries to find a murderer at an equestrian hotel. In Murder Ahoy, she goes aboard ship to when a Naval Captain is a suspect in a murder. Finally in Murder Most Foul, she joins a theatre troup to find a murderer, and I'll leave it at that. I'm glad these will be sold as a set, they are way too short (let alone too funny) to be sold individually. Definitely an addition to your library whether you have the 80s series or not."
Definitive Miss Marple
Moviefanatic | Chicago, Il | 01/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is really great to see all four of these wonderful movies with incomporable Margaret Rutherfort finally being released in the United States. I have bought my set a couple of years ago from amazon in the United Kingdom and enjoying it ever since. It is completely sold out in Britain so I would get a copy while it's available."
The Inimitable Margaret Rutherford As The Inimitable Jane Ma
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 04/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Margaret Rutherford was a scene-stealing, eccentric force of nature in all her movies, and I suspect in her stage roles as well. She had a shape like a sack of produce, a double chin that trembled with a life of its own, little eyes that could widen in shock or squint with suspicion and, when her characters were aroused, a forceful stride that took all before it. Her personality was simply unique. The only other actor I can think of who matched her in eccentricity, potential ham and acting skill was Alastair Sim, another memorable British screen presence.
In Murder She Said, Rutherford plays Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple. Rather, she plays Rutherford's Miss Jane Marple. She made four Marple films, but I doubt if anyone reading Christie's stories would ever have envisaged Rutherford in the part. Now, for many people, Marple is Rutherford. She's that strong a character.
Jane Marple is on a train when she looks out at another train passing by on the next track. In the window of one of the carriage rooms she sees, for a few moments, a woman being strangled. When she reports this and the police search the train at the next station and the area where Miss Marple says it happened, there is no body to be found. The trains were passing Ackenthorpe Hall, an estate run with a loud voice and an irascible temper by old Ackenthorpe (James Robertson Justice), a bed-ridden man who believes he's on his last legs and intends to keep his family, most of whom have their eyes on the estate, firmly in line. It's only a short while before Miss Marple decides to investigate Ackenthorpe Hall, where she believes the body must have been hidden. She manages to get herself hired as the maid, a position which frequently is vacant because of Ackenthorpe's rudeness. "There is one thing I cannot tolerate," he tells her as she stands in front of his bed in her maid's uniform, "and that is impertinence!" Miss Marple is having none of that. "Well, we should get on admirably," she says. "Neither can I!" She also must deal with a precocious grandson, young Alexander. "You know, it isn't just that you don't look like Jane Mansfield. You're not my idea of a maid, either," he tells her. "Well, quite honestly," she tells the kid, "I don't think you're everybody's idea of a boy." The only non-family members in the place appear to be Miss Marple, Dr. Paul Quimper (Arthur Kennedy), the housekeeper, Mrs. Kidder (Joan Hickson, who years later made a quieter and equally memorable Marple) and a surly groundsman. Needless to say, Miss Marple finds herself in the middle of clever dialogue and grave danger as she eventually discovers the motive for murder and unmasks the killer.
This is the first of the Marple movies, gathered together in the four-disc "The Agatha Christie Miss Marple Movie Collection." The others are fun, but rely much more on Rutherford's personality. Murder She Said benefits not just from Rutherford, but from a clever, witty script, a mystery which plays reasonably fair and which is tough to solve, solid acting by the other players, especially Arthur Kennedy as the sincere but slightly ironic doctor who plans to marry Ackenthorpe's daughter and James Robertson Justice's Ackenthorpe. Justice specialized in blustering characters and few were better at it than he.
As far as the other three movies in the package go (and you can't buy any of the movies separately yet), Rutherford is the reason to see them. They all feature murder and Rutherford's indomitable determination to trap the killers. Murder at the Gallop (1963) features Robert Morley as well as Rutherford on a horse. (Miss Marple was a champion equestrienne in her younger days). Murder Ahoy (1964) features Lionel Jeffries as well as Rutherford in a sword duel with the murderer (Miss Marple was a champion fencer in her younger days). Murder Most Foul (1964) features Ron Moody and Rutherford as a crack shot (Miss Marple was a champion pistol shooter in her younger days). All four films were directed by George Pollock.
Margaret Rutherford was 71 when she made Murder She Said. She first began making movies when she was 44. Noel Coward wrote the part of Madam Arcadi, the spiritualist, for her when he created Blithe Spirit. She played the role in the 1945 movie version which starred Rex Harrison. If you can find the DVD, it's worth getting just for Coward's dialogue and Rutherford's way with it. And for a very satisfying time, pick of a copy of the VHS tape (there's no DVD yet) of The Happiest Days of Your Life. It's the only movie I'm aware of where Rutherford and Alastair Sim co-starred. It's a very funny film, and the two of them outdo themselves as they try to outdo each other.
All the movies in the DVD set look very good, clean and clear. There are no significant extras."
I fell in love with Margaret Rutherford and Miss Marple and
Brian Keith O. Hara | bkohatl | 02/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was the mid-1960's and I was about 10-years-old. Channel 11, WQXI Atlanta, had an afternoon movie everyday, just in time for kids getting out of school, of whom I was one. One day Miss Marple's "Murder Ahoy" was playing and I was stunned. Miss Marple looked exactly like my Nana Puckett. I was more than charmed, overwhelmed and enthralled, it was my first epiphany. They say that movies are make believe...to me it was like someone had turned on a light. Suddenly, I began to realize the wonders of my long dormant imagination. To me, it wasn't Margaret Rutherford on the screen, it was my Grandmother. She was bright, the equal of any man and had a sense of humor. She was a female Sherlock Holmes, whose books were already my favorites since I had begun reading. A joy in every sense, but to me a personal pleasure no one could understand.
Buy these movies! See the charming Margaret Rutherford at the height of her career and in every sense the equal of her more famous and respected competitor. The four movies are well-told tales, told with style and conviction, with expertly crafted scripts and excellent supporting actors, especially the earnest Inspector Craddock played by the wonderful Charles Tingwell and the always loyal and helpful Mr. Stringer player by Ms. Rutherford's real life husband, Stringer Davis.
And a wonderful footnote is Ron Goodwin's masterful, charming score and theme music for Miss Marple. Like George Delarue's score for "A Little Romance," almost worth the price of admission all on its own. Like the jazzy themes to "The Wild, Wild West" and "The Avengers;" great, bright Jazz at its best.
A Pure delight."