She's back! Proper, demure, and sharp as a tack, Agatha Christie's beloved Miss Marple returns to the limelight in sparkling new adaptations of four classic Christie novels. Geraldine McEwan (The Magdalene Sisters, Mapp & ... more »Lucia) is the ladylike sleuth, a wispy senior citizen who blows the police professionals out of the water with her keen insight and shrewdly analytical nature. Fearless and uncommonly wise to the worst in human nature, Marple has lived a long time-and she's paid attention.
As seen on the PBS Mystery! series, these lavish 21st-century productions are rich in post-WWII period atmosphere and delicious Christie wit, with star-studded casts that include Joanna Lumley, Derek Jacobi, Tara Fitzgerald, Ian Richardson, Janet McTeer, Zok Wanamaker, Simon Callow, James Fox, John Hannah, and Celia Imrie.
Murder at the Vicarage
The Body in the Library
A Murder Is Announced
4:50 From Paddington
DVD special features include an hour-long behind-the-scenes featurette with cast and crew interviews, a history of Miss Marple adaptations, a photo gallery and more.« less
"I watched the new Miss Marple series, excited to see what Geraldine McEwan would do with the role. Unfortunately, I don't like what they've done with this latest batch of Christie's. Mrs. McEwan is a fine actress and she brings a "fluffiness" to the role that is missing from the Hickson version. Still, there is too much tampering with the plotlines to suit me. There are significant changes made in a couple of the stories, most notably in "The Body in the Library" so let the buyer beware. This isn't a minor change either as it involves the resolution of the case. They also add an odd, on-going storyline involving Miss Marple's own past love life that is simply not part of the books and isn't even close to being in keeping with the character of Miss Marple. As Agatha Christie is arguably the most acclaimed and accomplished mystery writer that ever lived, these changes were pretty outrageous. Her books stand the test of time and need no updating simply to satisfy 21st century ideas. I was surprised at this as the British are usually the ones who can be depended upon to leave good stories alone. So, if you just want a few hours of light entertainment, have at it, but if you're an Agatha Christie purist, you won't like this dvd so save your money."
Margaret M. Duffy | New York, NY USA | 08/20/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The new Miss Marple series is truly awful. Not only is Geraldine McEwen completely miscast as the elderly spinster sleuth, but the stories themselves have been distorted to make them "politically correct" in the modern sense. The result is a confusing mess. Ms. McEwen is a fine actress and I have enjoyed her in other roles, but as Miss Marple she's a disaster. Her Miss Marple, with the little smirks and little girl voice, could hardly be described as Nemesis. Nor would she ever have gained the respect of any law enforcement professional. She's really Ms. Marple light.
If you want the real Miss Marple, read the books, or see the Joan Hickson versions. After all, Miss Hickson was Agatha Christie's own choice for the role."
Miss Marple? Not Really
A Christie and Hickson Fan | Old Bridge, NJ USA | 05/10/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If the adaptations of "Murder at the Vicarage" and "A Murder is Announced" are any sign of what is to come, fans of Christie should look elsewhere for enjoyment. One of the major elements that help any adaptation to succeed is the effort to remain true at least to the spirit of the novels. These adaptations fail miserably in this respect. 1. Miss Marple's interest in mysteries flows less from her familiarity with human evil as exprienced in St Mary Mead than from her interest in reading Raymond Chandler and being an overall rather chipper busybody. 2. Characters are "dolled up" to look like what some contemporary designer imagines contemporary "fashionable" people would have worn in "fashionable" circles in the early 1950s. (Thus, an overtly lesbian character looks more like k d lang than what any imaginable inhabitant (lesbian or otherwise) of Chipping Cleghorn would have worn in the world created by Christie. 3. There's an unfortunate effort to "update" Christie's material, at least in terms of social sensibility--making McEwan's Marple a woman whose married lover died during the Great War and, therefore, a non-judgmental precursor to faddish contemporary worldviews. All in all, this set of adaptations reminds one of a chessboard populated by vaguely familiar chesspieces, but all playing a game whose rules have changed so dramatically that it no longer approximates the interesting game created by Christie herself. Avoid this nonsense and purchase the infinitely superior Joan Hickson adaptations."
Agatha Christie Would Not Recognize This Miss Marple
James H. Brusstar | 04/29/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"If you have ever seen Joan Hickson's Miss Marple, read one of the books, or even heard about the Agatha Christie character, you will be greatly disappointed with this new series. If I could give it zero stars, I would.
They have not only created a completely new Miss Marple character by giving her a cheery personality, twinkling eyes, and a tendency to brag about herself, they have provided her a past love affair with a married man - blasphemy of blasphemies! New characters inserted into the story add nothing, such as former French partisans in The Murder at the Vicarage. And, the dialogue is bad - even a fine actor like Derek Jacoby ends up giving a bad performance.
The actors in this series do not seem particularly British, so the series may be created mainly for American viewers - a marketing strategy that has historically led to films that bearly resemble the books from which they were derived. This is the case here too.
Agatha Christie is said to have been a vengeful person. If so, the people associated with this production had better avoid her in the afterlife."
New Marple is too young and fails to disguise herself as an
Lawyerly | Chicago, IL United States | 08/05/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Hasn't anyone noticed that the new Miss Marple (Geraldine McEwan) is far too young for the role? They try everything in the costume and makeup department to make her look older - give her a pale, ghostly complexion, fuzzy white hair, a dowdy, pale dress to wash out her complexion even more, little round spectacles and a frumpy old hat. What is worse is her voice. She tries to sound old and crotchety, and she can't pull it off. But worst of all, she lacks the dry wit of the Marple character. She does not have the personality of Marple. The trademark quality of the Marple character is this: underneath the guise and pretense of being a bumbling, feebleminded, old woman is really a brilliant, calculated, super sleuth. The new Marple doesn't put up the facade of the bumbling, feebleminded old woman at all. Instead, she acts sassy and clever. This takes the wind out of the sail of the Marple character, because there is no building of a deception or act that she is not who she portrays herself to be. The end is when she should reveal her true capabilities of unraveling a baffling mystery, but in this series, she gives that away scene by scene during the entire movie. It is evident that she fails to portray her dotty old woman character because none of the other characters treat her like she is a nosy, old busybody who should keep to herself. Instead, they all willingly answer her questions and then act as if they care about her opinion. To add insult to injury, the other characters are all unlikable and overplay their parts. The only qualities which give the illusion that these films are good are the sets, the modern film equipment, and modern filming techniques used. Ultimately, the films lack the building the suspense in order to climax when the mystery is revealed. Instead, the mystery is finally revealed after the suspense of the film is deflated, has dragged on and you are already tired of the characters and the story."