12 April 2007 | mnpollio
The first in a series of four Miss Marple films featuring the incomparable Margaret Rutherford as the elderly spinster with excellent detective abilities from the popular Agatha Christie novels.
The story sticks relatively close to the events in the novel 4:50 from Paddington, with one major exception that may surprise fans of this series who have not read the novels. Christie's Marple was really a sedate, seemingly dithery woman who basically spends most of the books sitting on her backside knitting - in fact, in some of the novels Marple actually gets very little time and is merely on-hand to piece together the clues provided by others and provide the name of the culprit. In this case, screenwriters wisely combined a young character with Miss Marple so she remains front and center in the action. I much prefer these films as opposed to the more traditional renderings from BBC/PBS as Miss Marple is depicted here as such a vital and uniquely active free spirit. Rutherford is simply wonderful with her unforgettable expressions. She plays well off a diversity of people, including the gloriously crusty hypochondriac patriarch James Robertson Justice, the mischievous grandson Ronnie Raymond, the mildly exasperated police inspector Charles Tingwell or the gentle compatriot Stringer Davis.
A delightful series and a testament to a great talent who should never be forgotten.