DVD Review – Miss Marple Collection

Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple collection.
Warner Home Video
Released: March 14th, 2006

In the early 60s, Academy Award-winning Dame Margaret Rutherford starred as Miss Marple in four George Pollack directed films. For the first time, they are now available on DVD.

These films are fun, but not for die-hard Christie purists. Rutherford is a joy as a frumpy, crotchety busybody, but is nothing like the Marple that Christie described. Of the four films, two of them are based on Hercule Poirot tales and one of the others is not based on anything that Dame Agatha wrote.

Agatha Christie’sMurder She Said(1962)

Murder She Said was based on Christie’s novel “4.50 from Paddington,” While traveling on a train, Miss Marple peers out the window and sees a murder on a passing train. Since the police don’t believe her, Jane Marple starts her own investigation and becomes a maid at a manor near which the murder occurred,

Murder at the Gallop(1963)

Is based on After the Funeral, a Poirot mystery. While raising funds for a charity, Miss Marple calls upon Mr. Enderby only to find him dead. Enderby’s relatives are staying at the Gallop Hotel and it is there that Miss Marple quietly pokes about while the police officially looked into the death.

Murder Ahoy(1964)

Is an original tale with no connection to Christie. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that it is also considered the weakest of the bunch. Miss Marple boards a boat to investigate the murder of a fellow trustee of a fund that helps rehabilitate young juvenile delinquents.

Murder Most Foul(1964)

Based on Mrs. McGinty’s dead, another Poirot story. Miss Marple is the only member of a jury who believes in the innocence of a man accused of murder. As always, she sets out to find the real murdered, this time by joining an acting troupe.

As I said, die-hard Christie fans may have issues with the liberties taken with the source material, but Dame Rutherford is a joy to watch as she really makes the role her own. People looking for some fun mysteries should check these out. Three of the four are fantastic and the remaining one is still entertaining. I will take these over Murder She Wrote any day of the week.