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  1. #101
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    The best of the four films is Murder She Said. I had also heard that Christie didn't like the films and that was one of the resons why the fifth one didn't appear.

  2. #102
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    The best of the four films is Murder She Said. I had also heard that Christie didn't like the films and that was one of the resons why the fifth one didn't appear.
    It is certainly the only one to be based on a Marple book and is reasonably close to it.

  3. #103
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    It is certainly the only one to be based on a Marple book and is reasonably close to it.
    I was quite surprised hen I read the miss Marple books as storys were so different from the films. xx

  4. #104
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    I was quite surprised hen I read the miss Marple books as storys were so different from the films. xx
    They were star vehicles for Margaret Rutherford, who was one of the few bankable actresses of her generation in British films at the time.



    The seriues drifted away from the texts but had it survived the original stories would have been returned to according to the recent Margaret Rutherford bio.

  5. #105
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    Over the last few days I've been watching the four Rutherford/Marple films with my eight-year-old. A sudden fear of being murdered notwithstanding, they have gone down a storm with the new generation - particularly Rutherford herself, Robert Morley and the theme music.

    The one I hadn't seen for years was Murder Ahoy, and was fully expecting it to be not much good, since critical opinion seems to agree that it's the weakest, not being based on a real Christie. But it's fine. And surely Lionel Jeffries hamming it up alongside Derek Nimmo, Francis Matthews, Nicholas parsons (very brisk throughout) and Joan Benham ... well, that's enough for anybody isn't it?

    It's a great quartet of films. The best, I think, is Murder She Said, but arguments can be made for all of them. Except how could you possibly guess the identity/motive of the murderer in Murder Most Foul, although

      Spoiler:
    the way he confesses right at the start - to throw you off - is a neat but cruel trick.

  6. #106
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    I am an Agatha Christie devotee but I do not wince when I watch her screen portrayal of Miss Marple. I am reminded of a radio play where her husband, Stringer Davies, gives Margaret courage to get back on the stage after a severe bout of depression and self doubt. 'Margaret they have not come to see the play, they have come to see you.'

  7. #107
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernardo View Post
    I am reminded of a radio play where her husband, Stringer Davies, gives Margaret courage to get back on the stage after a severe bout of depression and self doubt. 'Margaret they have not come to see the play, they have come to see you.'
    Surely that remark would have made any actor run for the hills.

  8. #108
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Ah, but that theme tune ... everytime I hear it a big sloppy smile spreads over my face (the string piece in The Ladykillers has the same effect). All good fun and who cares if they're faithfull to Ms Christie (overrated author if you ask me) when you've got the glorious Margaret! Much better fare than those awful new ITV parodies with Julia Mackenzie (wince).

  9. #109
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windyridge View Post
    Surely that remark would have made any actor run for the hills.
    Biographical play, Margaret pursued a younger man rather obsessively and when he fled for the hills she went into a deep depression with her ever loving husband there to protect her and pick up the pieces. Play was 'A Monstrous Vitality' by Andrew Merriman. I merely quoted from the play. I do not watch Miss Marple starring Margaret Rutherford for any other reason than to enjoy her skill as a performer.

  10. #110
    Senior Member Country: UK Windyridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernardo View Post
    Biographical play, Margaret pursued a younger man rather obsessively and when he fled for the hills she went into a deep depression with her ever loving husband there to protect her and pick up the pieces. Play was 'A Monstrous Vitality' by Andrew Merriman. I merely quoted from the play. I do not watch Miss Marple starring Margaret Rutherford for any other reason than to enjoy her skill as a performer.
    You misunderstood me - I meant that Stringer's remark, though meant to comfort, would have surely added more pressure to Margaret.

  11. #111
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    It was a fitting remark in the context of the drama but yes I took the remark literally. Good play for radio, R4ex last January so it should come round soon. Worth a listen. Were she alive it would be an embarrassment for her I think.

  12. #112
    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agutterfan View Post
    Ms Christie (overrated author if you ask me)
    I know what you mean; her name is used all over the place to represent a genre, and that can be very annoying if you enjoy the genre and have to contsantly hear "Oh - like Agatha Christie?" when you're describing Ruth Rendell or P.D james or Ellery Queen or any number of writers who really aren't like her ... but that's not Agatha Christie's fault, and I have to say that I'm repeatedly surprised at simply how good she is. Her characters are much funnier, more cynical and more terrified by their circumstances than she is often given credit for. Her dialogue is often sharp and funny and she has a real gift for capturing a character in a few lines - sometimes with almost no physical description, just dialogue.

    Having said all that, I accept that she is 'overrated' if you mean that the distance between her fame and the fame of the next writer down the list far exceeds the difference in quality or invention or entertainment offered, but I disagree if by 'overrated' you mean that people's opinion of her is too high for her talents, because I believe that her talents deserve the praise they receive. If that's the kind of entertainment you want, then Christie is a good place to go. (With certain exceptions that she seems to have written on autopilot).

    Of course I agree with the basic gist of your post, that Margaret Rutherford makes a great Miss Marple - in my opinion the best - principally because it is her.

  13. #113
    Senior Member Country: UK agutterfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowdon View Post
    I know what you mean; her name is used all over the place to represent a genre, and that can be very annoying if you enjoy the genre and have to constantly hear "Oh - like Agatha Christie?" when you're describing Ruth Rendell or P.D James or Ellery Queen or any number of writers who really aren't like her ... Having said all that, I accept that she is 'overrated' if you mean that the distance between her fame and the fame of the next writer down the list far exceeds the difference in quality or invention or entertainment offered, (With certain exceptions that she seems to have written on autopilot).

    Of course I agree with the basic gist of your post, that Margaret Rutherford makes a great Miss Marple - in my opinion the best - principally because it is her.
    Yes, it's the fact that she seems to be a lazy shorthand (like Pythonesque for comedy) for an incredibly varied genre. She is far too highly placed in the pantheon, in fact I prefer those you named more than her! I find them better writers (in literary and genre terms). And it's not just Ms Rutherford, but also that harpsichord theme tune ... love it! Unbeatable combination. Since nobody seems to do Agatha straight, it's the quality of the work itself that matters. I also love the Joan Hickson BBC adaptations (especially Nemesis).

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