October 17, 2011

Movie Monday: Murder She Said

I think it's time for a female detective, don't you?

Source: google.com via Jaci on Pinterest

Miss Jane Marple is riding on the train home when she looks in the window of another, passing train and sees a woman being strangled to death. When she tries to tell the train conductor, all he sees is a little old maid reading a murder mystery novel and assumes she had a bad dream.

Source: google.com via Jaci on Pinterest

She then tries to contact the police who do a cursory investigation, and discover no one missing from the train and no strangled bodies. Frustrated and determined, Miss Marple goes to her best friend, Mr. Stringer, and convinces him to help her investigate the murder on their own - since they have read hundreds of murder mystery novels and have a "keen appreciation for the criminal mind."

Through their amateur sleuthing, they deduce that the only place a body could have been dumped from the train is on the vast Ackenthorpe estate. Miss Marple gets herself hired there as an upstairs maid (much to the disappointment of the teenage grandson) in order to investigate further.

Source: google.com via Jaci on Pinterest

Before long, she concludes that a member of the family must have committed the murder. But one by one, members of the family start being murdered too, and her cover is slowly slipping. Will she be able to apprehend the murderer before the murderer apprehends her?

Miss Marple is another fantastic Agatha Christie creation, and Margaret Rutherford is my favorite Miss Marple. There have probably been a dozen different ones over the years, but I think the Margaret Rutherford Marple of the '60s is the most fun. She's got a strong personality, keen wit and wonderful comedic timing, in a British style. Plus, it's really cute seeing her and Mr. Stringer shuffle around the countryside investigating clues and making up lists of suspects, confident in their preparedness from reading lots of books.

Source: google.com via Jaci on Pinterest

One thing I love about Miss Marple is her fearlessness, the kind that perhaps can only come with age. Unlike Nick Charles and Poirot, Miss Marple prefers to confront the killer one-on-one. No theatrical assembling of the suspects with a grand reveal and the killer trying to shoot his way to freedom. And she's never afraid to interject herself into the middle of a murder investigation, even when it's dangerous - because, of course, this is only the first in a long series of Miss Marple mysteries.

This one comes on TCM fairly regularly so be sure and catch it when it does. (I also have a copy of my own, if any local BBs want to do a movie night sometime hint hint)


  1. One of my favorite things is seeing you "pin" all the movie photos. I feel like I get a sneak peek at what Movie Monday is going to be! :)


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