Agatha Christie's Miss Marple Movie Collection

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple Movie Collection

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Cast: Margaret Rutherford


Margaret Rutherford, who was already a prominent figure in English theater and film, emerged as a marquee name internationally in 1961 in this series of screen adaptations of Agatha Christie's work from MGM, which proved popular screen entertainments from the start of the decade until just the point where the Beatles overpowered all otherSee more details below


Margaret Rutherford, who was already a prominent figure in English theater and film, emerged as a marquee name internationally in 1961 in this series of screen adaptations of Agatha Christie's work from MGM, which proved popular screen entertainments from the start of the decade until just the point where the Beatles overpowered all other pop-culture associations with England. The movies -- which never made it to laserdisc and, thus, are making their debut on high-end video -- all were predicated upon the notion that the geriatric population of England, as embodied by Rutherford's Miss Jane Marple and her friends, such as Mr. Stringer (Stringer Davis, Rutherford's real-life spouse), were its greatest and most interesting resource, with things still to teach the younger generation of adults coming up behind them (but with an occasional interesting rapport with their children, at least to be made out in her dealings with Ronnie Raymond's character in the first film). The Beatles and the rock & roll boom they heralded, and the birth of Swinging London as a pop-culture institution, ran directly counter to the zeitgeist of these movies, but long after the last of them rolled out to the theaters in 1964, Rutherford's image as Miss Marple lingered in their extended life on network television in America. Though she didn't really resemble Christie's description of Miss Jane Marple, Rutherford became the embodiment of the role, every bit as much as Sean Connery filled the shoes of Ian Fleming's James Bond, and that image lingered on television in network replays of these movies for the remainder of the decade and into the 1970s. The movies' appeal lay in Rutherford's eccentricities in the role, coupled with an array of colorful supporting players, ranging from major stars (Flora Robson, Dennis Price, Robert Morley) to excellent character players such as Ronnie Raymond, James Robertson-Justice, and Conrad Phillips. The Agatha Christie Miss Marple Collection is a nicely put together if unambitious set of four feature films in a slipcase, each in its own package but only sold as a set, at least upon initial release. The image for Murder, She Said (1962) -- which is an extremely crisp black-and-white -- has been matted to an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and the letterboxing is a treat, centering the image so that every subtlety of the camera movement is delineated. The audio is mastered at a somewhat low volume, but it is clean and pumps up nicely through speakers, and gives full play to the lighthearted score, which makes excellent use of a harpsichord. The movie has been given a generous 23 chapters. The disc has no extras other than an array of trailers, four of them relating to the Rutherford movies and a fifth, for the 1965 Seven Arts release of Ten Little Indians, which -- one presumes -- Warner Home Video is planning to release at some point on its own. Murder at the Gallop (1963) is mastered just as cleanly, and in the same aspect ratio, and gets the same 23-chapter breakdown. The black-and-white image looks beautiful, pushing the resolution of the NTSC image to the upper limit so that some shots with lots of detail in the woodworking or other elements of the setting seem to shimmer. The bonus consists of the same body of Agatha Christie-related trailers, with the addition of one extra trailer for this particular movie. The third movie in the series, Murder Ahoy (1964), which is not based on a Christie book -- and benefits greatly from the presence of Lionel Jeffries and Miles Malleson in supporting roles -- is given 24 chapters, and has an even crisper and sharper transfer in a glistening black-and-white, doing full justice to Desmond Dickinson's superb photography. For reasons that aren't clear, the credit sequences at the beginning and end of Murder Ahoy are letterboxed at a much more extreme 1.9:1 or 2.0:1 than the rest of the movie, which is matted at 1.85:1. It comes with the same array of trailers as the other discs in the series. Finally, Murder Most Foul (1964), also photographed by Dickinson, arrives with its aspect ratio less problematic -- 1.85:1 throughout -- and with the volume slightly lower but the audio just as clean, and 24 chapters. It also offers that same set of trailers, and no other extras.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Agatha Christie thrillers trailer gallery

Cast & Crew

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Murder Most Foul
1. Murder in Silouette [3:55]
2. Summing Up the Case [3:51]
3. Hung Jury [1:30]
4. Matter of the Rose [3:17]
5. Scene of the Crime [4:36]
6. Time to Act [5:51]
7. Audition Piece [6:03]
8. Drop-Dead Reaction [2:06]
9. One and the Same [6:29]
10. Murderer Among Us [4:39]
11. Going All Creepy [3:25]
12. Theatrical History [2:31]
13. Hardly Typecasting [:02]
14. Original Cast Member [2:48]
15. Mrs. McGinty's Dead [3:31]
16. Thoughts of a Superior Mind [2:48]
17. Typewriter Casting [4:20]
18. Kitchen Corpse [4:05]
19. Stewpot Schemer [3:36]
20. By Any Other Name [4:01]
21. First Night [3:51]
22. Taken at Knifepoint [3:20]
23. Evelyn Kane [3:01]
24. She's No Angel [3:47]
Disc #2 -- Murder Ahoy
1. Dress-Up Credits [3:37]
2. Snuffed Out [5:06]
3. Always Myself [2:13]
4. Through His Nose [5:19]
5. Damn the Torpedoes [2:46]
6. Boarding Ship [6:08]
7. Extended Stay [6:01]
8. Tonight's Job [5:24]
9. Operation Snatch [2:31]
10. From the Highest Yardarm [5:16]
11. Missing Dinghy [3:48]
12. Compton's Cabin [3:42]
13. Briefing Stringer [5:51]
14. Craddock's New Suspect [2:26]
15. Another Victim [4:44]
16. A Jinx [3:06]
17. Death by Mousetrap [3:45]
18. Softly Softly [2:44]
19. An Evening In [3:52]
20. Confession [3:19]
21. Crossed Swords [4:49]
22. Coup de Grâce [1:41]
23. A Woman's Hand [3:18]
24. Cast List [:50]
Disc #3 -- Murder She Said...
1. All Aboard for Credits [2:18]
2. Death Has Windows [2:20]
3. Dotty Old Maid [4:32]
4. Where the Body Fell [4:18]
5. Maid for Hire [3:29]
6. The Ackenthorpes [3:27]
7. Alexander the Cocky [5:38]
8. Not a Nice Family [6:00]
9. Relics of the Past [6:29]
10. The Egyptian Room [4:01]
11. Unconnected Body [2:03]
12. Family Alibis [1:09]
13. French Widow? [4:20]
14. Probate Probe [2:40]
15. Doctor's Dilemma [3:12]
16. Visitors in the Dark [2:37]
17. Connected Murders [4:04]
18. Under Suspicion [4:50]
19. Roadkill [4:07]
20. Playing the Murderer's Tune [4:37]
21. Killer Revealed [2:27]
22. Marriageable [4:29]
23. Cast List [1:55]
Disc #4 -- Murder at the Gallop
1. Credits Around Town [1:52]
2. Scaredy Cat [3:26]
3. Compulsory Reading [2:33]
4. Way to the Will [4:47]
5. Intent to Snoop [4:42]
6. Deadly Discovery [4:18]
7. A Little Too Coincidental [5:35]
8. Everyone's Whereabouts [4:02]
9. Back in the Saddle [3:21]
10. Dangerous Rosamund [4:21]
11. Movements Checked Up On [3:36]
12. Boot Admirer [2:57]
13. Giving Her Gas [2:33]
14. Boot Tracker [3:30]
15. Miss Milchrest's Confession [4:08]
16. Window Watcher [3:45]
17. Stomped Out [2:03]
18. Mounted Policewoman? [3:57]
19. Dancing Partners [4:42]
20. Taken Ill [2:27]
21. Back From the Dead [4:44]
22. Narrow Escape [2:38]
23. Cast List [1:02]

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