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Marple: The Classic Mysteries Collection (Caribbean Mystery / 4:50 from Paddington / Moving Finger / Nemesis / At Bertram's Hotel / Murder at Vicarage / Sleeping Murder / They Do It with Mirrors / Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side)

184 customer reviews

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(Feb 28, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Product Description

Return to post-war England for mystery and a cup of tea with Agatha Christie's most popular creation. The consummate prim and proper crime-fighting spinster, Miss Jane Marple sets down her knitting needles to unwind the most ingenious crimes. As she travels from city to countryside and even the Bahamas, murders, missing bodies and haunted dreams have a habit of falling across Miss Marple's path - which is precisely when, "tail up and head down," the beloved aunt and godmother goes into action.

Digitally re-mastered and faithfully adapted from Agatha Christie's best-selling novels, THE CLASSIC MYSTERIES COLLECTION features Joan Hickson (Christie's personal choice to play the spinster sleuth) in over fifteen hours of suspense, misdirection, rich period detail, and the cleverest solutions imaginable.

Special Features

  • Agatha Christie Biography
  • Joan Hickson Biography/Filmography
  • Miss Marple Biography
  • Complete Index of all Miss Marple Stories
  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Selection

Joan Hickson is the epitome of Agatha Christie's spinster sleuth in this DVD boxed set of nine Miss Marple movies from British television. "Little grey-haired cobra," mutters Detective Inspector Slack (David Horovitch), the hard-slogging policeman who finds himself humbled, again and again, by the frail woman's shrewd insight and dogged determination. Whether on a tropical island, in a grand hotel, or on a bus tour of historic sites, Miss Marple never fails to uncover the buried secrets, illicit affairs, tangled finances, and boorish Americans that abound in Agatha Christie's mysteries. Hickson is said to be Christie's own choice for the role (though when Christie told her this, Hickson was taken aback, as she was still fairly young at the time), and it's easy to see why: Hickson is physically unassuming, a perfect village busybody, yet her eyes contain a constant flicker of curiosity and keen intelligence.

This set includes all but three of Hickson's outings as Miss Marple: A Caribbean Mystery, in which an old bore's death on an island resort sets the plot in motion; The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side, which features an aging movie star and sumptuous marble bathrooms; in 4:50 from Paddington, the launch of Sputnik is accompanied by a strangling on a train; The Moving Finger begins with poison pen letters, but poison and bludgeonings soon follow; At Bertram's Hotel is one of the most unusual stories, as murder doesn't happen until more than 3/4 of the movie has unfolded, and the ending features a dynamic rooftop chase; Murder at the Vicarage, a definitive village mystery which finds Miss Marple solving a killing on her home turf; Nemesis, in which a wealthy old friend of Miss Marple's orchestrates, after his own death, the investigation of a murder long gone cold; Sleeping Murder, one of the best, starts out as more of a ghost story than a mystery and culminates in genuine suspense; and They Do It With Mirrors, in which misdirection--the cunning art upon which any murder mystery depends--is part of the plot itself.

There are a few famous names sprinkled among the casts (among them Donald Pleasance, Halloween, Jean Simmons, Spartacus, and Joan Greenwood, The Importance of Being Earnest, who has one of the most wonderful voices in the history of British cinema), but these BBC dramas depend mostly on solid, enjoyable character actors--actors much like Hickson herself, who labored for decades in bit parts before finding her plum role. The compression necessary to turn a book into a movie sometimes makes sussing out the murderer simpler, but fans of the genre will still be delighted by Miss Marple's perceptive investigations. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Complete Index of all Miss Marple Stories
  • Agatha Christie Biography
  • Joan Hickson biography/filmography

Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Hickson, Michael Culver, Christopher Petit
  • Directors: David Tucker
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 996 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CRR36K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,437 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Marple: The Classic Mysteries Collection (Caribbean Mystery / 4:50 from Paddington / Moving Finger / Nemesis / At Bertram's Hotel / Murder at Vicarage / Sleeping Murder / They Do It with Mirrors / Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

197 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on January 25, 2006
Format: DVD
There she sits: A white-haired lady dressed in tweeds, a pair of knitting needles in her lap, more interested in village gossip than in the goings-on of the world at large - and out of nothing, she utters sentences like that.

For more likely than not, another murder has been committed; and Miss Jane Marple, elderly spinster from the village of St. Mary Mead, just happens to find herself near the scene of the crime. And also more likely than not, while the police are still toddling around searching for clues she'll find the solution - relying on her ever-unfailing "village parallels;" those seemingly innocuous incidents of village life that make up the sum of her knowledge of human nature, and to which she routinely turns in unmasking even the cleverest killer. "Miss Marple is a white-haired old lady with a gentle, appealing manner - Miss Wetherby is a mixture of vinegar and gush. Of the two Miss Marple is the more dangerous," already observes Vicar Clement, the narrator of Miss Marple's literary debut, 1930's "Murder at the Vicarage" (although in the BBC series, only her fifth adventure).

Originally airing in the 1980s, the BBC's adaptations of Agatha Christie's twelve Miss Marple novels featured Joan Hickson in the title role; quickly establishing her as the quintessential Miss Marple even in the view of the grandmother (or rather, grand-aunt) of all village sleuths and "noticing kinds of persons"'s creator, Dame Agatha herself. (After seeing Hickson in an adaptation of her "Appointment With Death," as early as 1946 Christie reportedly sent her a note expressing the hope she would one day "play my dear Miss Marple.
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186 of 188 people found the following review helpful By John Prentice on October 15, 2001
Format: DVD
Much to my annoyance I found out that at least two of the stories in this set have been edited. For those trying to make a decision whether or not to buy these disks, I have outlined the cuts below:
Sleeping Murder - intact: no cuts.
The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side - appears to be intact.
4.50 from Paddington - edited: 5 mins 11 secs
Scenes edited are:
* Miss Marple and Mrs McGillicuddy directly after the latter arrives at Miss Marple's where she talks about how the people on the railway wouldn't believe a word she said about what she saw on the train(30 secs)
* Miss Marple collects the mail after it has been dropped off by the postman (13 secs)
* A continuation of the conversation between Lucy Eylesbarrow and Emma Crackenthorpe as they walk down the hall after the former arrives there where they discuss the imminent arrival of the rest of the family and the peculiarities of the family will / Emma introduces Lucy to Mrs Kidder (the cook) / Dr Quimper leaving and chatting to Emma / Mrs Kidder leaving for the day and Lucy asking if she minds if she does a bit of tidying up / Lucy cleaning the kitchen (3 mins 10 sec)
* Dr Qumper walking with Inspector Slack away from the barn watched by the two boys / Slack talking to Quimper about the family (1 min 26 secs)
As you can see substantial edits here that actually affect what information we receive about the will, plus the removal of chunks of character development - grrr.
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144 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Eric Pregosin on January 14, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a collection of 5 discs of 9 episodes 2 hrs each (1 hr 40 mins without commercials of course) of the Miss Marple series of mysteries that aired on PBS' Mystery and later A&E after being "inherited" from BBC. Joan Hickson is a delight in the title role. Ok, she's not the hilarious "twit" that Margaret Rutherford was on the big screen 4 times in the 1960s (that set is now available too), but she does a first class job just as David Suchet did for Poirot and Jeremy Brett did for Sherlock Holmes. 2 things you should be aware of. 1) These discs were previously released in 2 separate sets (which I bought ages ago), and admittedly the current asking price on Amazon for this set is less than the 2 combined (heck, it's less than set 2 by itself as I type this). Point is, nothing new here, if you like me bought the other 2 sets, all this will do is duplicate your existing stuff. 2) Although this is a lot of good mystery, it's not "THE COMPLETE SERIES". To complete your series, you will need to order the 3 disc set released by BBC Video through there deal with Warner also offered on this page. Albeit, these A&E copies are better than the Warner ones (these are shown as 1 complete story each while the Warner episodes are cut into 3 installments each with their own set of credits, 1 into 2 installments). But still if you want the complete series, you will need the other set plus this set (or the previously released 2). If you have a real yen for Miss Marple, buy this, the Warner 3 pack and the Margaret Rutherford set. Then after you pay your bill, think about the new Geraldine McEwan sets (I have yet to see those episodes, so you'll have to tell me how good or bad they are). Seriously, these (all the Hicksons) are first rate and if you have the complete Poirot sets and/or the Holmes sets, this would be just as welcome in your library.
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subtitles or closed captions?
You'll be pleased to learn that the BBC is re-releasing the Joan Hickson Miss Marple series on DVD with subtitles. Miss Marple: Volume One containing The Body In The Library, The Moving Finger, A Murder Is Announced, and The Murder At The Vicarage was released October 28,... Read More
Oct 23, 2014 by Clayton Hawkefield |  See all 3 posts
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