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The Agatha Christie: Miss Marple Movie Collection

4.8 out of 5 stars 339 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Agatha Christie's Miss Marple Movie Collection (DVD) (4-Pack)

Murder She Said (1961): Margaret Rutherford's debut as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple Murder at the Gallop (1963): Murder and mystery start with a funeral Murder Most Foul (1964): Miss Marple joins a theatrical troupe whose specialty is death scenes. Murder Ahoy (1964): Miss Marple takes the helm in a seagoing whodunit


Never mind purists who bemoan Margaret Rutherford's incarnation of Agatha Christie's celebrated spinster sleuth. These four British films, produced between 1961 and 64, are jolly good, regardless of their tenuous connection with Miss Marple as written, or with Christie herself. One of the films, in fact, Murder Ahoy, is an original screenplay credited as "an interpretation of Miss Marple." And two others, Murder at the Gallop and Murder Most Foul were based on books featuring Christie's other famed detective, Hercule Poirot." But no matter. The redoubtable Rutherford indelibly makes Marple her very own, or, as she proclaims to Inspector Craddock (Charles Tingwell), with whom she locks horns throughout all four films, "I am always myself." Rutherford makes a formidable first impression in Murder She Said, based on Christie's 4:50 from Paddington, in which the armchair sleuth goes undercover as a servant after witnessing a murder on a train. In Murder at the Gallop, based on After the Funeral, where there's a will, there's murder. In Murder Ahoy, Marple discovers a ship of thieves. In Murder Most Foul, Marple deadlocks a jury and joins a theatrical troupe to prove the defendant's innocence.

The Marple films are endearingly modest productions, redeemed by peerless performances and mostly sharp scripts. Ron Goodwin's theme music used in all four films is an irresistible piece of '60s symphonic pop that's a classical gas. None of the actors are suspect. Rutherford gets able support from her real-life husband, Stringer Davis, who portrays Marple's Watson-esque sidekick. Venerable character actors Robert Morley and Ron Moody enliven Gallop and Foul, respectively. And in Murder She Said, that's Joan Hickson, who would go on to acclaim as Miss Marple in the celebrated BBC series (also available on DVD). But it's tough to steal a scene from Rutherford, whose Marple displays a keen mind, and, in Ahoy, surprising prowess with a sword! --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Includes: Murder She Said (1961), Murder at the Gallop (1963), Murder Ahoy (1964), Murder Most Foul (1964)
  • Agatha Christie Thrillers trailer gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Margaret Rutherford, Charles Tingwell, Stringer Davis
  • Directors: George Pollock
  • Writers: Agatha Christie
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: March 14, 2006
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CRR374
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,503 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Agatha Christie: Miss Marple Movie Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first thing that catches your eye (rather your ear) about these 4 approximately 90 minute movies made by MGM in the 1960s is the catchy theme music used in the opening and closing credits. These 4 films may not be the in depth stories shown on BBC (and then A&E or PBS) in the mid to late 80s, but they are still delightful thanks to the performance of their star Margaret Rutherford, who brings some humor to the role. The 2 other regulars in them are Stringer Davis as her friend Jim Stringer (notice the similar name) who "strings" along and eventually helps her solve the case, and Charles Tingwell as the Scotland Yard Inspector amazed and sometimes befuddled by the "old bat's" Sherlock Holmes like methods to solve mysteries. In Murder She Said (a sort of variation on 4:50 From Paddington) Miss Marple poses as a maid at a mansion near a train station where she witnessed a murder on a passing train trying to solve the case. Look for future BBC/PBS Miss Marple Joan Hickson in this one as the cook. In Murder At The Gallop, she tries to find a murderer at an equestrian hotel. In Murder Ahoy, she goes aboard ship to when a Naval Captain is a suspect in a murder. Finally in Murder Most Foul, she joins a theatre troup to find a murderer, and I'll leave it at that. I'm glad these will be sold as a set, they are way too short (let alone too funny) to be sold individually. Definitely an addition to your library whether you have the 80s series or not.
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Margaret Rutherford was a scene-stealing, eccentric force of nature in all her movies, and I suspect in her stage roles as well. She had a shape like a sack of produce, a double chin that trembled with a life of its own, little eyes that could widen in shock or squint with suspicion and, when her characters were aroused, a forceful stride that took all before it. Her personality was simply unique. The only other actor I can think of who matched her in eccentricity, potential ham and acting skill was Alastair Sim, another memorable British screen presence.

In Murder She Said, Rutherford plays Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple. Rather, she plays Rutherford's Miss Jane Marple. She made four Marple films, but I doubt if anyone reading Christie's stories would ever have envisaged Rutherford in the part. Now, for many people, Marple is Rutherford. She's that strong a character.

Jane Marple is on a train when she looks out at another train passing by on the next track. In the window of one of the carriage rooms she sees, for a few moments, a woman being strangled. When she reports this and the police search the train at the next station and the area where Miss Marple says it happened, there is no body to be found. The trains were passing Ackenthorpe Hall, an estate run with a loud voice and an irascible temper by old Ackenthorpe (James Robertson Justice), a bed-ridden man who believes he's on his last legs and intends to keep his family, most of whom have their eyes on the estate, firmly in line. It's only a short while before Miss Marple decides to investigate Ackenthorpe Hall, where she believes the body must have been hidden. She manages to get herself hired as the maid, a position which frequently is vacant because of Ackenthorpe's rudeness.
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It was the mid-1960's and I was about 10-years-old. Channel 11, WQXI Atlanta, had an afternoon movie everyday, just in time for kids getting out of school, of whom I was one. One day Miss Marple's "Murder Ahoy" was playing and I was stunned. Miss Marple looked exactly like my Nana Puckett. I was more than charmed, overwhelmed and enthralled, it was my first epiphany. They say that movies are make me it was like someone had turned on a light. Suddenly, I began to realize the wonders of my long dormant imagination. To me, it wasn't Margaret Rutherford on the screen, it was my Grandmother. She was bright, the equal of any man and had a sense of humor. She was a female Sherlock Holmes, whose books were already my favorites since I had begun reading. A joy in every sense, but to me a personal pleasure no one could understand.

Buy these movies! See the charming Margaret Rutherford at the height of her career and in every sense the equal of her more famous and respected competitor. The four movies are well-told tales, told with style and conviction, with expertly crafted scripts and excellent supporting actors, especially the earnest Inspector Craddock played by the wonderful Charles Tingwell and the always loyal and helpful Mr. Stringer player by Ms. Rutherford's real life husband, Stringer Davis.

And a wonderful footnote is Ron Goodwin's masterful, charming score and theme music for Miss Marple. Like George Delarue's score for "A Little Romance," almost worth the price of admission all on its own. Like the jazzy themes to "The Wild, Wild West" and "The Avengers;" great, bright Jazz at its best.

A Pure delight.
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It is really great to see all four of these wonderful movies with incomporable Margaret Rutherfort finally being released in the United States. I have bought my set a couple of years ago from amazon in the United Kingdom and enjoying it ever since. It is completely sold out in Britain so I would get a copy while it's available.
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