October 25, 2014

Films

Murder She Said – 1961 | 87 mins | Crime, Thriller | B&W

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Plot Synopsis

Murder She Said

Murder She Said was the first of four MGM productions directed by George Pollack and starring Margaret Rutherford as Agatha Christie’s amateur sleuth. This workmanlike adaptation of Christie’s novel the 4.50 to Paddington made a star a Rutherford at the age of 70 and after years of memorable supporting roles. Thanks to her delightful charm and comic timing in the title role, this otherwise tame film found popularity and spawned three sequels.

Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherford) is on a train, reading a mystery novel, when she witnesses a murder on an adjacent passing train carriage. She reports it to police Inspector Craddock (Charles Tingwell) but he won’t believe her since no body can be found. As always, Miss Marple begins her own investigation, and together with Mr Stringer (Stringer Davis), she scours the railway verges until uncovering a patch of disturbed ground near the boundary wall of Ackenthorpe Hall. So Miss Marple poses as a domestic to get a job at the manor, mixing cleaning and tending for Mr Ackenthorpe (James Robertson Justice) with searching for clues to track down the killer. Her suspicions are confirmed when she finds the body secreted in an outbuilding on the estate.

Family skeletons are exhumed when Emma Ackenthorpe (Muriel Pavlow) reveals a letter from a French girl, Martine, who claims ton have once been married to a member of the family who had died years before in the war. It soon becomes clear that Martine was the women strangled on the train. The other children in the family are suspected since they will all share in the inheritance, but when two of the sons are murdered, Miss Marple decides to make the murderer show his hand.

Production Team

George Pollock: Director
Harry White: Art Direction
Geoffrey Faithfull: Cinematography
Ernest Walter: Film Editing
Eddie Knight: Makeup Department
Pearl Orton: Makeup Department
Ron Goodwin: Original Music
George H Brown: Producer
Jack Seddon: Script
David Pursall: Script
David D Osborn: Script
JB Smith: Sound Department
Cyril Swern: Sound Department
AW Watkins: Sound Department

Cast

Margaret Rutherford: Miss Jane Marple
Arthur Kennedy: Dr Paul Quimper
Muriel Pavlow: Emma Ackenthorpe
James Robertson Justice: Ackenthorpe
Thorley Walters: Cedric Ackenthorpe
Conrad Phillips: Harold Ackenthorpe
Ronald Howard: Brian Eastley
Joan Hickson: Mrs Kidder
Stringer Davis: Mr Jim Stringer
Ronnie Raymond: Alexander
Gerald Cross: Albert Ackenthorpe
Michael Golden: Hillman
Peter Butterworth: Ticket Collector
Richard Briers: Mrs Binster



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