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Murder She Said

Murder She Said (1962)

January. 07,1962
| Drama Comedy Crime Mystery

Miss Marple believes she's seen a murder in a passing-by train, yet when the police find no evidence she decides to investigate it on her own.


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Touches You


Load of rubbish!!


When a movie has you begging for it to end not even half way through it's pure crap. We've all seen this movie and this characters millions of times, nothing new in it. Don't waste your time.


This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. You have to go and see this on the big screen.


I love this movie...in fact, I love all the Margaret Rutherford Marple movies. They were on continuous play when I was young--when there was still a "Late, Late Show" and a "Sunday Morning Movie". The story does swerve mightily from the book, but it is no less entertaining for that. Rutherford's expressions are a delight as she marches through Ackenthorp Manor as a very nosy and bossy maid (she was in her seventies I believe). Her Miss Marple is the Auntie most of us would love to have had. Curmudgeon-like and yet kind and funny, and very, very wise.


Entertaining whodunit and the first of George Pollock's teaming with Margaret Rutherford as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple has the elderly, scruffy, diligent, gutsy civilian sleuth investigating the mysterious murder of a woman she saw strangled on a train (going the opposite direction of the train she was traveling). It ties to a family of bickering brothers (and one brother-in-law), several waiting for the eldest to kick the bucket so they can gain the inheritance that is yet to be claimed. In the will of their father, eldest son, Luther (James Justice) doesn't get a dime due to their bitter differences. Luther is a blustery, ornery, loud aging miser that is rather difficult to get along with. Emma doesn't fare well under Luther's agonizing bullying ordering her around, while the inquisitive, scheming, probing, accusatory Cedric (played with a lascivious wretchedness by Thorley Walters, a far cry from his amiable, innocuous characters introduced by Hammer Studios) tries to learn of who might want him and the brothers dead when a poisoning narrowly misses killing them all but one: brother Albert. When brother Harold is found dead by part-time servant, Miss Kidder (Joan Hickson, also associated with the character of Miss Marple later) bicycling home, by a shotgun blast (suicide or murder?), the dwindling numbers worry those still alive. A musical compact with a distinctive tune, a written letter by a supposed French woman named Martine (discovered to be the strangled victim), and reasoning for wanting to get closer to the inheritance all factor into all the developments which leads to Marple's near death by "lethal injection". Arthur Kennedy stars as Luther's physician and Emma's (Murial Pavlow) romantic love interest. He also *assists* detective inspector Craddock (Bud Tigwell). Rounding out the cast is Michael Golden as the snobby grounds-keeper, Stringer Davis as Marple's partner-in-sleuth, and Ronnie Raymond as mischievous, wise-beyond-his-years intellectual grandson of Luther who becomes a particularly amusing sparring partner for Marple.Luther and Marple's sharp-tongued back-and-forths, litany of greedy suspects looking to gain hold to the inheritance at arm's length if Luther dies, the sneaky antics of a kid among snooty adults who is perhaps smarter than they are (always showing up with just the right words to stir the pot), Walters' provoking using devious methods to target his own family (he has a conversation with Marple during a late thunderstorm where he tells her he plans to keep an eye on her, initiating accusation that the body of Martine wasn't found until she arrived), and Marple's own knowing wisdom and watchful interpretation of the events that transpire as she comes to her conclusions through correct deductive reasoning makes Murder, She Said a hoot to watch unfold. Even how Marple learns of how the body ties to the family is neat to see develop: thrown from a train, moved a little later, then hidden until proper unveiling could take place, the strangler sets up quite a plot to throw the scent away from who he is. The kid of the film playing tricks on not just Marple but anyone that offers him a chance to use his clever wits provides some amusement. Marple admiring his antics with a bit of a grin is a nice nod to how well the kid appeals to her.

Marcin Kukuczka

An unusual day and a totally unpredictable moment for a 'dotty old' Miss Jane Marple (Margaret Rutherford) on her supposedly 'too comfortable' journey by train. As a seemingly gray passenger on the 4.50 train from Paddington, she is not only stuck because of an impertinent little kid but something far more shocking happens in a train passing by her window. Death does not only appear to have windows in a detective story she has been reading...murder is, indeed, no longer a sheer bad dream that an 'unstable' or 'unbalanced' maid could have. It is the stimulus for the most intriguing senses being activated within the most unusual investigation. Soon, she will be the one who can provide light to the dark mystery of a murder. But, can she ever make herself too comfortable again at the weird Ackenthorpe Hall, a mansion where there is a constant vacancy for a maid... a perfect setting for an English mystery thriller with lots of relics from the past? Something that would recall the make-believe in William Gillette's SHERLOCK HOLMES; something that Hitchcock would have developed within the ultimate flair for style...What this thriller develops is not so much the style but, above all, the absolutely stunning, sympathetic, witty, intelligent, vibrant character of Miss Marple. Based upon the novel by Agatha Christie "4.50 From Paddington" she is the character with certain knowledge of criminal mind. Now, she is placed in the situation which puts her to harsh test and imposes constant alertness. Quoting the New York Times review which appeared just after the American premiere of the movie, Miss Marple proves that "the aging but still vigorous female of the species can be a better sleuth than the Scotland Yard operatives." Name of Marple, nature of marble (referring to the screenplay)...that is what highlights best her character. That is also what makes it interesting also for modern audiences. And MURDER SHE SAID beautifully introduces her to viewers. However, the true entertainment does not lie in the literary source (Agatha Christie was not happy about the numerous liberties taken) but by the actress who interprets Miss Marple, adorable Dame Margaret Rutherford.Although MURDER SHE SAID is just the first of four movies made within the adaptations, she appears as a truly creative and gifted performer from the very start. It is Miss Rutherford who dominates our attention and makes the thriller a rarity of its genre as a novel adaptation and as a cinematic production. When I saw her performance first with my friend, I was stunned throughout. In majority, thanks to her, thrill is combined with humor and cutting tongue with the most honest intentions. She executes her lines marvelously! Determined but calm and patient, witty but, as wisely advised, never 'too comfortable' - that is how she remains with viewers and allows us to grasp the idea of skillfully proceeding acting. As her male counterpart, in a way, comes Stringer Davis, her husband in real life, in the role of Mr Stringer. From the moment when the police inspector Craddock (Charles Tingwell) occurs to care little about the crime, they begin their own investigation. In their scenes, the two carry the essence of humor in the film. Just to note the unforgettable scene when, early in the morning after 'hearty breakfast,' Mr Stringer is giving Miss Marple 'a leg up' and they find both the dog and the man really 'frightful-looking.' Alone, she is absolutely captivating when encountering the Ackenthorpes, a really peculiar dynasty with just little exceptions (Emma). It seems that the only good thing the family have ever done were...delicious biscuits. It soon occurs that both things and crimes go in threes. All sorts of people from neurotic eccentrics to calm doctors gently tease our senses...They are all worth broader consideration as supporting characters, those temporary 'tresspassers' who highlight the backdrop for the mystery because the performances are exceptionally well crafted. James Robertson Justice, an eminent British actor, beautifully portrays an old, pretentious, mean, neurotic 'Chairman' of the family who cannot stand the drawbacks of his own within other people, including impertinence. He strongly and strictly prefers beef steak to beef broth. Everything and everybody seem to move around his affairs and his premonitions of what he thinks other people mean. Some of the most spicy moments appear between him and Miss Marple with memorably cutting remarks in their lines. Apart from Charles Tingwell as skeptical inspector Craddock (who appears in all four films), the cast who need particular attention are Arthur Kennedy as family's ambiguous doctor and Ronnie Raymond as 'too clever' yet sympathetic youngster Alexander, who sees the family as 'vultures' with some exceptions and who appears and disappears in the most unpredictable moments. Consider his scenes with Miss Marple...They seem to share some interests...in golf for instance.The atmosphere of the movie makes MURDER SHE SAID a pure classic thriller, old thriller with the magic of black and white and the slight features of horror in some of the scenes. It is considerably supported by lighting, sets and undertones of images. The magical effect is provided by Ron Goodwin's music score where a variety of tunes beautifully create a balance between tension and relief.MURDER SHE SAID and, finally, 'riddle she figures out' and 'murderer she finds' yet...before you decide to see this movie, which I highly recommend, prepare for great tensions and a number of misleading predictions. Worn in lots of mysteries, lots of suspicions - yes. But isn't that what should emerge from a perfect detective story? Never ignore 'dotty old maid' and never skip a 'dotty old thriller' that may truly surprise us all. Indeed, a sleuth's work is never done and Miss Rutherford makes us look forward to more ...


Like many people, I came to this movie from the Joan Hickson television series. Of course that means that I've already seen the definitive Miss Marple in action. This movie series is obviously a different take on the character, so we need to accept that and let it stand on its own.For me, the first half of the film was less than satisfying. This is a feature film, so the star, Margaret Rutheford, is constantly on the screen. Others have noted - with good reason - that her real life husband was in the movie just to keep her happy - he really adds nothing to the story. This Miss Marple gets involved based on her habit of reading detective stories - totally unlike the books, where she simply falls into crime detection through her perception and powers of analysis. Still, this hook works to get her on the scene of the crime, so there's no real harm done. The music is rather too bouncy for me, but it does fit with the general light-heartedness of the script - everything is played for a smile, if not an actual laugh.The second half of the film, with Miss Marple on the scene, plays the story rather more straight as a crime mystery/old dark house genre film. And here it gets quite a bit better to my taste. In her role as maid, Miss Marple becomes the detective and searches for evidence to solve the case. Here, she reflects the book - and the Hickson version - quite a bit more than in the first half, although this version puts her on the scene rather than her 'niece' Lucy.Muriel Pavlow is very lovely, but unfortunately does't get much to do. Some reviewers didn't like the boy. He is a bit too much, but he didn't really bother me. The reviews I looked at didn't mention Ronald Howard - son of Leslie Howard. It's not much of a role, but I note him because he played Sherlock Holmes in a 1954 television series (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) that is quite good, considering, and worth looking for on DVD if you're a Holmes fan like me. Finally, I'm not a fan of the soundtrack. It is very much of its time, but the light, bouncy pop feel really wasn't appropriate for a murder mystery - although it did match the first half of the film in tone. And Margaret Rutherford is not exactly 'bouncy.' This one is definitely worth watching for mystery fans, as long as you don't need your mystery served straight and serious all the time.