Agatha Christie's Miss Marple s1 - Murder at the Vicarage - in progress
Christie took for granted long clingy silk dresses, swooping hats, soft high white leather gloves, elegant swooping hats (why are these called "garden" dresses and hats?), bouncing curls, bright red lips, glowing dewy complexions shaded by, oh those marvelous wonderful hats. Impressive big open automobiles ("car" sounds too brief for such ostentatious up-to-scratch elegance), tiny flimsy sporty models, both with genuine wood and leather, throaty powerful roars. Flowers from rooftop to winding rock path, lavish lawns for parties.
Soft lighting, ancient family portrait and landscape masterpiece gathering dust in corners, hand tatted lace, genuine silk and velvet, inherited jewels, add opulence to the shabbiest after-war room. Lush unapologetic furs. Prim tweeds and cameos.
Her books dwell on the characters within. But the visual extravaganza of the simplest country village and gentlefolk manner .. ahh. When recording actors beside roles, the creativity of their terribly English names is evident. Accents plus poor sound recording or playing loses some without captions. Odd to see rain on windows and car bonnets, but never on screen.
TMATV (G. Mc) Pt1
v1 Murder at the Vicarage
First day artist Redding arrived in village, caught eye of Anne, wife of snobbish bigwig Colonel Protheroe, whose was safe burgled by French girl, staying at manor with her grandfather, visiting professor. Inspector Slack, having his own marital troubles, has to sort through confessions protecting each other.
"Money is the root of all evil"
"I'll give it space in my garden." servant even minor roles get brilliant lines
J:"Ordinary people do the most astonishing things."
J: "How clever. How wicked."
"They were set up as pasties."
S: "I don't know whether to buy her a box of chocolates or kick away her stick."
J: "I'd prefer the chocolates."
... "I owe you a box of chocs. Nothing gets past you , does it."
"Hardly ever." JM
"Two for Tea - artist and sleuth
On BBC TV series Primeval 2007-now (ick for 2012 New World series, by December already 11+ torn-up corpses), Jason Flemyng is a brave save-the-world hero, so when arrested and he confesses, as does his sweetheart, I am hornswoggled all-round.
AP: What mistake did we make?
JM: You were the same woman. You hadn't said goodbye forever to the man you loved.
Unlikely (unlike book?) flashback to wartime farewell choosing spinsterhood over love.
Double hanging execution is a gruesome juxtaposition with tea in the flowers, horrid.
Raymond Chandler "The Art of Murder"
role - actor
Jane - Geraldine McEwan
Rev Len Clement - Tim McInnerny
Griselda Clement - "Bunch" Rachael Stirling
Dennis Clement - Julian Morris
Ronald Hawes - Mark Gatiss (younger priest)
Dr Haydock - Robert Powell
Mrs Sylvia Lester - Jane Asher (boozer others disapprove of)
Anne Protheroe - Janet McTeer
Colonel Protheroe - Derek Jacobi
Lettice Protheroe - Christina cole
Lawrence Redding artist - Jason Flemyng
Augustin Dufosse - Herbert Lom (son betrayed to Nazis)
Helene Dufosse - Emily Bruni Brit flown in for French Underground
Miss Hartnell - Angela Pleasence
Frank Tarrant - Paul Hawkyard
Mrs Tarrant - Ruth Sheen
Young Miss Marple - Julie Cox
D.I. Slack - Stephen Tompkinson
plump extra - Miriam Margolyes
Extra #1 Behind the Scenes clips and interviews
1 "Body in the Library"
Geraldine McEwan conventional setting, macabre
no training, intuitive, so Agatha witty, romantic side (means idealistic)
village cozy and reassuring
Joanna Lumley Dolly Bantry
odd couple flash jane in big hotel, fish out of village
Simon Callow Colonel Melchett cross her in the way, catches on to her cleverness
Agatha writes on behalf of solid citizens shocked at murder in midst
Jack Davenport Supt Harper - plunged into other place and time, costume, Joanna - makeup always three paces behind stodgy old lady
2 "Murder at the Vicarage"
Tara Fitzgerald Adelaide Jefferson red lips strong eyeliner "first time? maybe in U.S."
spend first half of book meeting quirky characters
Adam Garcia Raymond Starr shifty hustler Argentina dancer
Derek irascible deaf cantankerous, hell to live with
when he was young, prime holiday read, racks in railway stations, never guessed right
great fun plunging by uncomfortable costume into learning how they would have reacted in those days.
Janet McTeer confides in at least one person "Make do and mend"
constricting time and costume, structured, controlled.
From her losing her own married lover to The War, knows after shed, not lost only love
From her garden, she had to see vicarage, cottage, but not into French windows where murder, scouts couldn't find anywhere in SW England, combined separate locations in film.
Jason - Geraldine more sprightly than one before; Derek - she twinkles
3 "A Murder is Announced"
Zoe Wanamaker (Letitia Blacklock) - "Nothing to do in small village, so all come to play a game, and then the game goes wrong"
Sienna Guillory (Julia Simmons) - "Classic party game, so many characters. Who is not who they say they are?"
Robert Pugh (Colonel Easterbrook) - "Played alot in the (post) war years, gather round to spice things up"
"People really did alot of things regretted, in a small village skeletons stay firmly locked in the cupboard. Everyone had something to hide."
Clocks strike deadline
Frances Barber (Lizzie Hinchcliffe in suit and tie, lezzie)"Daft. Camp. And then mayhem."
Gunshot in the dark. Bleeding ear, flesh wound on Letitia.
Elaine Paige (Dora Bunner) "Crikey. Elaborate. That's the genius of Agatha Christie."
Geraldine also knitted for refugees, father was POW, so all very vivid time.
Cherie Lunghi (Sadie Swettenham) - "Sadie, Sadie, the married lady" nursery rhyme I remember too. Single mother, stigma, had child in 1920s, so covered past.
Easterbrook sends away Sadie.
Geraldine - I love my detectives. Jane is flirtatious, she loves young men.
Rare to have detective woman and humble; Holmes and Poirot proud. Jane sweet, grandmotherly, razor-sharp mind.
Frances - She knows everything, but puts on façade.
"One of us must have shot Letitia."
Christian Coulson (Edmund Swettenham) - Ger has amazing warmth makes you want to open up, like Jane.
Frances - couldn't imagine anyone else, Ger exudes benign quality, calming to be around, eyes never miss a trick, sees and hears everything.
Zoe - today especially we want to retreat where sweet little old lady can solve all your problems
4 "4:50 From Paddington"
Pam Ferris (Elspeth McGillicuddy) - Train sequence "one of most exciting" seeing murder (how about Hitchcock's "Rear Window"?) . Ger plays with a touch of "magnus" (Latin for magnificence) insanity, on the edge of funny, dangerous - wonderful
Rutherford did this (by same title?), hefty, clomping countryside seeking corpse, despite nosy small fry hanger-on. But here Jane asks young niece Lucy to work at Hall and search.
Amanda Holden (Lucy Eyelsbarrow) - "I'm a young Miss Marple, but with more lipstick. Lucy ahead of times, traveller, adventurer.
Ger - plots complex but foolproof.
Griff Ryhs-Jones (he sounds like an Agatha name until you read "Dr Quimper") - sense well-oiled elaborate construction before pen to paper
"Are you up to something Miss Marple?"
JM: Am I?
JM: What were the victim's feet like?
IS: "Her feet? Why?"
JM: Maybe nothing. Maybe something.
Niamh Cusack (Emma Crackenthorpe) - "One of most dysfunctional families I've ever come across, all capable of murdering each other." Not at all. Agatha is expert on such: "Crooked House" Leonides, "Appointment with Death" Boyntons, "The Underdog and other stories" Astwells, Hallidays, Lemesuriers, Pengelleys, and every couple as well, and on.
"Twisty, so much tragedy, nothing going right for any of them."
Ben Daniels (Alfred Crackenthorpe) Lush "due to inherit, bankrupt financially and morally, alcoholic, blackmailer, nice chap"
Ger "As in life, people are revealed by their circumstances and how they react."
Knebworth Hall, Hertforshire. JM: "The real prize. That would be worth killing for."
Ger "Great admiration" for complex Agatha. "I love Miss Marple, she's still evolving. ". I look like her, not myself.
John Hannah (Inspector Campbell - Scots of course) "You never know who did it. She's a master of her craft.
Michael Landes (Bryan Eastley, copper?) "Now all forensics. In innocent times not as easy, makes better drama."
Extra #2 TV & Film - 8 screens of words
Debut 30 Dec 1956 (a most unusual year for births) "A Murder is Announced" starred Gracie Fields from Britain. "Zaftig stage actress (I say they always over-act) Margaret Rutherford" did "uproarious comic portrayal", even "vigorous swordfight" (original, no Christie book). Vastly out of character from book. Next Angela Lansbury "too young", I agree, perhaps that is why 1980s "Murder She Wrote" Jessica Fletcher still in reruns. Helen Hayes 1983,5
"over-age". Joan Hickson 1985-92 I remembered as young maid killed in Rutherford's "4:50 From Paddington", very like Ger 2005+. credits Charles Silet "Talking Murder: Interviews with 20 Mystery Writers" (Persea 1999).
Extra #3 Biography (1890-1976) - 4 word screens
Extra #4 Photo Gallery 20 slides during filming
Extra #5 6 Actors, 1-2pg "selected" stage and screen appearances "Filmographies"
- Geraldine McEwan 5pg, Derek Jacobi pg, Janet McTeer, Miriam Margolyes, Jane Asher, Rachael Stirling
Tried to find first clip of several for episode:
pt1/6 Marple & Tuppence & Tommy - BTPOMT By the Pricking of My Thumbs (my review)
pt1/12 ABH At Bertram's Hotel (see my review)
MBS Man in the Brown Suit
TSM The Sittaford Mystery
JM TMF The Moving Finger (G.Mc)
JM WDTAE (JMc) Why Didn't They Ask Evans (Julia McKenzie)
JM TPH (JMc) The Pale Horse
JM TMCFSS The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side (Joan Hickson)