Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Miss Marple takes to the stage
in 'Murder Most Foul'

Murder Most Foul (1965)
Starring: Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Charles Tingwell, and Stringer Davis
Director: George Pollock
Rating: Seven of Ten Stars

Miss Marple (Rutherford) goes undercover as an actress in a third-rate theatre company to prove a man innocent of murder while catching the real killer by solving a mystery with origins more than 15 years in the past.


"Murder Most Foul" is a fine little murder mystery/comedy that was loosely adapted from Agatha Christie's novel "Mrs. McGinty is Dead". Once again, Margaret Rutherford gives a fantastic performance as the feisty, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Miss Marple. The comedy of the film gets even more pointed when the hammy director of the theatre company (played with great flair by Ron Moody, who is the only actor in the film who manages to be as flamboyant and fun to watch as star Rutherford) casts her as a lady detective in a murder play, so Miss Marple, the amateur detective, is called upon to play an amateur detective while pretending to be an actress.

"Murder Most Foul" is a fun, lighthearted mystery movie featuring a cast with a level of talent that doesn't seem to exist anymore. (The way Ron Moody manages to mix diffused menace with a completely casual attitude, or the way he can deliver a line that shows how his character changes his mood in mid-sentence is a display of craft that we simply don't see in movies anymore.)



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