‘In Praise of Miss Marple’ (2016)

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She manages to see and hear everything…

The more I think of it, the more the idea grows on me: a seven-foot tall Manchurian detective who solves crimes by dipping specially treated bacon strips into the suspects’ drinks…

Nah. Miss Marple’s better. Miss Marple is the best.

In Praise of Miss Marple

It’s Labor Day. Maybe we’ll watch a Miss Marple episode. I mean, of course, the ones starring Joan Hickson. None of the others can compare.

7 comments on “‘In Praise of Miss Marple’ (2016)

  1. Hickson was in one of the early Marple movies as a cook in the house involved with the murder of a French woman. I cannot recall the famous British actress who played Marple for laughs though I did enjoy the films even though they were played for laughs.

    1. Were you thinking of Margaret Rutherford? She was always one of my favorite British comic actresses.

    2. Agatha Christie herself picked Hickson to be the definitive Miss Marple–quite a few years before Hickson was old enough to try it.

  2. Agatha Christie seemed to have an uncanny sense of human nature. Poirot was believable, which is truly against the odds given the nature of his characterization. But that is also what brought his character to life. Miss Marple is another example, a completely illogical character that is somehow believable.

    But, if you think about it, Agatha Christie goes against the odds as well. Her story is every bit as illogical as any of her characters, yet she was an incredibly successful author and here we are, discussing her work many years later.

    Murder on the Orient Express, to my sensibilities, is the ultimate in storytelling. The setting of the Orient Express becomes a microcosm when the train is stopped by an avalanche of snow. Poirot works feverishly to solve the crime so that it can be handed over to the authorities in a way which does not embarrass the railroad, yet serves justice. The problem is, he has a train full of guilty, but justified killers. In the end, his sense of justice prevails and he allows the matter to be resolved in such a manner that any proof, one way or another, is eternally lost to the snow. In short, he becomes an accessory, after the fact, rather than obstruct the higher justice which had been served.

    To have written such a plot requires extraordinary imagination and a sense of justice that goes far deeper than the relatively superficial understanding most people have, with regard to justice.

    1. A great companion piece to “Orient Express” is “Curtain,” Poirot’s last case. You gotta read that one, too! It’s been discussed here on the blog, but it’s well worth your time.

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