What a thought this was–a detective who can’t shoot a gun, can’t survive a fistfight, and can’t even run away. What could be more original than that? A little old lady who lives in a village!
Joan Hickson was Agatha Christie’s choice to play Miss Marple, and didn’t get to do so until she was as old as Miss Marple. The result was well worth waiting for.
Forget about any other Marples. These are the best.
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.
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.
Agatha Christie at the age of five
It’s hard to imagine the horror of a childhood without gender-coaching, video games, or public schooling–but that’s what poor Agatha Christie had to overcome.
This is what happens in a country where the teachers’ unions don’t bankroll a major political party. Kids like little Agatha slip through the cracks. They wind up spending altogether too much time with their parents and knowing hardly anything about the joys of socialism.
Really, it’s just too dreadful–!
The good old stuff
I’ve refined my technique (I hope!) during the seven years since I wrote this–and where did that time go?
One is always working to refine one’s technique. But one thing hasn’t changed: if you want to be a writer, you still have to listen to other writers. Agatha Christie and Edgar Rice Burroughs are still there to back me up.
Anyway, after seven years of working at it constantly, my literary voice is more my own, and mine only, and someday maybe new writers will try to learn from me.
That’s a rather humbling thought.
These are great movies that absolutely should have been made!
Okay, anyone can play this game–imagine a movie you would have loved to see, but which never got made. We could have a lot of fun with this, if a bunch of you played along with me.
I just re-read Only in New England recently. Otto Preminger, how could you have let this one slip past you? Joseph Cotten, was your agent asleep? *Sigh* It would’ve been a classic.
We hadn’t seen this movie in several years, so we watched it the other day and it was just as wonderful as ever.
It isn’t always easy to get an all-star cast to work together, but in Death on the Nile, the stars are out in force. What a cast! Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, supported by David Niven, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Lois Chiles, Maggie Smith, Simon MacCorkindale, Jack Warden, Olivia Hussey–whew! With Angela Lansbury, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of an alcoholic romance writer who’s seen better days. Fantastic performances all around.
And if you like movies with lavish sets, exotic locations, and a plot that twists and turns all over the place–well, this one’s for you. Want escape? This film’s got it. For 140 minutes, you’re out of here. Much, much better than the David Suchet remake.
In a little while, we’re going to follow our New Year’s custom of watching George Pal’s 1960 classic, The Time Machine. Followed by Patty’s heavenly pork casserole for supper.
Happy New Year, everybody!
The sun has come out, unexpectedly, so I have to seize the moment and get out there with my legal pad, to continue my work on Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. Unlike Agatha Christie, pictured above, I can’t write fiction indoors. As I write, I have to try to inhabit a world that doesn’t, in fact, exist; and I can’t do that if I keep getting robo-calls from “Your Debt Partner” and various resorts that try to convince me that I’ve been there before and really liked it.
We have a black walnut tree in the yard which day and night bombards us with nuts the size of baseballs. Thanks to the incessant rain, the nuts have begun to rot while still on the tree. A lot of them go “splat!” instead of “pow!” when they hit the ground: icky black goo all over the place. But even that is less distracting than the robo-calls.
I still don’t have the climax to this story, still waiting for the Lord to show it to me. I feel like I’m chipping away at a great block of marble to get at the shape that waits inside, with no idea of what that shape will be. Your guess is as good as mine. Suffice it to say that currently hellzapoppin in Obann.
Well, back to work! I hope the nuts keep missing me: a few of them this morning were… adjacent.
Anytime you make a list, you always discover later that you should’ve added this or that, etc.
I try to learn more about the art of storytelling from every author that I read. My list really should have included Walter R. Brooks, Ross MacDonald, Ring Lardner, Sir Thomas Malory–and there I go again. Maybe I should just leave lists alone.
(Mark Twain, H.R.F. Keating, Eiji Yoshikawa [not showing off: I really do like him], Dorothy L. Sayres—now cut that out!)