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BS: The REAL Miss Marple

Jerry Rasmussen 26 Mar 06 - 02:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 26 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM
Purple Foxx 26 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM
Purple Foxx 26 Mar 06 - 02:26 PM
Stilly River Sage 26 Mar 06 - 02:39 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Mar 06 - 03:10 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Mar 06 - 03:29 PM
Don Firth 26 Mar 06 - 04:37 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 26 Mar 06 - 04:48 PM
Don Firth 26 Mar 06 - 05:16 PM
GUEST,Dazbo 27 Mar 06 - 04:04 AM
HuwG 27 Mar 06 - 09:30 AM
Stilly River Sage 27 Mar 06 - 10:06 AM
Herga Kitty 27 Mar 06 - 02:36 PM
Georgiansilver 27 Mar 06 - 04:16 PM
Bert 27 Mar 06 - 04:26 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 27 Mar 06 - 04:50 PM
Wesley S 27 Mar 06 - 05:54 PM
Don Firth 27 Mar 06 - 06:59 PM
HuwG 27 Mar 06 - 07:37 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Mar 06 - 12:03 AM
Seamus Kennedy 28 Mar 06 - 12:17 AM
billybob 28 Mar 06 - 09:34 AM
HuwG 28 Mar 06 - 09:57 AM
Stilly River Sage 28 Mar 06 - 12:04 PM
HuwG 28 Mar 06 - 06:28 PM
SunnySister 28 Mar 06 - 09:57 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 28 Mar 06 - 10:07 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Mar 06 - 10:16 PM
Seamus Kennedy 29 Mar 06 - 02:36 AM

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Subject: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 02:10 PM

Much to my shear Joy, I just picked up a 4 DV set of the Miss Marple movies with Margaret Rutherford starring. What a delight they are! I've tried watching the new series from BBC but can't seem to stay awake through a whole program. I don't remember the name of the actress who plays Miss Marple, but she's far too low-keyed to my tastes. I wonder if there are those who prefer her to Margaret Rutherford? I find the new series to have the same efficacy as a strong sedative.

Me opinionated?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM

My favorite in the role was Joan Hickson. The series is available on DVD.
I agree that the new version starring someone or other is poor.

Definitely opinionated.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 02:24 PM

I'm unsure whether you're refering to Geraldine McEwan who is the new Miss Marple on ITV or Joan Hickson who played the role on BBC.
I think it's the latter you're probably refering to.
Actually I quite like her but I'm not sure about the unfaithful adaptations that she appears in.
The Joan Hickson adaptations were more faithful to their source material but I felt her interpretation of the character didn't really bring out Miss Marple's formidable intellect.
There again I felt the same way about Margaret Rutherford & I still have a soft spot for her.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Purple Foxx
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 02:26 PM

Correction "I think its the FORMER your probably referring to.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 02:39 PM

I liked Joan Hickson's best. Kind of like when Nero Wolfe thinks and his face twitches, when Miss Marple is thinking all you may see is her spoon stirring a cup of tea.

I haven't managed to catch an entire episode of the new one. I've seen the actress in plenty of other roles, but they were usually supporting. I haven't gotten a feel for her as the lead in this.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 03:10 PM

Yeah, I guess it's the new one I find uninteresting...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 03:29 PM

Geraldine MacEwan - she expends all her energy trying to look dowdy, when in fact she is vibrant and beautiful.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 04:37 PM

Margaret Rutherford was, as far as I know, the first to play Miss Marple in the movies, but I understand that Agatha Christie thought she was a poor choice. This was not the way she had envisioned Miss Marple at all. Both Joan Hickson and Geraldine McEwan are much closer to the original idea of the little lady who observed quietly, asked an occasional question, and didn't miss a thing. Between the two of them, I consider it a toss-up. They're both excellent.

As far as Joan Hickson not bringing out Miss Marple's formidable intellect is concerned, I can't agree. When someone said something to her and she responded with her characteristic, "Oh, do you really thinks so?" you could hear the 60-cycle hum from her brain loud and clear.

I think Geraldine McEwan is great, too, but the last thing I saw her in was the Mapp and Lucia series, and I can't that out of my head when I'm watching Miss Marple.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 04:48 PM

Hey, Don:

Never having read any of the Agatha Christie books with Miss Marple in them, I guess my image of Miss Marple IS Margaret Rutherford. I just enjoy watching Margaret Rutherford so much that I never wondered whether she was the character as written.

I often have wondered whether the Miss Marple books were the inspiration for Murder She Wrote, which is enjoyable in its own right, but necessarily formulaic. Jessica Fletcher has her "Ah, Hah!" moment just before the last commercial. And the person who is first arrested for the crime is always innocent. Otherwise they show would only be fifteen minutes long...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 05:16 PM

Yeah, Jerry, I think the Margaret Rutherford portrayal of Miss Marple (if I remember her correctly--it's been awhile) and Jessica Fletcher have some strong similarities. Both are fairly actively involved in the investigation.

Miss Marple, as I recall (read a few a long time back) tended to be more the quiet observer, gathering bits and pieces of information, asking occasional questions, noting inconsistencies, and putting two and two together.

In my creaky old age, I tend to enjoy that kind of mystery/detective story a lot more than shoot-outs and car chases.

Don Firth

P. S. I understand that Angela Lansbury was absolutely adamant that in "Murder, She Wrote" a) she didn't drive, and b) there would be no car chases.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: GUEST,Dazbo
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 04:04 AM

The last episode of the latest new series of "Agatha Christie's Marple", as ITV have called it, was actually based on a Tommy and Tuppence book that didn't have Miss Marple in it at all! I do like Geraldine McEwan in but I preferred the Joan Hickson versions.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: HuwG
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 09:30 AM

Margaret Rutherford portrayed Miss Marple as a far more active and athletic person than the retiring spinster as acted by Joan Hickson (and Geraldine McEwan).

Several Miss Marple stories have "ah hah!" moments revealed because Miss M. has made a trip to Somerset House (formerly the Registry of Births, Marriages and Deaths) without the reader knowing. Naughty of Mrs. Christie !

In this respect, some TV adaptations are purer "whodunnit" than the original Miss Marple novels, though not the Poirot mysteries.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 10:06 AM

So you don't like the television version of Poirot? I enjoy the new ones--I like Suchet better than Ustinov, for example, and better than Finney. There was one of the Ustinov ones, I think, in which Suchet played Japp--I saw part of it on TV recently and was diverted away from the role he was playing by the humor of the fact that he became Poirot himself later.

BTW: visit http://www.imdb.com/ (the IMDb site) and look at the search box in the top left corner. I think it's for today only. Catch it if you can!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 02:36 PM

I liked Joan Hickson best. Interesting to see that Sidmouth has been filmed as Dilmouth for both the Joan Hickson and Geraldine McEwan dramatisations.

Suchet's latest Poirot outings diminished by absence of Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings, Philip Jackson as Japp and no Miss Lemon either.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 04:16 PM

Jerry...Margaret Rutherford portrayed an ageing lady who kept herself fit and active. She used her well developed brain to solve even the toughest of mysteries and did it with a convincing act! She gets my vote over any other....Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Bert
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 04:26 PM

Having read many of the books, I prefer the Joan Hickson interpretation the best.

Also, I agree with HuwG, Agatha Cristie often came up with surprise information that wasn't mentioned earlier in the book and could in now way be inferred by the reader. Yes very naughty.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 04:50 PM

And what about them new-fangled Sherlock Holmes's? Maybe Basil Rathbone was SureSchlock Holmes, but I loved him. I thought Nicol Williamson was fine in the 7 Percent Solution and I really enjoyed Robert Duval as Doctor Watson.

Funny thing is, there is a movie image that's cultivated about folks from England being reserved, unemotional... downright stuffy. Sure couldn't prove it by Mudcat... :-)

Jerry

Howzsabout Leadfingers as Sherlock Holmes and ColK as Watson? Now there's a movie I'd go to see... They'd just have to use subtitles.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Wesley S
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 05:54 PM

Jerry - I was just about to mention Sherlock Holmes on Masterpiece Theater. So I'm glad I'm not responsible for the thread drift. It stars Rupert Everett and Ian Hart as Holmes and Watson. I enjoyed the last episode - but wondered why Ian Hart didn't portray Watson as having a limp. I thought Everett played a great Holmes.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Don Firth
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 06:59 PM

Basil Rathbone was, I thought, an excellent Sherlock Holmes. After reading some of Doyle, I was not real happy with the way Nigel Bruce played Watson. Watson was no dummy, by any means, but Nigel Bruce played him as if he had hardly enough brain power to tie his own shoes. I always wondered why someone a sharp as Holmes picked such a bumbling fuddy-duddy as a sidekick. I always liked Bruce as an actor, but as Watson, he didn't quite cut it for me.

I think my favorite Holmes within recent years is the late Jeremy Brett. Quirky, cantankerous, arrogant, and egotistical. But who else had as quick a mind as he did? Edward Hardwicke played a pretty sharp Watson, who may not have spotted things quite as quickly as Holmes, but he was not far behind.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: HuwG
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 07:37 PM

Oh, dear ! My sloppy grammar has caused Stilly River Sage to wax wroth.

By some TV adaptations are purer "whodunnit" than the original Miss Marple novels, though not the Poirot mysteries, I meant to say that the Poirot mysteries were generally better written than some of the Miss Marple stories, and therefore the TV episodes did not need to improve on the original to the same extent.

Evil under the Sun did slightly violate the unwritten rules, but few of the David Suchet adaptations do. Murder on the Orient Express was unimpeachable whodunnit, but ruined by Albert Finney's hamming.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:03 AM

I had an idea that was what you meant, but wasn't sure enough to ingore it, and I don't mind discussing Poirot either.

I like the Jeremy Brett Sherlock better than the Basil Rathbone one, though when I was a kid I loved the Rathbone version. The Brett one grew on me. I think Brett came across better as a flawed individual, and as smart as Sherlock was, he certainly had flaws. There was too much of the hint of Rathbone's sword fights with Errol lurking in those backgrounds. As to Brett, most Americans, if they remember him for other things at all, will remember him from his much earlier musical performance in My Fair Lady.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:17 AM

Don Firth, I'm in 100% agreement.
I've seen a lot of Holmes in my day: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Douglas Wilmer, Ronald Howard (Leslie Howard's son, with Howard Marion Crawford as Watson, and Archie Duncan as Inspector Lestrade).

But Basil Rathbone was a great Holmes, and the undoing of those movies was Nigel Bruce as Watson, and updating them into the 1940's.

However, as a lover of the Doyle stories, I have to say that Jeremy Brett (IMO) was the greatest of all. Complete with Holmesian eccentriciteis, foibles and all.
Plus, the production values on the shows were of the highest caliber.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: billybob
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:34 AM

We used to see Joan Hickson on the train from Colchester to London quite often, she was just like the ' Miss Marple' she played on TV
I liked her in the role ,perfect casting.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: HuwG
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:57 AM

Another of my favourite fictional sleuths translated onto the small screen was Lord Peter Wimsey (written by Dorothy L. Sayers).

There have been two distinct series; the first starred Ian Carmichael, the second starred Edward Petherbridge as Wimsey (and Harriet Walter as Harriet Vane).

They contrived to spoil one of the first series for me (The Nine Tailors) by practically hitting the viewer over the head with the identity of the corpse inside the first half hour. (The artful Sayers contrived to give the reader no more information than was available to Wimsey, and confirmed this vital fact only two thirds of the way into the book.) Otherwise, both series were very good indeed. No violation of "whodunnit" rules, no artificial confessions.


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 12:04 PM

I rediscovered the Ian Carmichael Lord Peter Wimsey via a set of tapes I borrowed from the library recently, and I did enjoy the newer one also. Actually, my favorite version of all was the series of episodic radio plays that my local NPR station played back in the late 1970s - early 1980s.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: HuwG
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 06:28 PM

From a BBC Publication, "Crime Writers", an anthology by HRF Keating (author of the "Inspector Ghote" stories):

The Initiation Ceremony of the Detection Club


The club was founded in 1932 and is still flourishing. Originally, membership was confined to detective story writers. This is part of the initiation ritual new members had to undergo.

...

President: Do you promise that your detectives shall well and truly detect the crimes presented to them, using those wits which it may please you to bestow upon them, and not placing reliance upon, nor making use of, Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition, Mumbo Jumbo, Jiggery Pokery, Coincidence or the Act of God ?

Initiate: I do.

President: Do you solemnly swear never to conceal a vital clue from the reader ?

Initiate: I do.

President: Do you promise to observe a seemly moderation in the use of Gangs, Conspiracies, Death Rays, Ghosts, Hypnotism, Trap Doors, Super-Criminals and Lunatics - and utterly and forever forswear Mysterious Poisons unknown to Science ?

Initiate: I do.

...


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: SunnySister
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 09:57 PM

Oh boy, this is a great thread! Right up my alley! The shows and actors mentioned are all amazing!

Jeremy Brett- what an actor and what a Holmes! The very, very best! I cried very hard when that gentleman passed away.

Basil Rathbone definitely takes the #2 spot.

While Joan Hickson is very, very close to how Christie wrote the character, I think Margaret Rutherford had a warm and a sense of humor about her portral that I enjoy.

As for the amazing Geraldine McEwan, she is wonderful in everything she does and I will be buying all of the sets of Miss Marple with her in it. I grew to truly love her for all time when I saw the beautiful BBC TV show "Mulberry" which I still lament was cancelled before they could finish the story in its third season. Anyone who loves that show will be happy to know that the two seasons of it will be on DVD coming out in June.

I am also a huge fan of David Suchet's Poirot and also agree that the newest shows are missing without the strong and lovely supporting actors who are a perfect foil for such a character as Poirot.

How I wish there was a TV channel just for BBC mysteries!

Thanks for the thread,
SunnySister "Who grew up wishing she was Sherlock"


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:07 PM

I guess I'll have to give the newer Miss Marples shows another chance with a fresh perspective, thanks to all of your responses. That won't make me appreciate Margaret Rutherford any less, but I may be able to appreciate the other actresses more...

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:16 PM

You can find a lot of mysteries on the American cable channel "Biography" and it's parent channel "A&E." I like Nero Wolfe and Columbo, but they only made so many of them, yet they have played and replayed them every Saturday night for the last several years. I could stand to see some Hickson Marples in there for a while.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: The REAL Miss Marple
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 29 Mar 06 - 02:36 AM

I just bought all the Jeremy Brett shows on DVD, including the movie length ones, and I'm rationing them out - a little at a time.

Seamus


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