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Marple


Well, after three years of lovely Marple stories, Geraldine McEwan retired (quite understandably), passing the torch to renowned theatre and television actress Julia McKenzie. I’d only heard some grumblings about “these new Marples” before I started this project, so I was very intrigued to leave rumour behind and make up my own mind. And you know what? Much like this overhyped nonsense about every episode of this series featuring anachronistically gallivanting lesbians, any qualms about McKenzie are complete tosh. After some initial trepidation, I think she serves the role admirably.

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And we’re back, for Geraldine McEwan’s final outings as Miss Jane Marple.

Review: Agatha Christie’s Marple: Series Three (2007 – 2009)

With Geraldine McEwan (Miss Jane Marple)

Written by Tom MacRae, Stewart Harcourt, Kevan Elyot and Stephen Churchett

Geraldine McEwan as Miss Marple

I’ve come to adore Geraldine McEwan as Jane Marple; her kind and knowing smile, her rueful wisdom, the sweet way in which her heart goes out even to the murderer. I’m going to miss her, but I appreciate that McEwan – like many people in their 70s – wanted to retire. Although McEwan’s approach was different to those who came before her, I very much accept that: it’s not as if she was playing a cocaine-snorting flapper, or – God forbid – Jennifer Garner! I’d prefer each incarnation to have its own presence, and I think she succeeded admirably. So, on with the films.

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Film Review: “Murder She Said” (1961), “Murder at the Gallop” (1963), “Murder Most Foul” (1964) and “Murder Ahoy!” (1964)

with Margaret Rutherford (Miss Jane Marple), Stringer Davis (Mr. Stringer) and Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell (Inspector Dermot Craddock)

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Angela Lansbury as Miss Marple and Edward Fox as Dermot Craddock

The Mirror Crack’d is a solid, unsurprising Christie adaptation, when all is said and done. Angela Lansbury’s sole turn as Miss Marple adapts perhaps the most Hollywood friendly Marple story, with its focus on performance, and a more cross-Atlantic cast than usual. (The old-timiness of Sleeping Murder or Nemesis were never going to attract Warner Bros.)

To be honest, aside from a few melodramatic touches in the denouement, there’s nothing to be said against this film. On the other hand, aside from two gripping scenes mentioned below, there’s very little here that attempts to stand out from the crowd.

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Geraldine McEwan as Jane Marple

Last month I reviewed the first series of Geraldine McEwan‘s portrayal of Miss Marple. While the films were not perfect, I enjoyed them far more than I expected, and I quickly got my hands on the four films that comprise the second series. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

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When I started this project, I hadn’t seen any of the ‘new’ Marple series, so – after reviewing the Joan Hickson adaptations – it seemed only fair that I give the same treatment to the delightful Geraldine McEwan.

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JOAN HICKSON’S MARPLE

Greetings, dear readers. Today, we’re heading back to the windy days of the 1980s, when David Suchet was just some guy who had played Inspector Japp, and Doctor Who was a dude in a ridiculous coat. Join me as we take a look at Joan Hickson’s celebrated turn as Miss Jane Marple.

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