Murder She Said (1961)

Murder She Said
Directed by George Pollock
Written by David Pursall and Jack Seddon; adapted by David D. Osborn from the novel 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie
George H. Brown Productions/Metro-Goldwyn Mayer
First viewing/Amazon Instant

Ackenthorpe: There is one thing I cannot tolerate, and that is impertinence.

Miss Marple: Well, we should get on admirably. Neither can I!

Margaret Rutherford could not be more different from the bird-like, dainty Miss Marple of Christie’s mysteries.  She is none the less absolutely perfect for the part!

Miss Marple (Rutherford) is traveling home by train when she happens to witness a murder in a train traveling in the other direction.  She alerts the authorities who conclude she is a dotty old maid when no trace of a body can be found.  Naturally, she launches her own investigation.

This leads her to an estate where she gets a job as a maid so she can snoop around.  This proves to be a treasure-trove of suspects, mainly consisting of the sons avidly waiting for their old man to die to get the inheritance.  It takes a couple of other murders before Miss Marple has her man.  With Arthur Kennedy as the ailing patriarch’s doctor.

There have been a few changes from the novel, mainly to make Miss Marple the center of attention.  (In the novel, she talks a friend into taking the job as a maid.)  Nonetheless, the story is clearly recognizable.  I will watch Margaret Rutherford in anything.  Her very appearance on screen starts me smiling.  I’m glad I have another three of these light, fun films in my future.