TV and films
Miss Marple Stories.
It wasn't until 1962 that fans of Miss Marple saw the character brought to the big screen and this was some thirty two years after the first Jane Marple book was published. This first incarnation came in the shape of the incomparable Margaret Rutherford. The actress transformed the shy, quiet character written by Agatha Christie into a bombastic and eccentric character. Huge liberties were taken with the stories (there was a series of four films) and although they were hugely popular Christie herself was never quite happy with them. Generously though she dedicated the book The Mirror Crack'd from side to Side to Rutherford.
Angela Lansbury played Miss Marple in the 1980 film The Mirror Crack'd. Her Marple was more serious and more clipped and brisk. The film was notable for the stellar cast including Elizabeth Taylor,Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, Kim Novak and Edward Fox. Critics didn't like the film and 1980's setting didn't seem right to many.
In the eighties and early nineties a series made for the BBC saw the actress Joan Hickson take on the role. The actress portrayed a subtle, quiet character with a rapier intellect. She was the actress that Christie herself had had in mind for the part as early as in the 1940's. It was a massively successful series and one that most Christie fans tend to cite as their favourite.
In more recent years further British TV adaptations have occured. Firstly, this was with Geraldine McEwan in the role. Her Marple was slightly elfin and suffered as a result of comparison with the portrayal by Hickson. The episodes also saw significant alterations to the plots and characters and also contained stories in which Marple did not originally appear.
Julia McKenzie's portrayal has found more favour with the fans and she plays a rather kindly Marple who is nevertheless robust and dogmatic in her search for the truth.
Hercule Poirot Stories
Austin Trevor was the very first person to portray Poirot on screen. This was the 1931 film Alibi and he appeared twice more in subsequent Poirot adventures.
In the mid 1960s Tony Randall took on the role but the film was a curious send up of Poirot. The film was titled The Alphabet Muders was based on the ABC Murders and also starred Robert Morely as Hastings.
A more successful interpretation of the role came in 1974 when Albert Finney starred in Murder on The Orient Express alongside the most unbelievable cast of Sean Connery,movie star royalty Lauren Bacall and Ingrid Bergman, acting legend John Gielgud, and the equally wonderful Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Jacqueline Bisset and Anthony Perkins. he was nominated for the role but didn't receive an Oscar.
Peter Ustinov brought his own interpretation of the character in a series of films including Death on the Nile and Evil Under The Sun. Released in 1978, Death on the Nile had an incredible cast including mega star Bette Davis, David Niven, Angela Lansbury, Mia Farrow, Maggie Smith, George Kennedy and Sam Wanamaker. The film won a number of awards and was nominated for 5 more. It won an Oscar for Costume Design; something it repeated at the Baftas. It was awarded Best Film Award in the Evening Standard Film Awards and Peter Ustinov also won Best Actor.
In 1989 David Suchet took on the role of Poirot and he is regarded by many as the most faithful to the original description of the character.
In November of 2017, a new version of Murder on the Orient Express was released with Kenneth Brannagh taking on the role of Poirot as well as director. The reviews were not entirely kind. Rex Reed for The Observer compared it unfavourably to the previous Sidney Lumet movie. Brannagh's " lame version also boasts what might be considered an all-star cast, considering the meager pickings today’s casting directors classify as stars. Aside from Johnny Depp, Judi Dench and Michelle Pfeiffer, all of whom are reduced to the status of marquee-value bit players, I don’t see a real star in sight." Of Brannagh himself he says " he’s much too self-indulgent with his repeated use of close-ups—of himself. It’s clear from the start who his favorite passenger on the Orient Express is. He also has the best lines, although the Poirot moustache now looks like two Polish sausages separated by a fork." It may well be a flawed adaptation but in time it may well become as affectionately regarded as some of its equally flawed predecessors. in the meantime here is the movie's trailer:
To see where this all began, visit Torquay and explore the World that influenced the greatest murder mystery writer of all time.
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For visitors to the English Riviera on the trail of Agatha Christie, The Hesketh Crescent Apartment offers Five Star Gold Award self catering accommodation just a stone's throw from Meadfoot Beach which the author used to use..
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The Muntham Apartments in the Wellswood area of Torquay are situated in one of Torquay's classic seaside villas and ideal for exploring Agatha Christie's home town. The Townhouse has its own Agatha Christie inspired study. Click the link below to book direct for the very best rates.
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The Bedford House Apartments offer guests one, two or three bedroom accommodation and have a fantastic location close to the centre of town. This means they are ideally placed for guests wanting to vist the Agatha Christie gallery in Torquay Museum and for those wanting to do the Agatha Christie Mile. Click the link below to book the best rates available.
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The Kinbrae Apartment is a spacious first floor luxury apartment which can accommodate up to 4 people and which has recently been completely refitted. It has a fanatstic location close to bus routes, a pub, restaurants and all the amenities of Wellswood Village which is itself close to Torquay town centre.. It makes a fabulous base from which to explorte Agatha Christie's birthplace. Click the button below for the best possible rates.
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Agatha Christie was a great animal lover and she was particularly fond of dogs. We have a site dedicated to dog friendly holidays in Torquay so you can bring your best friend with you when on the trail of the World's Greatest Murder Mystery Writer.