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Unfair to Agatha Christie


Seems like people don't think Agatha Christie had any right to be disappointed by the Rutherford Marple films. They were her books and her characters, although it's perfectly true that an author essentially forfeits these rights in a film contract, unless they're given approval, which producers will usually go to any lengths to prevent. There's nothing wrong with enjoying Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple - I myself have just been watching the films again - it just doesn't do to confuse Rutherford with Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. Nowhere in these films is Rutherford given the opportunity to display the intuition and understanding of human nature which in the novels and stories enable Miss Marple to solve a problem. In fact, the screenplay credit for MURDER AHOY's screenplay by David Pursall and Jack Seddon (which was an original, not based on a Christie novel) reads: Based on their interpretation of Agatha Christie's "Miss Marple" - "their interpretation" is the operative phrase here, no doubt with a little input from Margaret Rutherford herself.

"I don't use a pen: I write with a goose quill dipped in venom!"---W. Lydecker

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All very true, but I still love the films. I can understand Agatha Christie being rather huffy about the changes made - they really are quite different, as is Rutherford from her Miss Marple. But only a true curmudgeon could miss the pleasure to be found in both the films and the performance of Margaret Rutherford. I appreciate both the books and the films and am grateful for both. For me, they are like the cinema equivalent of "comfort food" and I never tire of them.

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Dear fanatic
I agree wholeheartedly

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I think it is a little sad that Agatha Christie didn't live to see her characters of Miss Marple and Poirot faithfully portrayed on screen. I think that she would have approved of Joan Hickson's TV portrayal of Jane Marple. And as for Poirot. Well David Suchet has become Poirot in may peoples' eyes. Including mine. But I do like Margaret Rutherford's comic portrayal of Miss Marple in those MGM films. I rather watch her than some of the other more serious attempts to portray Jane Marple on TV in recent years.

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