Miss Marple in Rockland film series

Sep 04, 2014
Margaret Rutherford, as Miss Marple, practices her golf swing as young Ronnie Raymond looks on in “Murder, She Said.”

Rockland — September’s theme for Rockland Public Library’s Second and Fourth Thursday film series is Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple. Films are screened in the downstairs Friends Community Room of the library, 80 Union St.

British actress Margaret Rutherford highlighted the facets of colorfulness and eccentricity to the character of Miss Marple in four 1960s George Pollack films that set the standard for all future film interpretations of Agatha Christie’s quintessential detective. The library will show the first two films in this series; screenings are at 6 p.m.

Up first Thursday, Sept. 11, is “Murder, She Said,” in which Marple witnesses a murder being committed on a speeding train. She informs the authorities, but they find no evidence of a killing and write off Marple as a doddering eccentric. Determined to prove she's not imagining things, Marple investigates the area around the stretch of railroad track where the murder occurred. She winds up on the estate of James Robertson-Justice, disguised as a maid. Many family skeletons are exhumed by Miss Marple before she proves that she indeed saw a murder and pinpoints the guilty party.

On Thursday, Sept. 25, the series will screen “Murder at the Gallop.” Rutherford stars as the grey-haired, wily sleuth who will not give up until all the pieces of a puzzle have been neatly put in place. This time around, an old village recluse is found dead and everyone except Miss Marple believes he had a heart attack. She is suspicious because four members of the dead man's family stand to benefit from his death, especially when a highly valuable painting is added into the kitty. As she follows her instincts and logic, a few more murders eliminate the same number of suspects, and Miss Marple is compelled to lend haste to her investigation before someone else turns up dead.

These evenings are part of a continuing Thursday series of literary, film and cultural offerings sponsored by the library and Friends of the Rockland Public Library. Admission is free. Handicapped accommodations are available with 48-hours notice by calling 594-0310.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Margaret Rutherford, as Miss Marple, dons riding gear in “Murder at the Gallop.”
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