Murder, She Said (1961): Margaret Rutherford as Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple

While travelling by train, Miss Marple witnesses the strangling of a young woman in another train on a parallel track.  When the police find no evidence, so she conducts her own investigation and, with the aid of close friend Jim Stringer (Stringer Davis), concludes that the body must have been thrown off the train near Ackenthorpe Hall.

Margaret Rutherford’s interpretation was quite different from Agatha Christie’s. In addition, Agatha Christie’s trademark suspense and underlying darkness are largely replaced by light, whimsical touches typical of a comedy of manners.

Despite Christie’s personal dislike of this adaptation, Murder, She Said received positive critical response and was commercially successful.

As a result, MGM made three sequels, Murder at the Gallop, Murder Most Foul and Murder Ahoy!, all with Rutherford as Miss Marple.

Margaret Rutherford as Miss Jane Marple
Arthur Kennedy as Dr Paul Quimper
Muriel Pavlow as Emma Ackenthorpe
James Robertson Justice as Luther Ackenthorpe
Thorley Walters as Cedric Ackenthorpe
Charles Tingwell as Inspector Craddock
Conrad Phillips as Harold Ackenthorpe
Ronald Howard as Brian Eastley, father of Alexander
Joan Hickson as Mrs Kidder (Hickson later starred as Miss Marple in the BBC TV series Miss Marple)
Stringer Davis as Jim Stringer
Ronnie Raymond as Alexander Eastley
Gerald Cross as Albert Ackenthorpe
Michael Golden as Hillman
Barbara Leake as Mrs Hilda Stainton
Gordon Harris as Sergeant Bacon
Peter Butterworth as Ticket collector