Movie Review: Murder Ahoy (1964)

Synopsis: Miss Jane Marple joins the board of trustees for the HMS Battledore, a ship that is being used to rehabilitate young criminals. Shortly after, one of the other trustees dies in front of her after visiting the ship. Suspecting he has been poisoned over something he discovered, Miss Marple decides to visit the ship herself.

Who's in it? The movie stars Margaret Rutherford, Lionel Jeffries, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Joan Benham and Stringer Davis.

Review: I discovered recently I'm not a huge fan of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple books. However, after enjoying the film Murder, She Said, I decided to give some more of the movies a try. I finally had a chance to watch this one and, overall, thought it was an entertaining film.

I think the thing I liked best about this film was the way it managed to put Miss Marple (Rutherford) smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation while, at the same time, keeping the overall mood of the movie lighthearted. I especially liked the ship's captain (Jeffries), whose nervous habits made him funny to the point I'd be able to consider him comic relief but still a potential suspect.

The mystery itself was also much more intriguing than I thought it would be, partly because there was so much going on? Was the murder related to potential criminal activity involving some of the young criminals or was there something else going on? What was the importance of the number 33?

I also thought having the mystery take place on the ship added a little something to the film. Despite her confidence, she would have made a relatively easy target for one or more killers that had already shown an ability to kill people without being seen. In fact, I was a bit surprised there weren't more attempts on her life. 

While I was somewhat skeptical at first, partly because it ended up being a bit predictable, Marple's fencing match with the killer at the end wound up being entertaining to watch, partly because, despite her bragging about being a former women's champion, it was pretty apparent she was outmatched. Obviously, being the star of the film (and others), I wasn't expecting her to get killed or anything, I just didn't know how she would find a way to win.

Final Opinion: This is a fun movie with a decent murder mystery. As I said before, I'm not a fan of the books but I would definitely watch more movies starring this detective.

My Grade: A


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