Movie Review: Murder Most Foul (1964)

Synopsis: When former actress Margaret McGinty is murdered, her lodger, Harold Taylor appears to be guilty. However, Jane Marple is on the jury and, by being the lone holdout, causes a mistrial. Believing Taylor is innocent, Marple decides to investigate the murder herself and puts her life in danger by joining a theater company so she can search for the person she believes McGinty was blackmailing.

Who's in it? The movie stars Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell, Ralph Michael and Francesca Annis.

Review: I've had this movie in my library for a couple of weeks and, after enjoying both Murder Ahoy and Murder, She Said, decided to take the time to watch it. Overall, I have to say the film proved to be worth my time.

Once again, while I'm not a fan of the literary version of Miss Marple, I do find the film version much more enjoyable. Part of this was because of Rutherford's outstanding performance, which had just the right mix of seriousness and comedy. However, the mystery in this movie was also worth watching.

Truth be told, I probably should have figured out who the killer was early on in the movie since it was based on Mrs. McGinty's Dead, a book I read not that long ago. However, I couldn't remember the ending of that book at first and, even if I did, there were just enough changes in the movie (including having it be Miss Marple investigating instead of Hercule Poirot) to make it slightly unique when compared to the book.

I also liked how Marple had to be careful not to get killed as part of her investigation and ultimately avoided one attempt on her life by pure luck. This added element of danger did keep the film from getting dull, even during some of the slower scenes, because you never knew if there would be another attempt.

Final Opinion: This was a fun film with a decent murder mystery and the right mix of action and comedy. I recommend taking the time to watch it if you get a chance.

My Grade: A


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