Movie Review: Murder at the Gallop (1963)

Synopsis: While collecting donations for charity, Miss Jane Marple witnesses a wealth recluse's death. She believes he was murdered but the police don't agree, at least until his sister is also murdered. Believing one of the man's heirs is the killer, Marple takes a holiday at the Gallop Hotel so she can spy on the family.

Who's in it? The movie stars Margaret Rutherford, Stringer Davis, Robert Morley, Flora Robson and Charles "Bud" Tingwell.

Review: After seeing three of the four Miss Marple films starring Margaret Rutherford, I was finally able to get this one in my library. Since I had yesterday afternoon off, I took the time to watch it and thought it was worth the wait.

One of the things I liked about this movie was the number of potential suspects. I was able to take a fairly accurate guess about who the killer was but there were other possibilities and, since they all had both motive and opportunity, I wasn't completely sure who would be the one Marple (Rutherford) would finger at the end.

The trap she set for the killer at the end of the movie was also a nice touch. I saw right through it but will admit it was set up in a way that made it easy to believe a killer might be fooled by it and, in the end, there was a bit of suspense when the killer did strike.

Another thing I liked about this movie was the way it limited the amount of screen time for Marple's companion, Mr. Stringer (Davis). He's OK for a laugh or two and I don't necessarily dislike the character but he is also someone that is a lot better in small doses. In this case, in particular, less was definitely more because it allowed some of the other characters to shine.

Final Opinion: I did figure out who the killer was several minutes into the movie so I won't describe it as the best murder mystery I've watched. However, it had a good mix of mystery and comedy with just the right amount of suspense at the end to be an enjoyable film.

My Grade: B+


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