‘MURDER AT THE GALLOP’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Why Was It Miss Marple And Not Poirot In This Film?
The second film of the Margaret Rutherford ‘Miss Marple’ series, ‘Murder at the Gallop’ is based on the original Agatha Christie novel, ‘After The Funeral’. But it’s not on one of the Miss Marple novels.
This film is actually an adaptation of a Hercule Poirot book, published in 1953. I know the book’s title changed to ‘Murder at the Gallop’ in 1963, but why did the film have Miss Marple instead of Poirot?
The film has Miss Marple and her library friend Mr Stringer visiting the house of Mr. Enderby to collect donations for charity. Mr. Enderby falls down the stairs upon their arrival as he tragically dies.
Miss Marple investigates, since it turns out a suggestion is made that Mr. Enderby was murdered. She goes to the Gallop Hotel/riding school where Mr. Enderby’s not-so-bereaved relatives are there.
There’s also the murder of Cora Lansquenet, old Enderby’s sister, who was killed after a hearing of his will. It was done by a hairpin in the back of her chair in her house. Is there a big connection here?
I must mention that Agatha Christie’s name gets mentioned early on in the film when Miss Marple speaks to Inspector Craddock about Mr. Enderby’s death. Miss Marple reads Agatha Christie, hey?!!
I mean okay, I get this is meant to be an in-joke for Agatha Christie fans watching this film, but it does seem strange for an Agatha Christie character to talk about Agatha Christie herself. Just saying!
There’s also a moment when Miss Marple uses the phrase ‘murder most foul’ in the film. Uh, that’s the title for the last film of this series. Shouldn’t she have said ‘murder at the gallop’ for this film? 😀
Again, Miss Marple takes centre stage for most of the story of the film. This seems peculiar, considering this is based on a Poirot book not a Miss Marple book. Did the filmmakers prefer Poriot?
Margaret Rutherford returns as Miss Marple and is on fine form. She retains her formidable presence in the film whilst balancing that with the humour that features so prominently throughout.
Stringer Davis also returns as Jim Stringer, the librarian Miss Marple befriends in the town she lives in. Margaret Rutherford and Stringer Davis share many scenes, since the two are married in real-life.
There’s also Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell who returns as Inspector Craddock and first appeared in ‘Murder, She Said’ (sorry, I forgot to mention him). Miss Marple helps Craddock in his investigations.
The film’s cast also includes Robert Morley as Hector Enderby, who is dead old Enderby’s nephew. Hector is a pompous English gentleman that likes riding horses. He also takes a fancy to Miss Marple.
It’s clear from watching the film that Margaret Rutherford and Robert Morley got on well with each other and formed a comedic pair. It was fun seeing how they rode horses, danced at balls and such.
There’s Robert Urquhart as dead old Enderby’s fourth cousin George Crossfield. There’s also Katya Douglas as old Enderby’s niece Rosamund Shane. But who is playing ‘sister’ Cora Lansquenet in this?
There’s also Flora Robson as Miss Milchrest, who was Cora Lansquenet’s companion of many years. She seems a timid person, although she did accuse Miss Marple for killing Cora when she found her.
There’s also James Villiers as Michael Shane, Rosamund’s husband; Gordon Harris as Sergeant Bacon (who was also in ‘Murder, She Said’) and a young Kevin Stoney (who was in ‘Doctor Who’) as Dr. Markwell.
I enjoyed ‘Murder at the Gallop’ very much. Yes it’s comedic in places, but it is suspenseful as you’d expect in murder mysteries. The balance’s present and this is a fun murder mystery featuring horses.
‘Murder at the Gallop’ rating – 8/10
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