Murder Most Foul Reviews
"Murder Most Foul" is a fine little murder mystery/comedy that was loosely adapted from Agatha Christie's novel "Mrs. McGinty is Dead". Once again, Margaret Rutherford gives a fantastic performance as the feisty, never-takes-no-for-an-answer Miss Marple. The comedy of the film gets even more pointed when the hammy director of the theatre company (played with great flair by Ron Moody, who is the only actor in the film who manages to be as flamboyant and fun to watch as star Rutherford) casts her as a lady detecitve in a murder play, so Miss Marple, the amatuer detective, is called upon to play an amatuer detective while pretending to be an actress.
"Murder Most Foul" is a fun, lighthearted mystery movie featuring a cast with a level of talent that doesn't seem to exist anymore. (The way Ron Moody manages to mix diffused menace with a completely casual attitude, or the way he can deliver a line that shows how his character changes his mood in mid-sentance is a display of craft that we simply don't see in movies anymore.)
Murder Most Foul
Starring: Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Charles Tingwell, and Stringer Davis
Director: George Pollock
Good set up, intriguing plot development, thrilling finale. You're kept guessing until the last moment. Many red herrings, but not overdone.
Quite funny at times too, sometimes extremely so. There is a light-heartedness which runs throughout the movie (this is helped by the score), though this does not detract in any big way from the drama of the plot.
Margaret Rutherford is great, as always, in her role as Miss Marple. Good support from a cast that includes the Australian actor Charles Tingwell as Inspector Craddock.
Miss Jane Marple was Agatha Christie's best creation. She is a no nonsense woman who can't be easily persuaded to condemn the man on trial, in which she is seen as part of the jury at the start of the film. Ms. Marple knows the man is not guilty, even when she gets the other jury members to give her dirty looks when she votes against the others to acquit the man on trial.
Miss Marple starts digging around the dead woman's room and discovers the programs for "Murder, She Said", a play by the theatrical production company that is performing at a theater near her. She enlists her friend Jim Stringer to help her catch the culprit. We are not prepared to see Miss Marple become part of a second rate theatrical troupe touring the country.
"Murder Most Foul" is a must to be seen by all Agatha Christie's fans and mystery fans because of the charisma Margaret Rutherford exuded playing the title character. Ms. Rutherford was an actress that always delivered in her many films. She is an acquired taste that ages well as a good wine.
The supporting cast play like an ensemble. Ron Moody, Charles Tingwell, Stringer Davis, Francesca Annis, Terry Scott, Dennis Price, and the rest, do what they do best and in the process enhance the film.
This is a tribute to the genius of the Jane Marple of Margaret Rutherford!