Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple: 4:50 from Paddington (1987)

Missed Train

The Marple stories — many of them — are lessons in narrative placement. We start with the basic notion of the mystery narrator shuffling through multiple created realities looking for what makes sense. Marple turns that into the clever notion of detection as gossip: the constructed realities of small town busybodies imposing a simple order on what they hear.

Read this story and see how wonderfully it plays this intelligent game. Now watch this movie version and see how it completely loses this neat idea.

Instead, they follow the BBC rule of exploiting interesting faces and spaces. Lucy IS lovely, but the magic of the mystery is long gone.

Posted in 2003

Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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