Murder She Said (1961)

Tumbling Down

My history of introspection in film starts with clever mystery writers. Then when talkies fell on us there was a huge experimental breeding ground for techniques that worked. By the 40s that chapter was all over and noir was incubated.

Agatha Christie played a central role in this history with her wild experiments, sliding narratives and dynamic reinterpretation of what we know. So when a mature cinematic tradition deals with her material, the solutions fascinate me.

In the books, the detective is a compelling personality: doomed by chance to be a matron in a small village, she is nonetheless the brightest lamp in the area. Here, she is a shuffling if fearless busybody. This adjustment turns the story possibilities inside out. She doesn’t figure anything out in this movie, just finds clues.

I know there are folks who have fallen in love with some actor/actress who portrays one of Christie’s detectives. I like some of them myself, but it is airplanes compared to birds. There is still some grace, but not the fluid life of the earlier.

My original IMDb comment on this was one of several hundred deleted by a Christian warrior because of a comment on another film.

Posted in 2015

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *