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The Body in the Library
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from 1,193 votes
Release: 12 December 2004 (UK) /

The Body in the Library

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director: Andy Wilson,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: A young woman's corpse is dumped in the library of Gossington Hall, home of Jane Marple's friend Dolly Bantry and her husband Arthur. Pompous Chief Constable Melchett suspects a connection with Basil Blake, an arty young man who lives locally but Blake is dismissive when Melchett visits him. Then Superintendent Harper rings from the coastal town of Danemouth. Ruby Keane, a young girl employed as a dancer at the Majestic Hotel there, has gone missing, and her cousin Josie Turner identifies the corpse as Ruby's. Ruby is in favour with millionaire Conway Jefferson, whose own son and daughter were killed in a wartime air raid, and he wants to adopt her. His son-in-law Mark Gaskell, and daughter-in-law Adelaide react variously to the news. Miss Marple is convinced that the solution to Ruby's murder may be found at the hotel and she and Dolly book into a suite to investigate. There is no shortage of suspects, not only family members but the handsome Raymond Starr, another of the hotel's ... Written by don @ minifie-1

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Critic Reviews

In theory there is nothing wrong with revisiting classic Christie stories and characters - Poirot has been essayed a number of times (Finney, Ustinov, Suchet), and over the years we've had various spins on Miss Marple, ranging from Margaret Rutherford in the early 1960's to June Whitfield on BBC Radio.

However, after the BBC's quite brilliant series from the 1980's, in which Joan Hickson used economy and subtlety to create a brilliant Marple, what more could be added? This new interpretation, with McEwan taking up the baton, fails where Hickson's succeeded. One of the joys of the BBC series was the ensemble work within each show, the characterisations and restraint displayed by each cast member, and Hickson being well served by each script. 2004's The Body In The Library is alive with theatrical over-acting of the worst kind, and all the 'star' turns (Callow, Davenport, Walliams, sadly even Lumley) simply bury McEwan's plain Jane under a thick layer of over-playing. Too often British actors confuse the crafts of stage and film acting, so here we have moods, thoughts and reactions being telegraphed rather than suggested.

This latest version really offers nothing new, other than the 'twist' at the end... and let's just say that pedals a movie stereotype I thought we'd finally moved away from.

I suspect Hickson's Marple would have viewed this whole sorry enterprise and said 'yes, well... all rather tawdry, don't you think?'.

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