Revisiting a glamorous London hotel that she remembers fondly from her girlhood, Miss Marple finds that nothing has changed, including the atmosphere of danger beneath its highly polished veneer. She observes various other guests, including fortune hunters and other unsavory characters, and comes to realize the truth about the hotel is even darker than she had imagined.
“Murder and mystery roam the halls of the grand hotel; knotted and hard to figure out for all whom are there. Puzzled guests and a dozen suspects fill each twist and turn. The one who solved not just the murder, but several different crimes, is a delicate, inconspicuous old lady. Armed with her knitting needles, charming smiles and keen eyes, Miss Jane Marple unravels the mysteries of the hotel’s many guests; aided only by a grim, young inspector and a smart, keen housemaid, also named Jane.”
First Thoughts: I was just a little skeptical. It looked so-so. Having been watching Agatha Christie mysteries for a long time, I expected it to be fairly good, but I didn’t get much information from the description on the back. I shouldn’t have wondered. The story pulled off a amazing mystery(ies) well.
Setting: It’s set in England, but most of it takes place inside the hotel; Bertrams. I love hotels anyway. But a hotel is a great place for a murder and for crime mysteries because a hotel provides lots of different people who could be suspects. We saw parts of the story take place on the hotel roof, in the servants section, in the lobby, in the dinning room, in a ballroom…it was just a neat setting. I liked it.
Then Jane, the maid whom gets Marple up to the roof to see the dead body of her friend, and who asks for her help. Jane is sweet, smart, and pretty, even though she was in a maid’s outfit the whole film. She was unnoticed by the guests, and was a great spy. I also loved her voice. Soft, gentle with the prettiest accent.
I also liked the young Inspector; though grim, and with hardly any humor at all. We find out about a 1/3rd of the way in that his somber expression is from being in The War. He actually looks quite nice when he scowls and made an intimidating inspector right down to the end. He let people know who he was, what his business was and that he didn’t like monkeying around. He’s my favorite inspector out of the many of Miss Marple’s lot.
I found most of the characters delightfully suspicious; some had weird quirks, others were suspicious of being German, others were simply unlikable. Some you just had to scratch your head and wonder how they fit in. Plenty to pick from and plenty for more then one mystery.
Film Quality: Good quality! Fine costumes (except for a little bit of immodesty). Good film location. Good sound and cinematography. Most excellent to watch. I also loved all the smooth, calm camera works. I don’t enjoy films with a lot of handcarried, choppy filming. It gives it a more homemade feel and you can’t concentrate when your vision is constantly swirling around or jerking. I know some people like it, but I’m not a fan of such filmmaking.
Cover: Not the most attractive and I still can’t figure out who the woman is on the front! Though I kinda is thinking she is Miss Marple’s friend; but why put her on the front when she wasn’t even a suspect?!?!?!
Dislikes: Some of the richer ladies dress on the immodest side. There is a colored singer who’s fronts were too low for our family’s taste, though not so bad that we had to fast forward. I disliked the sudden romance at the end, even though it was on the sweet side. I also didn’t like the comments at the end about equality for women in the workforce and how that was a change for the better. So not true and unbiblical, but I won’t get into that now.
Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this film very much, though I will have to view it again to get all the mysteries straightened out better. I loved the protagonists in this one, as they were different then the typical lot. A old, gentle lady. A inconspicuous, keen housemaid. And a grim, handsome inspector. Loved it! I recommend with caution to families; as murder isn’t something you want to place in young minds, so be careful. But it is a great mystery to try to solve; and is also enjoyable (unless you count some of the wrap ups at the end as unbiblical–the things I mentioned above). I give it four ½ out of five stars.