Murder Most Foul

Synopsis: Although the evidence appears to be overwhelming in the strangulation murder of a blackmailer, Miss Marple's sole 'not guilty' vote hangs the jury 11-1. She becomes convinced that the real murderer is a member of a local theatrical troupe, so she joins them in order to gather information. The clues lead back many years to a single disastrously unsuccessful 1951 performance of a dreadful play written by the group's hammy director, H. Driffold Cosgood. Although at that time, several of the current cast members were only children, more murders follow before Miss Marple ultimately exposes the killer.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
90 min

What's all this?

You may choose, members of the jury,

to believe the prisoner -

that returning from a walk,

he found the hanging Mrs McGinty

and was about to release the rope

when Police Constable Wells

appeared on the scene.

On the other hand, you may think

the accused intended

to cover manual strangulation

of Mrs McGinty

for motives of greed,

with clumsy attempts to make

his mean crime appear to be suicide.

Madam, either

you will have to cease knitting

or I will have to cease judging,

which shall it be?

It helps me to concentrate, m'lord.

- It does not help me, madam.

- Oh.

Very well.

Thank you.

Ah, yes.

If what I have said

is the truth of the matter,

then the prisoner was delayed in

the execution of his evil subterfuge

by the desperate fight of his victim.

Those scattered banknotes,

that pathetic crushed rose

torn from her dress...

He was delayed, I say, long

enough for the timely intervention

of the alert Police Constable Wells.

Summing up

for a conviction, Inspector.

- Stand you a beer afterwards, Wells.

- Thank you.

..had every opportunity

of knowing that the unfortunate widow

kept her life savings there

instead of in the bank

and that Harold Taylor was bent

on securing her meagre fortune.

If the facts as presented to you

admit of any reasonable doubt,

then the accused is entitled

to the benefit of that doubt.

Members of the jury,

if you have been convinced by the

evidence beyond all reasonable doubt,

that the accused

committed this heinous crime,

then it is your solemn duty

to return a verdict of guilty.

You will retire

and consider your verdict.

Might just have time

for that beer, Wells.

There's absolutely

no doubt in my mind he's guilty.

He was caught

red-handed by the policeman.

Prisoner at the bar,

have you anything to say...

Not yet, m'lord,

the jury is still out.

Surely the time is more appropriate

for a very dry Martini, Johnson?

Very good, m'lord.

- Not more tea?

- No. They're coming back.

Are you agreed upon your verdict?

No, sir.

What did you say?

We're not able to reach

an agreement, m'lord.

Silence. I will not have

my court turned into a bear garden.

I suggest you retire for longer.

I'm afraid

it would be a waste of time, my lord.

I see.

Very well. There will be

a retrial at a later date.

Jury dismissed.

If ever there was

an open and shut case, this was it.

One jury member

was deliberately perverse.

Many more than one,

Inspector, I assure you.


That woman's made a mockery

of my one and only murder.

No! No! No, Mr Swanbridge!

You mustn't turn your back

on the audience.

I want them to see

the surprise on your face.

Allow me.

Just once more, Miss Rusty, please.


Ah, our lady president.

Carry on, please.

Try again.

Do please try harder, Mr Swanbridge.

My arm's getting awfully tired.

A little rough at the moment,

but it'll be all right on the night.

- Tea?

- No, thank you.

You found him guilty, of course.

They did. I did not.

Miss Marple, surely...

Remember our play for the renovation

fund, The Lodger's Dilemma?


You remember, Mr Stringer,

that the victim in that play

wore a rose to receive her paramour.

He murdered her

and the lodger was blamed.

Exactly. Mrs McGinty

wore a rose on the fatal night.


Was it to receive her lodger

when we have no evidence

of any dalliance between them?

- I hardly think so.

- Then she wore it for someone else.

- Her murderer, you think?

- I do.

Excuse me, Mr Stringer.

I'm sorry, but he still keeps

turning away. What can I do?

We'll have to recast him.

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David Pursall

David spent his early life in Erdington (England), the son of an accountant; he was always interested in writing and had two murder mystery novels published by the time he was sixteen. So, on leaving school, he took an apprenticeship as a journalist and became a reporter working on a local Birmingham newspaper. His ambition was to move to London to work on a national newspaper but with the threat of war looming, he joined the Royal Service Voluntary Reserve of the Fleet Air Arm as a trainee pilot before taking an officer's course at The Greenwich Naval College. During the Second World War he spent the first three years flying, winning a DSC for bravery and then transferred to the Admiralty Press Division. It was whilst he was stationed in Sydney that he met Captain Anthony Kimmins, the well-known broadcaster on naval affairs, who inspired him to work in the film industry. In 1947, settling in London, he eventually landed a post as Publicity Director for The Rank Organization and, in collaboration with the iconic portrait photographer Cornel Lucas, handled the press relations for Rank film stars, some of those he mentioned include : Jean Simmons, Petula Clark, Diana Dors, Joan Collins, Jill Ireland and Brigitte Bardot. In 1956, he joined forces with long term writing partner Jack Seddon, basing full time at Pinewood Studios, initially writing a script from his own idea Tomorrow Never Comes (1978). However, the plot was considered too provocative at that time and it was whilst trying to interest producers in this, that David and Jack were commissioned to write the script for Count Five and Die (1957); and it took twenty-one years' before Tomorrow Never Comes (1978), was made. Continuing later as a freelance film and TV scriptwriter, David worked mainly on war and murder mystery themes; his last movie made for TV was Black Arrow in 1985, a 15th century historical war drama. He worked constantly, and together with the titles listed, there were many more commissioned scripts, treatments, and original stories developed which never reached the sound stage. He also tried his hand at writing for the theatre, worked for a short time in Bollywood, took his tape recorder to the front line in Israel for a documentary on the Six Day War, and later became a Film and TV adviser; he also continued to write newspaper articles. David lived the good life; a popular, charismatic conversationalist, an idea's man, who enjoyed travelling the world circumnavigating twice, partying, theatergoing, watching night shooting at Pinewood Studios, finishing The Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword daily and driving fast cars; as well as helping the aspiring young achieve success in their careers in film and the media. Aged 69, he announced from his hospital bed, that as he'd written everything there was to write, it was his time to go. He left behind a devoted wife and a daughter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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