Murder She Said

Synopsis: Old miss Marple is on a train ride when she witnesses a murder in a passing train. She reports it to the police but they won't believe her: since no body can be found there can't have been any murder, right? As always, she begins her own investigation. The murder was committed while passing Ackenthorpe Hall and miss Marple gets herself a job there, mixing cleaning and cooking with searching the house for clues.
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Director(s): George Pollock
Rotten Tomatoes:
87 min

Station annouuncer: The train standing

at Platform 2 is the 4:50

for Ealing Broadway. Hanwell.

Hayes. West Drayton.

Langley. Taplow. Milchester

and Brackhampton.

- Tickets, please.

- A woman has been strangled.

- Pardon?

- A man strangled a woman in a train.

- I saw it out there!

- Strangled?

Yes, strangled.

You must do something.

Me? Well...

Madam, don't you think you had a nap

and maybe had a bad dream?

Young man, I was not dreaming.

What are you going to do about it?

Well... we'll be in Brackhampton

in about five minutes.

- I'll report it then.

- Thank you.

- Can I have your details?

- Of course.

Miss Jane Marple.

- Marple?

- Marple.

Old Pasture Lane.

- Milchester.

- Milchester. I see.

I'll report it

to the stationmaster...

- Yes, please do.

- Thank you.

A bad dream indeed.

All right, Lucy, I'll answer that.

- Good morning...

- Not today.

Inspector Craddock, County CID.

Oh, I am so sorry.

Do come in, Inspector.

I've been going through

all the papers for the last two days

and not a word about the murder.

I suppose the police asked the press

to say nothing for now.

Do sit down.

Lull the murderer into a false sense

of security, then pounce!

What's that?

Oh, how stupid of me. I am so sorry.


You will have some tea, won't you?

- Oh...

- Tea for the Inspector, please.

Yes, ma'am.

Well now, have you got him?

Well, I... that is...

...we've come to the conclusion that

what you saw on the train was...

...a man and a woman...

Yes, as I said.

I mean...

perhaps they were honeymooners?

Inspector, I may be

what is termed a spinster,

but I do know the difference

between horseplay and murder.

Yes, Miss Marple, but there's been

a full search of every train

and no hospital has treated

any such woman.

She was blonde,

with a fur collar coat.

No such woman was seen getting on or

off a train alone or accompanied.

Of course not, she was dead!

The tracks were searched for the

whole length of the line - negative.

Oh, so you don't believe me?

I didn't mean to imply that.

- You did.

- Not at all.

What then?

A woman cannot be murdered

on a busy train

without our finding out about it.

I'm sure you mean well, Inspector,

but if you imagine

that I am going to sit back

and let everybody regard me

as a dotty old maid,

you are very much mistaken.

Good day!

I'm sorry, The Hatrack Hanging,

Falcon Smith's latest,

we haven't received our copy yet.

Plain inefficiency.

- Let me know the moment it comes in.

- Of course, Mrs Stainton.

- Good morning, Miss Marple.

- Good morning, Mr Stringer.

Good morning, Hilda.

One moment...

...The Hatrack Hanging,

I've been keeping it for you.

- Would you say I am unstable?

- Certainly not.

- In full possession of my faculties?

- Absolutely...

- Not given to hallucinations?

- No.

Thank you, Mr Stringer.

- The police think I'm dotty.

- What?


I saw a young man and woman

in the throes of connubial bliss.

If I were you, Miss Marple,

I would write to the Chief Constable.

Mr Stringer, how many detective

novels have we read over the years?

Lmpossible to say.

Certainly hundreds.

Yes, which gives us a certain

knowledge of the criminal mind?

Most assuredly.

Well, this is where we put

that knowledge to the test.

- We?

- Yes, we!

So it has come in!

Oh, has it?

Well, I think I have first call.

You won't like it. Too obvious.

The mother did it, of course.

How do you know? It's just come in.

It always is with Falcon Smith.

A deprived child, you know.

Crumpets for tea,

Mr Stringer, if you care to join me.

Indeed I would, Miss Marple.

Ah, yes, here we are.

I calculate the five o'clock express

to Brackhampton overtook my train

somewhere about there.

How can you be sure?

The ticket collector said

five minutes to Brackhampton.

He came in more than a minute

after the murder.

So that makes it six minutes before

Brackhampton at, say, 30 mph.

So... about there!

The body, Miss Marple?

That was thrown from the train

between here and Brackhampton.

- The police found nothing.

- Of course not.

The murderer returned before the

search and disposed of the body.

By Jove, the police will want

to investigate now.

They say there is no investigation.

- Surely, a fresh search...

- Yes, but we will conduct our own.

- Eh?

- Yes, Mr Stringer.

I recommend

a hearty breakfast tomorrow.

You and I are going to take

an early morning walk!

There must be something somewhere.

A body can't be thrown out of a

fast-moving train without some trace.

If we linger here much longer,

we shall certainly be apprehended.

Nonsense! No one will give two

tracklayers a second glance.

I'm not convinced

our disguises are adequate.

A shoe, a bit of cloth... something.

Our timetable

may have been out of date,

but I'm sure

the 7:
15 is still running.

- Very possibly.

- It could be most dangerous up here.


Miss Marple!

- Miss Marple!

- Yes?

There you are!

I think I heard something.

I think I've found something.


Consistent with something

having been dumped from a train.

If it was the body,

it would roll down and finish up

against this wall.

Then where is it?

That, Mr Stringer, is the question.

It could be buried.

You'd need a pick or a shovel.

No, this is hardly an ideal spot

for disposing of a body.


From her fur collar, I think.

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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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