This disk set has two separate movies, but both are really the
same story. Agatha Cristie wrote this story "The Pale Horse" 50 years ago,
starring her character Miss Marple. The first disk has that movie, made last
year. It stars Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple. It is a fairly straight-forward
detective story of the sort you see in books. It has a large cast of suspects,
various murders occur, and Miss Marple figures it all out at the end. She
gathers everyone together and tells whodunnit.
The second disk has a movie made in the 90's, where they took
that story and took Miss Marple completely out of it. They took one of the more
minor characters, Mark Easterbrook, and made him the inadvertent hero of the
story by having him accused of the first murder. Both movies start out the same
way, with Mrs. Davis dying, and the priest Father Gorman by her side. She gives
him a list, and he passes it on to someone. From there, the two movies are very
In most ways I prefer the movie without Miss Marple, even though
that seems rather strange. Imagine if you took a Sherlock Holmes story and made
it without Mr. Holmes! But it works really well with the young, good-looking
hero, and the two women that help me investigate. Also, they set the tone of the
movie more in the early 60's, with those hairstyles, clothes, and music, which
makes it far more interesting. The only thing that was better in the Miss
Marple version is that the mystery is slightly better and less-convoluted.
The actors in both movies did fine jobs. They are both good
stories and worth watching. However, after you've seen one, the mystery, of
course, is gone because they both do have the same killer, and the same victims.
I would suggest you watch the one without Miss Marple first, but it's up to you!
There are no other extras or features on the disk. That's
a real shame because it would have been nice to see what was going on behind the
scenes and how they decided to make each version.
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