Review of "The Pale Horse" From The TV MegaSite
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DVD TV Show Reviews

 Agatha Christie's Marple: The Pale Horse

  Review by Suzanne 6/16/11

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 different.

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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Updated 6/16/11  


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