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The Murder at the Vicarage
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Production Notes [imagemap with 8 links]

Production Notes

"Any book by Agatha Christie attracts attention but when she really hits her stride, as she does in Murder at the Vicarage, she is hard to surpass..."

     -- Saturday Review of Literature

Originally published in 1930, The Murder at the Vicarage was the first Miss Marple mystery written by Agatha Christie to feature Miss Jane Marple. Christie based the character on her grandmother and her elderly friends. According to Christie, those women resembled Marple in that 'though cheerful, they always expected the worst of everyone and everything and were, with almost frightening accuracy, usually proved right'. Christie would ultimately write 11 more novels featuring Jane Marple.

The Murder at the Vicarage was adapted by Moie Charles and Barbara Toy, and opened on December 14, 1949 at the Playhouse Theatre in London. It was adapted for television in 1988, with Joan Hickson as Marple, and was seen on Mystery!

The new Miss Marple has been adapted for 21st century viewers: she reveals a touching past relationship. Damien Timmer, head of drama for British co-producer Granada, points out that Miss Marple is famously unshockable -- a fact that is difficult to credit if she has led a completely sheltered life. The existence of a past "man in her life" emerges during the series, he said. "Previous Marples were rather pious and judgmental. Ours isn't. The characters in Murder At The Vicarage discuss their love lives with her in detail."

The composer for music heard in The Murder at the Vicarage was Dominik Scherrer. Other pieces featured in the film include:

Rhythm 'n Blues by Eric Winstone,
performed by Eric Winstone & Orchestra

The Old Master Painter by Smith/Gillespie,
performed by Dick Haymes

My Foolish Heart by Young/Washington,
performed by Billy Eckstein

June is Bustin' Out all Over by Rodgers/Hammerstein,
performed by Billy Tement & Orchestra

Going for a Ride by Sidney Torch,
performed by Sidney Torch

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Masterpiece Theatre Book Club
The Masterpiece Theatre Book Club gives viewers the opportunity to read and discuss selected books alongside their screen adaptations. Agatha Christie's The Murder at the Vicarage is one of the Book Club's Spring/Summer 2005 selections. For more information and discussion questions for The Murder at the Vicarage and other titles, visit the Masterpiece Theatre Book Club.

Masterpiece is sponsored by: