It's more 'murder she cries' than "Murder, She Said" as Margaret Rutherford picks up the mantle of Miss Marple. Understandable too, as the old dear witnesses a murder in a train passing by her window. This dramatic opening gives way to a slightly dusty but enjoyable thriller that was to form the mould for successive outings.
Quite a few liberties are taken with the original plot of the dark Agatha Christie novel "4.50 From Paddington" and Christie was unhappy with all of them. But the overall lighter tone complemented with Ron Goodwin's sprightly music score helps create a film that's entertaining in its own right.
Stealing every scene that's she's in, the indomitable Rutherford plays Miss Marple with a zesty zeal that papers over the film's unlikely plot. After witnessing a murder, Miss Marple reports it to the police who gently suggest that she might have imagined it and that she should forget it. This only fans the flames of Marple's sleuthing brain and with the help of her fellow murder-mystery-reading friend they begin their own investigation.
This leads Marple to an old mansion which serves as a 'Cluedo' board full of eccentric characters for her to suspect. Getting a job as the world's oldest maid she pursues her investigations in a series of humorous vignettes laced with the occasional thrill.
The last thing you'll do is die of shock but the fun in watching Rutherford is entertainment enough in what is a delightfully dotty old film.
"Murder, She Said" is now available on Warner Home Video along with all the other Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple films: "Murder at the Gallop", "Murder Most Foul", and "Murder Ahoy".