Saturday, 3 August 2013

Sittaford House 1* - Geraldine McEwan s2 v4

.. in progress .. Complicated solution 1*. Dislike spooky ghost picks up scorpion, harps on curses, reincarnation bulltwiddle, seances, dreams, booking under "F. Arewell" for "goodbye" - all obfuscate rather than clarify. WW2 prologue remains confusing. Underground in tunnel, group of uniforms hide from lit fuse explosion. Might be clearer if scenes cut.

On train, curious old Miss Jane Marple (Geraldine McEwan) meets politician Captain Clive Trevalyn (Timothy Dalton). At a night club, Charles Burnaby (James Murray) flirts with Emily Trefusis (Zoe Telford) and helps home drunk fiancee Jim Pearson (Laurence Fox - funny to see prim and proper Detective assistant to Morse). Odd to see Emily in perfect makeup while hidden in bubble bath from Charles.

Snowed in, Trev declines game of chess from secretary loyal war buddy John Enderby (Mel Smith). Jane takes call from nephew Raymond saying still in France. T dictates "final chapter", sees white woman ghost, burns photos. Meanwhile Jane hears night bells, reads to sleep, cawing.

Charles gives Em ride to Trev, at Sittaford House in blizzard, "modern woman for 50s", points gun from handbag. Raymond asks Trev to take Jane inside Sittaford . Night bell means prisoner escaped from nearby Dartmoor prison. Jane arrrives to Mr Enderby. Phone dead. John sets out to warn Clive at inn of The Three Crowns, owned by Stanley Kirkwood (James Wilby).

Bird dies from poisoned Turkish Delight, as Jane lifts candy to her mouth. Captain threatened by guest and ward. Mrs Willowby holds seance. Ouija board spells D-E-A-T-H. Enderby finds body, stabbed through heart, favorite Eyptian artifact accusingly nearby. Enderby "assumed authority" for investigation because cops can't get through, assigned elsewhere. Some witnesses heard a woman scream, some not.

Mrs Evadne Willett (Patricia Hodge) claims the tickets to Buenos Aires found on Trev's body are for their honeymoon. But she constantly criticizes spectacle-hidden beauty daughter Violet (Carey Mulligan). Flashbacks to the trio's first meeting last summer shows Trev recognized Violet, and she has a new marriage license.

Other guest are suspicious too. Luggage-less obvious fake Smith-Jones is Donald Garfield, official Whitehall dirtdigger "ordered to sniff out any skeletons in his constituency cupboard" of future PM. Ambrose Burt (Paul Kaye), injects sugar water to American employer. He forged his signature to clear name from war scam, blames Trev scot-free. Struck off medical register, "least said soonest mended". Imprisoned in the larder, Jimmy overhears chef Archie Stone (Michael Attwell) planning to scarper tonight, and wakes with a bloody knife and dead body.


Miss Elizabeth Percehouse (Rita Tushingham) in 1927 was married to archaelogist who shot accomplice Ahmed Ghali. Trev stole all money and killed her brother (Jeffery Kissoon). She finds the truth, demands retribution, showing as proof a photo of Arthur Hopkin's sister Violet pregnant (with Violet Hopkins).

In fun shock ending, previously dowdy Violet Hopkins wears cute lilac topper to Buenos Aires with Emily, because Trev did not expect his long-lost son, Emily's admirer, Charles Burnaby, to be his killer.

Special Features Behind scenes 10' - clips from film alternate with actors' comments 9:13, everyone "veiled.. has agenda", praise Photo gallery 14 posed in costume stills Cast filmographies - McEwan, Dalton (Flash Gordon 1980), Brandon, Hodge, Telford, Murray, Fox, Wilby

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