Murder at the Gallop (1963)

Genres - Mystery  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Whodunit  |   Run Time - 81 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The second in the series of Miss Marple mysteries starring Margaret Rutherford, Murder at the Gallop is a delightful and amusing adaptation of Agatha Christie's After the Funeral (a book which, interestingly enough, featured as its main character Hercule Poirot rather than Miss Marple.). A good plot is essential to an effective murder mystery, and Gallop has a tightly-written one that doesn't cheat by going too far afield for the murderer and which deftly puts all the pieces in their proper place. Along the way, the David Pursall-Jack Seddon screenplay features a number of amusing turns, some neatly observed phrases, and just enough character details to make the supporting cast come to life (without so much as to reveal who the killer is too early). Once again, however, the film's primary asset is the wonderful Rutherford. She imbues Marple with a joyousness in her hobby that in another actress might come across as somewhat ghoulish, but which here seems perfectly natural. Robert Morley is in tip top form as well, providing comic zest via his enthralled reaction to an especially rare saddle and his indirect marriage proposal at the end of the film, and Flora Robson is excellent as the timid but not stupid lady's companion.