Nemesis

  • 1987
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime, Mystery

Agatha Christie's elderly sleuth, Miss Marple, always seem to thinks better when she can bounce ideas off a partner, and in this made-for-TV mystery her nephew plays assistant sleuth. The fabulously wealthy Mr. Rafiel (Frank Gatliff) offers Jane Marple (Joan Hickson) an assignment from beyond the grave. To earn Rafiel’s bequest of 20,000 pounds, she...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Agatha Christie's elderly sleuth, Miss Marple, always seem to thinks better when she can bounce ideas off a partner, and in this made-for-TV mystery her nephew plays assistant sleuth.

The fabulously wealthy Mr. Rafiel (Frank Gatliff) offers Jane Marple (Joan Hickson) an assignment from beyond the grave. To earn Rafiel’s bequest of 20,000 pounds, she and a friend must join a bus tour of English manor homes and, over the course of the trip, investigate the unsolved slaying of Verity Hunt, the fiancee of Rafiel’s estranged son, Michael (Bruce Payne). Although Michael was never prosecuted for the crime, tongues have been wagging suspiciously for the past eight years. Miss Marple's divorced nephew, Lionel Peel (Peter Tilbury), is at loose ends, so she takes him along as a sounding board. Rafiel’s will stipulates that Miss Marple must report her findings, even if they implicate Michael. While motoring around the picturesque countryside, Miss Marple chats with fellow travelers like Mr. Wanstead (John Horsley), who’s familiar with the Verity Hunt homicide, and Miss Temple (Helen Cherry), who was Verity’s teacher. En route, Miss Marple also takes the opportunity to visit her eccentric old friends, the Bradbury-Scott Sisters; they were Verity’s guardians. With Lionel’s support, Miss Marple uncovers gruesome details of Verity’s mysterious death that link her murder to the disappearance of a floozy named Nora Brent. And why are two suspicious-looking female motorcyclists trailing a sweet old lady and her nephew? The killer has resurfaced to kill nosy Miss Temple, so Miss Marple places herself in jeopardy in hopes of disentangling the bizarre motive and ingenious cover-up.

This 1980s whodunit prefigures TV crime shows like Without a Trace and Cold Case, in which dogged detective work clears the books. More than ever, Joan Hickson shows why the dowdy sleuth could be nicknamed "nemesis;" she's an implacable truth-seeker rather than a meddling old dear.

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Agatha Christie's elderly sleuth, Miss Marple, always seem to thinks better when she can bounce ideas off a partner, and in this made-for-TV mystery her nephew plays assistant sleuth. The fabulously wealthy Mr. Rafiel (Frank Gatliff) offers Jane Marple… (more)

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