Every now and then I write about Miss Marple (usually after I watch one of her movies on DVD, which I just did).
Miss Marple lives in a very small English village, called St. Mary Mead. There’s a pub, a couple of shops, a church, and that’s about it. The few people who live there, know everything about each other, at least they think they do.
I assume the population has a difficult time increasing, because of all the murders, but visitors also die while passing through, so that allows more residents to stay alive longer, at least for a little while. Without a doubt, St. Mary Mead is a dangerous place to live. It’s a sleepy village where people are murdered on a regular basis.
Miss Marple solves all of the murders in her village. She also solves murders when she’s away on holiday. The fact is, Miss Marple solves murders wherever she is, because wherever she is, there are always murders.
Joan Hickson, is an absolute delight. As Miss Marple, she puts the men who dismiss her, in their place with a few well chosen words and a ‘look,’ that lets them know exactly what she thinks of their small, prejudice, sexist, little minds. Then she goes on to catch the killers. She ignores those who doubt her, works with those who know and respect her talents, and goes about her business, bringing criminals to justice. Her reputation in police circles is well known, if not always welcome.
Miss Marple never puts on airs, wearing thick, woolen stockings, jaunty hats, a brooch, sensible shoes, and a light coat, or sweater. She hems and haws, puts two and two together, then traps the murderers, often leaving frustrated policemen, in her dust.
Miss Marple is clever and understated. When it comes to human nature, she’s a master, after studying the people in her village for years. She quietly moves through life, watching people, and solving the never ending number of murders that take place around her, her soft, high pitched, thin, reedy voice, throwing out facts, answers, and the names of the bad guys (male and female) to those in charge.
Handbag in hand, sometimes mumbling to herself, she treks across lawns, through the woods, and into the finest estates, hot on the trail of the bad guys, only stopping every now and then, for a nice cup of tea.
She’s one of a kind and she’s well loved.
Ms. Hickson was 72, when she accepted the role of Miss Marple, making her the oldest actor to take on a leading. She stopped playing Miss Marple, against the wishes of others, because she wanted to end it, while the show was at its peak. But she said that she was not retiring, or giving up acting. Her career was long and wonderful. She is still missed by her many, many fans. Ms. Hickson died at the age of 92, in 1998.
Photo: IMDb imdb.com