Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Having a bloody brilliant birthday bash with Agatha Christie

Tomorrow marks the 122nd birthday of literature's most celebrated queen of crime,Agatha Christie,whose books are still read widely today. As a tribute to this very special day for mystery fans,I have collected a few clips from film and TV adaptations of her works that feature prominent party scenes.

Both of Christie's most popular detectives,Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple,will be equally in attendance here and normally,we would go with ladies first but since October is not that far off,it only feels proper to begin this sinister soiree with Hallowe'en Party.

In this 1969 tale,an All Hallows Eve children's party is in full swing,with one of the young guests insisting that she once witnessed a murder. None of the adults are taking her seriously but before the night is over,it appears that someone has(not a gruesome clip,I promise!):

One of the most memorable party sequences in any Agatha Christie caper occurred on Miss Marple's watch. In The Mirror Crack'd(From Side to Side),fading film star Marina Gregg is embracing her new English home by hosting an annual village festival.

During the meet and greet portion of the house party,Marina seems transfixed by one of the paintings over by the staircase and several people notice her odd out of joint expression,which would mean nothing of importance if the lady she had been chatting with at that time hadn't been poisoned not long afterwards:

Despite an ongoing investigation,one of the suspects in Appointment With Death is determined to attend a cocktail party,regardless of Poirot's deadline for finding the killer of a wealthy widow who had her husband's revised will destroyed in order to remain in control of her stepchildren.

All of the suspects decide to attend the cocktail party,including Poirot who entertains most of them with his solution to the mystery that connects them all. That revelation at this celebration turns out to be the last dance that one of them will have for quite some time to come:

Miss Marple was not invited to the impromptu gathering in A Murder Is Announced but then again,no one is quite sure who placed the strange ad in the local paper that inspired the spontaneous get-together at Little Paddocks.

Most surprised was the spa's owner Letitia Blacklock,who chose to go with the flow and see what sort of party was meant to be had. At a certain time,the lights went out and shots were fired but those assembled first assumed it was all part of a murder mystery game. However,it quickly became obvious that this was no game. Sometimes,it doesn't pay to RSVP:

A very happy birthday to Dame Agatha Christie and her many readers this weekend and while we may not have any current adaptations of her marvelous mysteries on deck at the moment,the spirit of her stories will inspire others to bring them back to screens both big and small.

In the meanwhile,there are plenty of them to read and enjoy,either for the first time or as a welcome revisit. Despite what some may say,Agatha Christie's mind boggling mysteries are much better than your average game of Clue:

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