Miss Marple and Mr. Stringer

During all these years of researching films featuring an old woman I have  dismissed, ignored Miss Marple. Why? My immediate excuse was that the films had been made for TV and I had confined my studies to feature films.  I was sloppy in my research and somehow resistant to the image of the old woman conveyed by the TV series. It is  thanks to Claire Mortimer (http://matrons.wordpress.com) that I have discovered Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple in the feature films of the 60s. She does convey a completely different image of the old woman from the one represented in the TV series.

I will leave to other projects the detailed study of Miss Marple in her different guises. A detail however that I must mention is that  Miss Marple is often referred to as a “spinster” (see Wikipedia pages on the character) . It may be that Agatha Christie had in mind a ‘spinster’ and that her aim was to challenge the stereotype.  However in the Rutherford’s version Miss Marple has  obviously a relationship with Mr. Stringer. It is suggested but not at all openly. It may be that the relationship between Rutherford and her husband who played Stringer conveyed on-screen a certain warmth due to their real lives rather than their screen lives.  It would be interesting to study this detail of the Miss Marple films.

About rinaross

Born in 1935. MA in Film and Television Studies at the University of Westminster 1998. Studying the representation of older women in film since then.
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2 Responses to Miss Marple and Mr. Stringer

  1. Joan Padro says:

    Also interesting that when Agatha Christie met Joan Hickson, she said that Hickson would make a perfect Miss Marple when she was older. Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2012 09:20:32 +0000 To: j.padro.a@hotmail.co.uk

  2. olderwomeninfilms says:

    Télépathie ! J’allais justement te demander pourquoi tu ne parlais pas d’elle ? et aussi des feuilletons TV ? Par ex. moi j’ai enfin découvert Upstairs down.. Il doit y en avoir d’autres ? et bien des observations à faire. D’ailleurs il y en aurait-il un contemporain qui risquerait de m’intéresser et lequel ? J’ai essayé plusieurs choses auxquelles je n’ai rien compris (hsitoires pr les jeunes) ms si je suivais régulièremt une bonne série cela pourrait ê bien pr moi et de ton point de vue tu dois observer les changements de mentalité envers les femmes, cela bouge même en France et ds le sud ! on devient moins condescendant envers ns, ce qui me fait plaisir -à moi aussi quoi que j’en dise !   S     Miss Marple avec un amant, bigre ! cela ne m’était jamais venu à l’idée.. A vrai dire je ne suis pas folle de policiers et n’en regarde qu’occasionnellemet. Je préfère romance ! et science fiction

    > Message du 25/08/12 11:20 > De : “ageing, ageism and feature films” > A : richbutler@orange.fr > Copie à : > Objet : [New post] Miss Marple and Mr. Stringer > >WordPress.com

    rinaross posted: “During all these years of researching films featuring an old woman I have  dismissed, ignored Miss Marple. Why? My immediate excuse was that the films had been made for TV and I had confined my studies to feature films.  I was sloppy in my research and “

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