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When Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherford) is introduced as the new
member of a Royal Navy Trust, it takes a mere 5 minutes before a murder
occurs, & as usual chief inspector Craddock (Charles 'Bud' Tingwell)
does not believe Miss Marple's wild theories, having her take up her own
investigations once again, that soon lead her to a stay at the school
ship HMS Battledore, where of course everyone - & most of all
eccentric captain Rhumstone (Lionel Jeffries) - seems suspicious. &
when she at night while trying to communicate with her trusted friend Mr
Stringer (Stringer Davis) via lightsignals catches a message for someone
else, she uncovers an outrageous plot of break-ins done by some of the
ship's students & personnel. However, this turns out to have nothing
to do with the murder she investigates since the people involved in the
thefts get killed off too, & the prime suspect is ... Mr Stringer.
Miss Marple, knowing of course of the innocence of her friend,
decides to have him under suspicion a little longer to set a trap
for the real killer - who is ... commander Breeze-Connington (William
Mervyn), an old seaman who was years ago laid off by the Navy but in his
eyes should be an admiral by now - so he embezzled quite a sum of money
to make up for his relatively low rank & to enjoy his pension in
style (he did, however, appear only very little during the movie's
runtime). The trap Miss Marple has set seems to fail when inspector
Craddock gets locked ion below deck & Miss Marple has to fence it
out with the commander, but in the end Mister Stringer saves her just in
The fourth of the Miss Marple-movies starring
Margaret Rutherford is not actually based on any Agatha Christie-novel
(which is just as well, since the other adaptations had only a slight
resemblance with the books they were based on anyways), & it does
not work all that well as a whodunit, with a much too convoluted plot,
way too many characters (resulting in the fact that the actual culprit
did not have all that much of an impact on the story prior to his
discovery), & a solution that could be called at best co-incidental.
The movie is however enjoyable as a pure comedy, with Margaret
Rutherford's Miss Marple, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell's inspector, Lionel
Jeffries' captain & Nicholas Parsons' police doctor continuously
trying to outham each other with great relish, with most of their scenes
making one forget the rather weak script anyways.