Agatha and the Truth of Murder

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Agatha and the Truth of Murder
Agatha and the Truth of Murder.jpg
Poster
Genre
  • Crime
  • Mystery
Written byTom Dalton
Directed byTerry Loane
Starring
Theme music composerAndrew Simon McAllister
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
Production
Executive producers
  • Emily Dalton
  • Tom Dalton
  • Chamoun Issa
ProducerBrett Wilson
Production locationNorthern Ireland
CinematographyDamien Elliott
Editors
  • Claire Pringle
  • Zsófi Tálas
Running time93 Minutes
Production companyDarlow Smithson Productions
DistributorKew Media
Release
Original networkChannel 5
First shown inUnited Kingdom
Original release
  • 23 December 2018 (2018-12-23)
External links
Channel 5 Website
Production website

Agatha and the Truth of Murder is a 2018 British alternative history drama film about crime writer Agatha Christie becoming embroiled in a real-life murder case during her 11-day disappearance in 1926.[1] Written by Tom Dalton, it depicts Christie investigating the murder of Florence Nightingale's goddaughter (Florence Nightingale Shore) and how her involvement in this case influenced her subsequent writing. The film premiered on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom on 23 December 2018; becoming the network's most popular programme of the holiday season and the second-highest rated fictional programme of the year.[2]

Plot[edit]

The plot uses elements of classic detective novels, and also contains references to Christie's novels, such as The Man in the Brown Suit, the title of which appears as a headline in a newspaper clipping. The murder of Florence Nightingale Shore, and the character of Mabel Rogers, are based on real people and events.[3]

In 1926, Agatha Christie finds herself in a difficult place when her writing is thwarted by predictable plot lines and her unfaithful husband pushes her for a divorce she does not want. As she searches for an alternative creative route to revive her novel development, she is approached by a woman, Mabel Rogers, seeking help in solving the murder of her partner, Florence Nightingale Shore, who had been bludgeoned on a train. Though initially reluctant to facilitate a private investigation, Christie goes undercover while the nation searches for her whereabouts. She soon finds herself taken to a new story with real characters and tangible danger.

Calling herself "Mary Westmacott" (an early Christie pseudonym), she gathers all the suspects in the attack in a country house under the pretext of determining their share of a large inheritance from a fictitious American businessman, with herself as the representative of a law firm and Mabel acting as housekeeper and cook. The suspects include Daphne Miller, a young woman whose nursing career Florence could have ruined if she had lived, Randolph, Florence's cousin who inherited her money, Zaki Hanachi, a French soldier of African ancestry who she helped recover after the war, and who may have been asking her for money, Travis Pickford, a boxer and black marketer who was interviewed by the police, and Mrs. Pamela Rose, the woman Florence was travelling to see. Daphne is accompanied by her abusive father Wade, and Mrs. Rose by her son Franklin. Mabel is able to search the guests' bags, and finds that Wade Miller may have a pistol with him. To try and force a reaction from the others, "Mary" announces after the first interview that Daphne will get the biggest share of the inheritance.

Events take a harrowing turn when Daphne's father is shot dead. Detective Inspector Dicks arrives with a single constable, complaining that he is shorthanded because of the hunt for Agatha Christie, and that because of this he must conduct the investigation at the house instead of the police station. It is quickly discovered that they have been gathered together under false pretenses, and "Mary" changes her story to suit. Mabel is found in possession of the murder weapon and arrested. Dicks reveals to "Mary" that he knows that she is Agatha Christie. He also knows that Daphne shot her father, based on an injury to her hand from the recoil of the automatic pistol. Christie, having found a vital detail in Florence's diary, tells him she knows who attacked Florence, and asks for his help. They spring a trap to get the real killers to admit their involvement. Even after Dicks and others overhear the conversation, the evidence is too thin to convict them, despite there being proof that they wrote a note blackmailing Daphne into planting the gun in Mabel's room. Instead, the others conspire to frame Florence's killers for the murder of Daphne's father.

Inspector Dicks helps Christie set up the cover story for her disappearance and inadvertently helps her get the idea for a new book. She is shown later completing a manuscript which is implied to be "Death on the Nile", though this was published some years later.

Cast[edit]

Closing credits in alphabetical order.

Production[edit]

The script was commissioned at the beginning of June 2018 and the film was greenlit two months later.[citation needed] Filming took place from 2 October to 22 October 2018 in Northern Ireland.[4] Locations included Grey Abbey House in Greyabbey,[5] Royal Belfast Golf Course, and Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.[4] The train scenes were shot at the Downpatrick and County Down Railway,[6] using both Downpatrick station and the Loop Platform, the latter of which was dressed as Polegate Junction.[citation needed]

Agatha and the Truth of Murder was produced by Brett Wilson and directed by Terry Loane, and stars Ruth Bradley in the eponymous role of Agatha Christie.[7] Bradley admitted to feeling pressure playing Christie and used the biography by Laura Thompson (Agatha Christie: An English Mystery, 2007) "like a bible".[8]

Release[edit]

Broadcast[edit]

Agatha and the Truth of Murder premiered in the UK on Channel 5, on 23 December 2018, at 9 pm.[9]

Home media[edit]

The film was released in Canada and the United States as VOD on Netflix on 31 January 2019.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jackson, Lorne (29 December 2018). "TV review: Agatha & the Truth of Murder". The Herald. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  2. ^ Bhavnani, Sanjeev (January 2, 2019). "Channel 5 delivers best ever ABC1 ratings in 2018". Advanced Television. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  3. ^ Cook, Rosemary. The Nightingale Shore Murder. Troubador. ISBN 9781784624040.
  4. ^ a b "The Truth of Murder". Northern Ireland Screen. 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Grey Abbey House: Northern Ireland stately home with starring role in Agatha Christie drama". Belfast Telegraph. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Stars of silver screen roll in to railway for Agatha Christie film". Down Recorder. 19 December 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Agatha & The Truth of Murder". Radio Times. December 2018.
  8. ^ "Ruth Bradley felt 'huge pressure' playing Agatha Christie in new drama". Belfast Telegraph. 22 December 2018.
  9. ^ Munn, Patrick (4 December 2018). "Channel 5 Sets Premiere Date For 'Agatha & The Truth Of Murder'". TV Wise.
  10. ^ "Agatha and the Truth of Murder (2018)". NewOnNetflix.Ca. January 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019. Archived 7 February 2019
  11. ^ "Agatha and the Truth of Murder". New On Netflix–USA–. January 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.

External links[edit]