Version: 2013; starring Julia McKenzie, Tom Hughes
Plot Summary: Mike Rogers, an edgy young man who works odd jobs, falls in love with an acreage of land known as Gypsy’s Acre on the outskirts of a quiet village. He also falls in love with a cute young American heiress and together they build their lives as they build their dream house. But the local gypsy fortune teller insists they are doomed for owning such a cursed place, and she seems to be right. Strange things are happening and someone doesn’t want them there.
My Movie Review: This newest film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Endless Night was made as a Miss Marple mystery, but the original story is one of Christie’s standalone novels (meaning, without a central detective figure). I read the book several years ago and didn’t particularly like it, but decided to try the movie.
This still isn’t one of my favorite Christie mysteries, but I have to say that the quality of this movie was pretty well done. The acting (esp. by Tom Hughes) was very good, the characters believable, and the atmosphere edgy and spooky. The props are interesting, evoking mid-century furniture and design. I have seen an earlier version starring Hayley Mills, but I much prefer this updated one.
However, one must be forewarned (if you haven’t read the book), that the story does involve some sexual content. The movie is not exempt from this and adds more of it in. There is a little foul language, but not a whole lot. Thankfully we are spared from watching gore.
I believe there were some liberties taken with the story (parts were added that I didn’t remember being in the book), but not too drastically. The addition of Miss Marple was the biggest change to the plot, and she felt a little misplaced. She seemed pushed into the story where she didn’t originally fit and I think the movie suffered from the interruption. I wish they’d left it as a standalone mystery, the same way I wish they’d left Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? without Miss Marple as well.
It’s hard to say whether or not I recommend this movie. It definitely has elements that make it a non-family film, but if one was looking to watch it after they’d read the book (and could get over the addition of Miss Marple), they’d like this version.