Saturday, 27 August 2011

Spotlight on a Character Actress: Margaret Rutherford

Having recently watched all of the Miss Marple films from the 1960s in quick succession, I thought that it was time to give Margaret Rutherford a little credit, being an actress who doesn't often get that much publicity on blogs. Enjoy!

Margaret Rutherford (1892-1972)

Margaret Taylor Rutherford was an english character actress who appeared in classics such as The V.I.PsBlithe Spirit (one of my favourites), and the Miss Marple series. Due to her physical appearance and interesting mouth acrobatics that she did while speaking, she was restricted to only comedic and/or slightly insane parts. But she was well received and became known for her talent as an actress and she ended up in Noel Coward's own production on the stage of his play, "Blithe Spirit". Her success as the "psychic around the corner in a little country village" led to her recreating the role for the film adaptation of the play starring Rex Harrison. She was loved by audiences everywhere and the rest, as they say, is history.

I always have loved Margaret Rutherford in the Miss Marple murder mystery films and Blithe Spirit and The V.I.P.s. After only reading about her, she sounds a bit strange, but when you watch her you understand that her looks and strange facial expressions are all part of her style on screen.

Best Films To Start With:
  1. Murder She Said
  2. The V.I.Ps
  3. Blithe Spirit


Sarah said...

Margaret Rutherford did a wonderful Miss Marple, didnt she? Proper bolshy, 'dont mess with me' tough as old boots Miss Marple - brilliant to see. And her role in Blithe Spirit is hysterical. Great actress!

DorianTB said...

Bette, I very much enjoyed your blog post about the great Margaret Rutherford, as she's been one of my own favorites since I was a little movie-happy kid in The Bronx! Admittedly, I first began liking Rutherford because she reminded me of a British version of my dear Grandma Josie, but once I fell in love with her Miss Marple movies, I was a Rutherford fan for life. Great post!

R. D. Finch said...

Bette, a lovely post on a hugely entertaining actress. Her Miss Marple is more Margaret Rutherford than Agatha Christie, but I have no complaints, as that's good enough for me. My favorite of her Miss Marple movies is "Murder Most Foul," the one with Ron Moody about the acting company. If you haven't seen her yet in "Passport to Pimlico," "The Importance of Being Earnest," or "The Mouse on the Moon," you must watch these soon. Her parts are small, but she leaves a big impression!

Anita said...

Hallo Bette,
A lovely blog post indeed. I'm begging you as a clear Margaret Rutherford afficionado to tell me in which of the Miss Marple films she is sitting talking to somebody on a bench in Pinner Memorial Park. In the film it's just as it was when I was a child with the aviary in the background. Do you know? Please put me out of my misery!

Bette said...

Hey there Anita! I hope you get this because you haven't left any way for me to contact you! I'm pretty sure that you mean Murder Most Foul. It's one of my favourite Ms Marples! It's the one where she joins a theatre company to find a murderer she thinks lingers there... It's great! I'm not really an expert lol but I am a little obsessed. Thanks for the compliment!

Anita said...

Thanks Bette. I'll happily go ahead and buy that for a Pinner friend of mine who loves the park too!

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