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.