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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > British Telefilm > TV > Agatha Christie's The Pale Horse (Telefilm)

Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse


Picture: C      Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Telefilm: C+



Agatha Christie wrote books into the mid-1970s, but the work is not always as celebrated or discussed since everyone wants to think of her as a figure of Classical England and a pre-World War II figure in particular.  While Alfred Hitchcock managed to exceed the placement of his early success, The Queen Of Crime is too often thought of as the big mystery figure after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allen Poe.  The Pale Horse is a 1997 TV movie of a book she wrote in 1961.  It is one of those books on occasion to tease the audience with the supernatural, but like the original TV series The Avengers the same decade, it hides something more realistic and sinister despite a convincing façade.


The book is one fans and critics either loved or though failed, but we have to stick with the telefilm and despite some ambition in its production, it is not that great.  This is in part because so many films and TV shows have done the scenario better since.  Jean Marsh has a supporting role, but most of the cast consists of competent unknowns who make the telefilm interesting.  The film is set in the later 1960s, which is an odd choice, as if the land in the difference between doing it in 1961 versus now.  Even when it does not succeed, it is an interesting chapter in recent Christie adaptations to the small screen.


The 1.33 X 1 image is softer than a recent production should be, with some detail limits and depth issues.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is more like it, with Pro Logic surrounds that produce the kind of simple sound field one wants for a mystery story.  Extras include weblink, filmographies, text on Christie and cast and crew text.  It is worth a look for Christie diehards.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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