"A Pocket Full of Rye" is one of three Christie mysteries based on "Sing a Song of Sixpence;" the others are the short stories "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" and "Sing a Song of Sixpence," contained in the collections "Three Blind Mice" and "The Witness For the Prosecution," respectively. The nursery rhyme describes, in coded language, the modus operandi of a feared pirate known as Blackbeard, terror of the high seas between 1716 and 1718, who lured men into his services by promises of lavish pay and rations of rum ("sixpence" and "rye"), and often approached merchant ships under cover of friendly colors, only to have his concealed crewmen ("blackbirds in a pie") emerge at the last moment and assault the other ship, which more often than not resulted in rich takings ("a dainty dish") for Blackbeard ("the king") and his men:
Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing.
Now wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
In Christie's mystery, it is the murderer himself who uses the nursery rhyme to play his ghastly game with the Fortescue family.Read more ›
Every once in a while, an actor comes along who not only plays the role of Sherlock Holmes, but actually redefines the role. Well, this has now happened with Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple! In 1984, veteran actress Joan Hickson (1906-98) was tapped to play Miss Marple, and the rest, as they say, is history.
This is a great tape, and a great small-screen adaptation of Agatha Christie's excellent book. If you are a fan of great mysteries, then this is for you. Heck, even if you just like high-quality British drama, then you will love this movie. I love this movie, and give it my highest recommendations!