Agatha (Warner 1979, Vanessa Redgrave, Dustin Hoffman)

Agatha (Warner 1979, Vanessa Redgrave, Dustin Hoffman)

Agatha Christie, one of the world’s most popular writers of detective fiction, utterly disappeared for 11 days in 1926. She was later discovered at Hydro Harrowgate, a spa in Yorkshire, England.

More than 15,000 persons searched high and low for the novelist who allegedly ran away after her husband Archibald told her he was leaving her for his secretary. Upon her return, Christie stated that she remembered nothing, such was the shock of her matrimonial break. That is the only story known.

AGATHA is “an imaginary solution to an authentic mystery,” speculating on what happened to Christie during the 11 days she was missing. More than succeeding as a mystery, the film works as a romance between Christie (Redgrave) and American reporter Wally Stanton (Hoffman) who is searching for her.

Timothy Dalton, who would in 1987 find fame as James Bond in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, plays Christie’s adulterous husband. Thanks to production designer Shirley Russell and cameraman Vittorio Storaro, post-WWI Britain is beautifully recreated.

The New Yorker was not quite convinced though saying “It has a general air of knowingness, but seems to be missing the scenes which would explain why it was made.”

crew details

  • Writers: Kathleen Tynan, Arthur Hopcraft (based on a story by Kathleen Tynan)
    Music: Johnny Mandel
    Cinematography: Vittorio Storaro
    Producers: Jarvis Astaire, Gavrik Losey
    Director: Michael Apted

production info

  • Year of Release: 1979
  • Country: UK | Warner – First Artists – Sweetall
  • Language: English
  • Runtime: 105 minutes

Dustin Hoffman

Wally Stanton

Vanessa Redgrave

Agatha Christie

Timothy Dalton

Col. Archibald Christie

Helen Morse

Evelyn Crawley

Celia Gregory

Nancy Neele

Paul Brooke

John Foster

Carolyn Pickles

Charlotte Fisher

Timothy West


Tony Britton

William Collins

Alan Badel

Lord Brackenbury

Robert Longden


Donald Nithsdale

Uncle Jones

Yvonne Gilan

Mrs. Braithwaite

Sandra Voe


Barry Hart

Supt. MacDonald