In many ways, the comedy-mystery film is absurd, but how much of See How They Run is based on a real event. The 1950s-era film See How They Run appears to be quite conscious of the cliches it is playing on. Even yet, some of these aspects have their roots in detective fiction, while others have significantly more ancient antecedents.
A struggling American film producer who is in London from Hollywood leads the charge in See How They Run in an effort to turn a well-known play into a movie. People involved in the production start dying as expected for a murder mystery, prompting the hiring of a detective. Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell, Jojo Rabbit) and Police Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan, Little Women) head the inquiry as shenanigans and farce take place.
See How They Run’s trailer makes it apparent that the film prominently references authors like Agatha Christie in a manner that straddles homage and parody. The movie is attempting to tie in some more blatant references to parodies of real-world events and mystery writers. Here is a list of the sources for See How They Run as well as an explanation of the real-life incident.
What Play Is Being Performed In See How They Run
The title of the play being produced appears to have been purposefully left out of the See How They Run promos and pre-release materials. Strangely, the play is not mentioned on any of the movie’s billboards or posters, which all state that the film is a “Petula Spencer Production” and “Starring Richard Attenborough.” However, some investigation reveals that the play in question is none other than The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie.
The murder mystery by the Queen of Crime was initially presented in October 1952 at the Theater Royal in Nottingham before moving on to the West End at London’s Ambassadors Theater in November of that same year. The play is plainly being played at the Ambassadors Theater in the trailer for See How They Run, and the performance’s title also alludes to The Mousetrap. The lyric is sung by Mollie Ralston’s character at one point in the original play’s performance of the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice.
Although the reason See How They Run is coy about the play’s title is unclear, it’s likely that there was a copyright conflict or that they simply did not want to be perceived as merely staging the play. The most well-known murder mystery theatre production of the twentieth (and twenty-first) centuries is The Mousetrap. W ith continuous performances from its inception in 1952 until a brief interruption in 2020, it retains the record for the longest-running West End production in history. It took a worldwide epidemic to put an end to the production. Productions resumed in 2021, and as of 2018, more than 27,500 performances had taken place in the West End.
See How They Run’s Richard Attenborough Role Explained
The fact that The Mousetrap in See How They Run is credited as “Starring Richard Attenborough” and that he plays Detective Sergeant Trotter is a noteworthy inclusion on the posters. As the character is from the play and was in fact created on stage by Richard Attenborough, this is still another indicator that the play is The Mousetrap (perhaps most widely known for his role as John Hammond in Jurassic Park and brother to renowned nature presenter David Attenborough). It might be questioned whether See How They Run is based on a factual story given the precise timeframe and location for the filming of The Mousetrap along with the usage of Richard Attenborough as a character.
The majority of See How They Run is based on a fictional story. While Pearl Chanda plays Mollie Ralston in the movie, Richard Attenborough originally portrayed Detective Sergeant Trotter and Sheila Sim originally played Mollie Ralston in 1952, respectively, the plot of the production is made up. While the inclusion of a murder mystery in Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap may have looked lyrical, the plot was actually created to capitalise on the meta-narratives at play.
The True Story Behind Sam Rockwell’s Inspector Stoppard
Saoirse Ronan portrays Constable Stalker, and Sam Rockwell plays Inspector Stoppard.
Ultimately, See How They Run parodies the genre and its cliches by using the real account of The Mousetrap’s early production. Even within that, though, See How They Run gives a humorous homage to actual history. Inspector Stoppard, played by Sam Rockwell in the film See How They Run, seems to be named after the well-known parody author Tom Stoppard. The Real Inspector Hound, a work that was a parody of The Mousetrap itself, was written by the real-life Tom Stoppard, who is most known for his work on the screenplay for Shakespeare in Love and the Hamlet spoof Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Despite not being based on a factual story, See How They Run is a very self-aware literary satire that seizes any chance to pause and make connections to the real world.
On September 9, See How They Run opens in theatres in the UK. On September 16, it does the same in the US.
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