Agatha is a 1979 drama thriller film directed by Michael Apted, starring Vanessa Redgrave, Dustin Hoffman and Timothy Dalton, and written by Kathleen Tynan. The film focuses on renowned crime writer Agatha Christie, offering a theory as to her still unsolved 12-day disappearance in 1926.
When her husband Archibald "Archie" Christie (Timothy Dalton) confronts her with his affair and demands a divorce, crime writer Agatha Christie (Vanessa Redgrave) tells him that she fears for her life and promptly vanishes. She signs into a Harrogate hotel under the name of a relative of Archie’s lover and, as the country flies into a frenzy of rumour regarding her disappearance, secretly plans a dark revenge against him that can only be averted by Wally Stanton (Dustin Hoffman), an ambitious American journalist who falls in love with her.
- Vanessa Redgrave as Agatha Christie
- Dustin Hoffman as Wally Stanton
- Timothy Dalton as Archibald "Archie" Christie
Kathleen Tynan began researching the project as a BBC documentary. During her research she told producer David Puttnam about it and he suggested it be turned into a feature film. The Agatha Christie estate opposed the movie and tried to get it stopped.
Agatha was generally very well received by critics, and maintains an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Not all critics liked the movie, however. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two and a half stars out of four and told readers that the relationship between Christie and the American journalist "isn't real. It's never for a moment deeply felt -- it's just deeply acted."