Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
The year is 1953. The small English village of St. Mary Mead, home to Miss Jane Marple, is delighted when a big American movie company arrives to make a movie telling of the relationship between Jane Grey and Elisabeth I, starring the famous actresses Marina Rudd and Lola Brewster. Marina arrives with her husband, Jason, and when she discovers that Lola is going to be in the movie with her she hits the roof as Lola and Marina loathe each other on sight. Marina has been getting death threats and at a party at the manor house, Heather Babcock, after boring Marina with a long story, drinks a cocktail made for Marina and dies from poisoning. Everybody believes that Marina is the target but the police officer investigating the case, Inspector Craddock isn't sure so he asks Miss Marple, his aunt, to investigate...Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
In one scene, Marina Gregg is looking in the mirror and says the rhyme "bags, bags, go away. Come back again on Doris Day". Rock Hudson who plays Marina's husband, appeared in three films with Doris Day. See more »
The houses in the village have UHF television aerials. In Britain, broadcasting on the UHF band did not begin until the 1960s, when BBC2 started. See more »
Inspector Delbert Craddock:
[speaking of Marina Rudd and Lola Brewster]
I heard the two of them are close. Is that true?
Close? If you put the two of them together in a tank with a shark, the shark would have an identity crisis.
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I liked this version of The Mirror Crack'd, and I am fond of the Joan Hickson version too. The Hickson version, it is true, is more faithful to the book, despite its liberties, but on its own merits this film is pretty good. The main merit is the performance of underrated character actress Angela Lansbury; she is terrific as Miss Marple, and Edward Fox does a great job as Inspector Craddock. The supporting cast are fine in their roles, Elizabeth Taylor overdoes Marina Gregg slightly but she plays with gusto, Rock Hudson is suitably subdued as Jason Rudd, and Kim Novak is delightful as Lola. The dialogues between Taylor and Novak are wonderfully witty, and often verging on hysterically funny. The film is beautifully shot, and the locations and costumes are lovely. The music is stunning too. However, the character of Heather Badcock is changed quite considerably here, and why she was changed to a naive village girl I still find perplexing. The film is overlong and has pacing problems, and the final solution was weak compared to how it could have been. On the whole, it is a movie worth seeing, and as I've said, see it for Angela. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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