The year is 1953. The small English village of St. Mary Mead, home to Miss Jane Marple (Dame Angela Lansbury), 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 (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) and Lola Brewster (Kim Novak). Marina arrives with her husband, Jason (Rock Hudson), 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 (Maureen Bennett), 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, Chief Inspector Dermot Craddock (Edward Fox) isn't sure, so he asks Miss Jane Marple, his aunt, to investigate.Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
This movie was released eighteen years after Dame Agatha Christie's source novel was published. The title was abbreviated from the novel's "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side", though some later editions of the novel have been published with the shorter title. See more »
There are people in front of the vicar's movie projector but they cast no shadows onto the screen while the projector is on. The screen is in fact backlit. See more »
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
20 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this