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>
At one point, Lola Brewster refers to having "Alexander" brought in to do her hair. Elizabeth Taylor, playing Lola's rival Marina Rudd, had her hair done for the film by Alexandre (Alexandre de Paris). See more »
When Jason Rudd is trying to find a pulse on a victim's neck, their eyes move although they are supposed to be dead. See more »
Oh, Mr. Rudd. I understand that you are a fillum producer.
Oh, no, sir. A director.
Is there any difference?
Yes, sir. The, uh, producer supplies all the money; the director spends it. Then the producer yells that the director is spending too much money; the director doesn't pay any attention, and goes right on spending. The director gets all the credit; the producer gets an ulcer. You see, it's all very simple; excuse me.
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I have only bought 3 movies in my life, and this is one of them (the other two were: "Victor/Victoria" and "The Emerald Forest".
In another very memorable movie, "Misery", the Kathy Bates character goes into a tirade about how some of the Saturday serials she saw as a kid "didn't play fair with the audience". In contrast, "The Mirror Crack'd" respects the audience's intelligence. When you find out the reason for the murder in this movie, and who did it, the explanation makes perfect sense. Too many other mystery movies seem to revel in keeping the audience in the dark the whole time, and then "pull a fast one" when it comes time to reveal who did the murder and why. "The Mirror Crack'd" is far too cleverly written to ever be guilty of this.
Elizabeth Taylor plays an American actress desperately attempting a comeback after a personal tragedy not only devastated her career but her life as well. Rock Hudson plays her husband, who will be directing her big comeback movie.
Kim Novak is her bitter arch rival. Among other great lines of dialogue, one jab at Taylor is particularly scathing. In a rivalry reminiscent of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, Kim Novak tries to publicly humiliate Taylor's character by saying, "Darling, not only have you kept your beautiful figure, but you've added so much to it" (I hope I'm remembering that line correctly)
Ms. Taylor gives a remarkable performance here. Her character is emotionally brittle, and just like watercolor paints blend together in odd and interesting combinations when mixed with water, her emotions seamlessly and fluidly change from one second to the next. Taylor's performance is perfectly in synch with the tone of this movie.
Chicago Tribune movie critic, Roger Ebert, once began a movie review by saying, "I hated this movie. I hated everything about this movie". I would like to end my movie review by saying, "I loved this movie. I loved everything about this movie".
Addendum, February 11, 2007 I am staying at the beautiful Hotel Marrols in Bratislava (Slovakia), and can you believe that The Mirror Crack'd is one of the 61 movies they offer? What am amazing coincidence!
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