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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Mirror Crack'd (1980)

Excitement runs through a small English village in 1953 when a famous film actress (Elizabeth Taylor) and her director husband (Rock Hudson) come to make a movie about Mary, Queen of Scots. But when a local woman (Maureen Bennett) is murdered at a reception in the actress's home, it's possible that she was not the intended victim and the intended target is the actress. Certainly, the suspects are plenty. Based on an Agatha Christie novel that's been spiced up a bit with some bawdy humor that you'd never find in Dame Agatha's novels, the film is only moderately interesting. Angela Lansbury as Christie's sleuth Miss Marple (closer to Christie's conception than Margaret Rutherford was) spends most of the film recovering from a sprained foot which leaves her policeman nephew (Edward Fox) to carry on most of the sleuthing. There's a slight unpleasantness in Christie exploiting a tragic incident in the life of a real person (the actress Gene Tierney) for her entertainment but even if you can get past that, it's not one of the better film adaptation of her mysteries. The director Guy Hamilton (GOLDFINGER) needed to provide a sense of immediacy which without, it's rather lackadaisical. The bitch scenes between Taylor and a rival actress (Kim Novak) are amusing and provide some sparks. Also in the cast Tony Curtis, Geraldine Chaplin, Pierce Brosnan, Anthony Steel, Dinah Sheridan, Hildegard Neil and Allan Cuthbertson.

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