The Mirror Crack’d (1980)

GUY HAMILTON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.5

United Kingdom, 1980.  G.W. Films, .  Screenplay by , , based on the novel The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by .  Cinematography by Christopher Challis.  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Critics have often been unkind to this workmanlike adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mystery, but I think it’s a fun diversion that is pepped up by its cast of Hollywood stars. Marple’s tiny little hamlet of a town is thrown into a tizzy when it is announced that a Hollywood movie about Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots will be filmed among them, with two fantastic, aging movie queens (Elizabeth Taylor and ) playing the leads. It is not long after the ladies come to town that a murder is attempted on Taylor that accidentally kills a local woman attending a reception for the movie stars. Taylor is terrified of whomever it is that is trying to bump her off, but this isn’t nearly as dramatic a confrontation as the ones she enjoys with bitter rival Novak. These two superstars have a whole lot of fun playing off each other, while Angela Lansbury does a terrific turn as the nosy Miss Marple, who always gets her man in the end. Tony Curtis,  and Rock Hudson co-star in a film that may not be all that polished but is certainly entertaining, with Taylor doing an especially good job of lighting up the screen (watch the sudden change of expression on her face when she delivers her “someone is trying to kill me” monologue, it’s terrific).

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