The Mirror Crack'd

The Mirror Crack'd

Infobox Film
name = The Mirror Crack'd

image_size =
caption =
director = Guy Hamilton
producer = John Bradbourne
Richard Goodwin
writer = Agatha Christie (novel)
Barry Sandler (screenplay)
narrator =
starring = Angela Lansbury
Elizabeth Taylor
Kim Novak
Rock Hudson
Edward Fox
Geraldine Chaplin
Tony Curtis
music = John Cameron
cinematography = Christopher G. Challis
editing = Richard Marden
distributor = Columbia Pictures
released = December 19, 1980
runtime = 105 min.
country =
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0081163

"The Mirror Crack'd" is a 1980 feature motion picture directed by Guy Hamilton boasting an all-star cast, Angela Lansbury, Geraldine Chaplin, Tony Curtis, Edward Fox, Rock Hudson, Kim Novak, and Elizabeth Taylor, with Wendy Morgan, Maureen Bennett, Charles Gray, and Charles Lloyd Pack.

This crime/mystery/thriller was adapted by Jonathan Hales and Barry Sandler, based on Agatha Christie's Miss Marple novel "The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side" (1962).

Scenes were filmed at Twickenham Film Studios, Twickenham, London, England, and on location in Kent.

1 hour, 45 minutes; widescreen; color


Set in the fictional English village of St. Mary Mead, home of Miss Jane Marple (played by Lansbury), in 1953, a big Hollywood production company arrives to film a costume movie about Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I with two famous movie stars, Marina Rudd (played by Taylor) and Lola Brewster (played by Novak).

The two actresses are old rivals who hate each other. Marina, who is making a much heralded comeback after a prolonged "illness" and retirement, when she, in reality, has had a nervous breakdown, and her husband, Jason Rudd (played by Hudson), who is directing the movie they are making, arrive with their entourage. When she learns that Lola will be in the movie as well, she becomes enraged and vents her anger.

Lola and her husband, Martin N. "Marty" Fenn (played by Curtis), who is producing the movie they are making, then arrive. Excitement runs high in St. Mary Mead, as the locals have been invited to a reception held by the movie company in a manor house, Gossington Hall, to meet the celebrities. Lola and Marina come face to face at the reception and exchange some potent and comical insults, nasty one-liners delivered with considerable flair by Novak and Taylor, as they smile and pose for the cameras. The two square off in a series of hilarious and cleverly written and performed cat-fights throughout the movie.

Marina, however, has been receiving anonymous death threats. After her initial exchange with Lola at the reception, she is cornered by a gushing, devoted fan, Heather Badcock (played by Bennett), who bores her with a long and detailed story about having actually met Marina in person during the war. After recounting the meeting they had all those years ago, when she arose from her sickbed to go and meet the glamorous star, Badcock drinks a cocktail that was made for Marina and drops dead from poisoning.

The incident is unfortunate for Marina's mental state, and she is beside herself. Everyone is certain she was the intended murder victim. Once filming begins on the movie, she discovers that apart from threatening notes made up of newspaper clippings, her cup of coffee on the set has also been spiked with poison, sending her into fits of terror.

The police detective from Scotland Yard investigating the case, Inspector Delbert Craddock (played by Fox), is baffled as he tries to uncover who is behind the attempt on the life of the actress and the subsequent murder of the innocent woman. The suspects pile up. Is it Ella Zielinsky (played by Chaplin), Jason's production assistant who is secretly having an affair with him and would like Marina out of the way? Or, is it the hotheaded actress Lola Brewster?

Inspector Craddock asks his aunt, the renowned amateur detective Miss Jane Marple, who injured her foot at the reception and is confined to her home, for assistance. The main suspect, Zielinsky, is then killed by a lethal nose spray after going to a pay phone in the village, where she called the murderer and threatened to expose them. Miss Marple, now back on her feet, visits Gossington Hall, where Marina and Jason are staying, and views where Babcock's death occurred. Working from information received from her cleaning woman, Cherry Baker (played by Morgan), who was working as a waitress the day of the murder, the determined elderly sleuth begins to piece together the events of the fatal reception and solves the mystery. By the time she has collected all the evidence to indicate who committed the crime, however, another death occurs at Gossington Hall, which sadly closes the case on who the murderer in St. Mary Mead actually is: Marina Rudd.

Origin of the Title

The title is part of a line from "The Lady of Shalott" by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892). To those who know the poem, it conveys the idea of a vision which once seen, must inevitably lead to tragedy:

:Out flew the web and floated wide--:The mirror crack'd from side to side;:"The curse is come upon me," cried:The Lady of Shalott.

ee also

*"The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side" (novel)
*"The Mirror Crack'd" (TV movie)

External links

*imdb title|id=0081163|title=The Mirror Crack'd

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