Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Mirror Crack'd (1980) "El espejo roto"

Director: Guy Hamilton
Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Geraldine Chaplin, Kim Novak, Tony Curtis, Edward Fox, Richard Pearson, Pierce Brosnan


Highly underrated, this low-key little whodunit manages to bring together two unlikely genres, the English village murder mystery and the catty Hollywood self-satire. While who did do it is not that surprising, the reason why is clever and touching. (Interestingly, the central plot is loosely based on the real-life tragedy that befell Gene Tierney, star of the legendary film noir "Laura.")  The cast of 50's Hollywood icons give very good performances, though, sadly, for most it represents the last really good parts they have had. Hudson is especially good in a bittersweet role. Lansbury is crisp and efficient as Miss Marple and could have made a series of these films had she not found meatier material as another mistress of murder on "Murder, She Wrote."  Indeed, though I adore Margaret Rutherford, I think Lansbury does better by the role of Miss Marple. This is not a great mystery movie, but works very well as light entertainment and as a last hurrah for several fine actors.


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