Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd (1980)

"Vicar, baby!"
- Marty N. Fenn (Tony Curtis)

Review By: Dale Dobson   
Published: February 22, 2001

Stars: Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson
Other Stars: Tony Curtis, Edward Fox, Geraldine Chaplin, Kim Novak
Director: Guy Hamilton

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: PG for (language, murder)
Run Time: 01h:45m:15s
Release Date: February 27, 2001
UPC: 013131143294
Genre: mystery

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ B+A-A D+

DVD Review

Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd stars Angela Lansbury as Christie's aged but sharp-witted Miss Marple, whose crime-solving instincts are called into service following a murder at the temporary estate of Hollywood star Marina Rudd (Elizabeth Taylor), in England to shoot a movie directed by her husband Jason (Rock Hudson). The traditional rogues' gallery of suspects includes Mr. Rudd's assistant and lover Ella (Geraldine Chaplin), Mrs. Rudd's rival Lola Brewster (Kim Novak), and unscrupulous producer Marty N. Fenn (Tony Curtis).

Guy Hamilton directed this British production for Thorn/EMI, and it hews to the Agatha Christie style for the most part. The language has been roughened up in a few scenes (I don't remember Christie using some of these words in her novels or plays), new "humor" has been added, and the casting trots out a number of well-established Hollywood stars, apparently available at reduced rates in 1980. The overall effect is that of a well-produced TV movie, with decent performances and visible attention to detail, though the 1953 setting doesn't play a big part in the proceedings. A corny black-and-white "drawing-room" opening segment does a nice job of reminding us of the genre's conventions, before the film-within-the-film ends and the equally conventional story proper kicks in.

Agatha Christie's strength was always in her plotting, which I won't go into here for fear of spoiling the story's surprises. Unfortunately, her characters tend to cut strictly to type, and it's difficult for these talented actors to find anything of substance on which to chew. Angela Lansbury does a fine job as the independent, intelligent, morbidly humorous Miss Marple (though one can't help seeing this as an audition for her long-running TV series Murder She Wrote); Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak are given some wonderfully catty lines to hurl at each other; Tony Curtis has a lot of fun as a stereotypical Hollywood producer and Edward Fox is suitably Scotland Yard-ish as Miss Marple's movie-mad nephew, Inspector Craddock. But the overall impact is muted; Christie's plays have always been popular as community theatre fodder, and this all-pro production still seems "amateurish" somehow, especially with such winks and nudges as Rock Hudson's onscreen "take" following a Doris Day joke. While the film is well-structured, it often seems as though everyone got together to make a movie for fun, under the misapprehension it would never be seen by a paying audience (case in point: Ms. Taylor's hideous hat, resembling nothing so much as a shower cap with flowers glued on).

Agatha Christie fans will want to add The Mirror Crack'd to their collections; the story is still recognizably Christie's work, and it's very much a classical murder mystery despite its tendency to go for the laugh on occasion. It's just not as faithful to its source as some other adaptations of the author's novels—more like a strange little Hollywood offshoot of the Christie Canon.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Anchor Bay presents The Mirror Crack'd in its original 1.85:1 widescreen theatrical aspect ratio, with a crisp new anamorphic transfer drawn from a fairly clean source print. The film has an inherently "soft" look in many shots, but color and texture are well-represented by the digital transfer. There's a visibly higher level of "grain dance" during the optically-composited credits sequences, but the film looks just great overall.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The Mirror Crack'd on DVD retains its original theatrical monophonic audio, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 for ProLogic-decoding to the center speaker. Dialogue and John Cameron's jovial, intentionally melodramatic score are captured nicely with competent frequency range, though there's no low-end activity to speak of. A very clean presentation, sounding much better than I had anticipated for a monophonic 1980 release.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 27 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Anchor Bay supports this entry in the studio's Agatha Christie Collection with an ample 27 chapter stops, nicely animated menus, and a few standard supplements:

Theatrical Trailers and TV Spot:

The film's theatrical trailer is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic format, though the print is grainy and the audio noticeably tinny compared to the feature. Also included are "two" TV spots, though I was unable to detect ANY difference between "TV Spot 1" and "TV Spot 2" after several viewings of each; both are 30-second, 1.33:1 television promos, windowboxed in 16:9 anamorphic format. Neither spot is particularly enlightening or surprising, but it's always nice to have the promotional materials for history's sake.

Talent Bios:

Brief biographies and limited one-page filmographies, covering Ms. Lansbury (in her own Miss Marple section) and her co-stars Geraldine Chaplin, Tony Curtis, Edward Fox, Rock Hudson, Kim Novak and Elizabeth Taylor. In keeping with the Christie theme, this section's menus focus on character names, with the actors' names less prominently displayed.

Extras Grade: D+


Final Comments

Fans of traditional murder mysteries will find much to enjoy in Agatha Christie's The Mirror Crack'd, though the production takes liberties with the author's style and doesn't always take itself seriously enough. Anchor Bay's DVD features a superb transfer, and will be a nice addition to any Christie fan's collection.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store