Angela Lansbury does the honors as Agatha Christie's determined sleuth, Miss Marple, in this adaptation of Christie's novel. A washed-up movie star (Elizabeth Taylor) is attempting to make a comeback but is driven to distraction by a mysterious event from her past. Also problematic for Taylor's struggling actress is a series of murders occurring with clockwork regularity in the quiet, 1950s English village where a film is being produced--killings that are all somehow connected to her. Despite the British backdrop, most of the suspects, including Rock Hudson, Kim Novak, and Tony Curtis, are American in this 1980 feature directed by Guy Hamilton (Evil Under the Sun). (At least Miss Marple's nephew, the redoubtable Inspector Craddock, is played by Edward Fox.) The bad news: this is a curiously flat, monotonous film, with a mystery hook that, sad to say, is among Christie's more familiar and predictable. Hamilton doesn't demand much of his largely ornamental cast, and they don't volunteer much to fill the void. Still, fans of Miss Marple and Christie, especially those with a burning hunger to see every film or television program based on the books, will want to check it out. This DVD edition is presented in the film's original widescreen format, and it includes television spots that were part of the film's marketing at the time of its theatrical release. --Tom Keogh
Oh, Mr. Rudd. I understand that you are a fillum producer.
Oh, no, sir. A director.
Is there any difference?
Yes, sir. The, uh, producer supplies all the money; the director spends it. Then the producer yells that the director is spending too much money; the director doesn't pay any attention, and goes right on spending. The director gets all the credit; the producer gets an ulcer. You see, it's all very simple; excuse me.
You seem lovely, as always. Of course, there are fewer lights on than usual. In fact, any fewer, and I'd need a seeing-eye dog.
Oh, I shouldn't bother to buy one, dear. In that wig, you could play Lassie.
Same adorable sense of humor. And I'm so glad to see that you've not only kept your GORGEOUS figure, but you've added SO MUCH to it!
What are you doing here so early, dear? I thought the plastic surgery seminar was in Switzerland.
Actually, darling, I couldn't wait to begin our little movie. You know the saying: once an actress, always an actress.
Oh, I do know the saying. But what does it have to do with you?
Cute angel. So do tell. How does it feel to be back, after being away SO LONG?