Review Date: January 17, 2001
Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: 2/13/2001
Region 1, NTSC
Widescreen 1.85:1 | 16x9: Yes
Movie director Jason Rudd (Rock Hudson) and his wife Marina (Elizabeth Taylor) - a famous actress recovering from a mental breakdown - are planning on reviving both of their careers by making a movie together. There's one catch though - the producer of the movie insists that his wife, Lola Brewster (Kim Novak) - Marina's rival both on and off the screen - will co-star. Jason is furious at the idea, but ultimately has no choice, he must go along with it.
Jason and Marina throw a party to celebrate the announcement of their movie and get some publicity for it. Many guests attend, including Lola, who is obsessed with destroying whatever chance Marina has of reviving her career. Also amongst the guests is Heather Babcock (Maureen Bennett), a big fan of Marina that met her years ago. Heather is re-introduced to Marina and begins talking to her, explaining how they met years ago. Marina is bored by the conversation and her eyes soon begin drifting. Suddenly, Marina facial expression changes to one of shock as she stares at a painting on the wall. When she snaps out of the gaze, Marina tells Heather what a nice story that is and orders two of Jason's daiquiris for them. Heather accidentally spills the drink on Marina, who give her own drink to Heather while she goes to clean up. Before Marina returns, Heather drops dead, a result of poison in her drink. A drink that intended for Marina.
Inspector Craddock (Edward Fox) from Scottland Yard is called in to investigate. Craddock enlists his Aunt Jane Marple (Angela Lansbury), a local resident and a detective in her own right, to help him solve the mystery. It's agreed upon that someone was trying to poison Marina, and that Heather fell victim to an unfortunate twist of fate. Since the murderer failed in their initial goal, they presume that Marina is still in great danger of being murdered. With vague eyewitness reports and few clues, Craddock and Jane must uncover the murderer before it's too late.
I found The Mirror Crack'd to be a poor attempt at a murder/mystery movie. There are some great actors here - Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra), Kim Novak (Vertigo) and Angela Lansbury (Murder She Wrote), to name a few. Their performances are decent enough, but it doesn't help save the movie. For a murder/mystery I found it to be boring and drawn out, with literally no suspense or tension in any of the scenes - something I crave for, especially in this type of movie. The mystery aspect of it was decent - I wasn't able to guess who the killer was up until the last 20 minutes, which is good in a way, but if you're not enjoying the story who really cares?
I haven't seen many murder mysteries, and I admit this is my first time seeing an Agatha Christie one. So far I'm not impressed. Lets hope some of the other Agatha Christie DVDs from Anchor Bay have better stories.
The Mirror Crack'd is presented in an anamorphic widescreen transfer in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The image is extremely sharp, with maybe one or two scenes appearing just a bit soft. Several scenes have visible mpeg artifacts in the background, and there is some mild grain that appears as well. Nothing major and it certainly doesn't become a distraction. Colors are a bit pale and faded - no doubt a result of the source material, not the DVD. Overall a great job done by Anchor Bay. I'm rating it a B+.
The sound is in English Dolby Digital Mono. For a mono track it's great - dialogue and sound are both clear and free of any distortion.
Standard stuff here - theatrical trailer (widescreen, 16x9 enhanced), TV spots, and talent bios.
Anchor Bay did a great job on the DVD, which boasts excellent sound and video, and includes a few standard extras. Unfortunately, the story itself is long and drawn out, resulting in a movie that wasn't very enjoyable for me. I do enjoy murder mysteries but I found this one a bit of a bore. Still, if you're an Agatha Christie fan you may want to check this one out.
Movie - C-
Image Quality - B+
Sound - B+
Supplements - C
- Running time - 1 hour 45 minutes
- Rated PG
- 1 Disc
- Chapter stops
- Dolby Digital Mono
- Theatrical Trailer (Widescreen | 16x9 enhanced)
- TV Spots
- Talent Bios