EMI’s third Agatha Christie mystery [from her novel The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side] is a nostalgic throwback to the genteel British murder mystery pix of the 1950s.
Though Angela Lansbury is top-billed in the role of Christie’s famed sleuth Jane Marple, the central part really is Elizabeth Taylor’s. Taylor comes away with her most genuinely affecting dramatic performance in years as a film star attempting a comeback following an extended nervous breakdown.
The Taylor character and those close to her have been haunted by the memory of an apparently accidental catastrophe which proves to have been caused by one of the minor characters.
Taylor has an uproarious good time as she trades bitchy insults with Kim Novak. Adroit supporting performances are given by Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson as Taylor’s husband and director, and Geraldine Chaplin.