The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side was a television film made by BBC television in 1992 as the 12th episode of their Miss Marple TV series, with Joan Hickson in the title role and also starring Claire Bloom as Marina Gregg and Glynis Barber as Lola Brewster. The episode was the last in the series and was an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name. It was directed by Norman Stone with dramatisation by T.R. Bowen (who also plays the part of Raymond West) and was first broadcast on 27 December 1992.

Synopsis

Except for a few changes to characters and some minor plot details, this adaptation is highly faithful to the original novel which concerns the death of a woman guest at Gossington Hall during a village fete hosted by the movie celebrity Marina Gregg who had purchased the mansion.

Comparison with Original Story

(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)

This adaptation is very faithful to the original novel except for the elimination of a for a few characters and a few small changes.

  • The investigating policemen are changed. Cornish and Tiddler do not appear. Recurrent characters Slack, Lake and Craddock are brought in.
  • Heather and Arthur Badcock met Marina Gregg in Jersey and not Bermuda.
  • In the original, Heather Badcock was poisoned with "Calmo" adminstered in a diaquiri. In this adaptation it is a barbiturate.
  • Guiseppe is not murdered in the course of the plot.
  • In the original, Miss Marple learnt that Heather Badcock had german measles by calling the vicar. In this adaptation, Cherry calls the gramophones that her husband listens to as "that German music". This gives Miss Marple an idea and she calls on Arthur Badcock and helps him remember what illness she had while in Jersey. He finally remembered it as "rubella", another name for german measles.
  • In this adaptation, Miss Marple did not look at the painting of the madonna with child and get an insight from it, although there is indeed such painting facing the upstairs landing at Gossington Hall. When looking at Margot Bence's photo of Marina with the "Lady of Shalott" look, Miss Marple concludes that she must have seen something or somebody but this painting is not referred to nor is it ever suggested that this painting is what Marina must have seen.
  • Ella Zielinsky had hayfever in the original and Ardwyck Fenn was able to recognise her on the phone from her sneezing. In this adaptation, Lola Brewster was able to recognise her on the phone but does not explain how. In the original prussic acid was placed in her atomiser which she used for her hayfever. Here she has asthma and someone put something in her inhaler.
  • In the original Miss Marple sent Gladys Dixon away to Eastbourne for her safety because she had revealed what she had seen to Guiseppe. Giuseppe used this for blackmail had been killed. In this adaptation, Gladys does not tell Guiseppe. She reports what she saw to Cherry and then Miss Marple and this comes near the end and helps her solve the case.

Cast

Filming locations

  • Somerley Estate, Hampshire - Gossington Hall
  • East Lodge, Amport House, Hampshire - Gossington Hall Lodge
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