The Mirror Crack’d – Part 2

 

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“Times change. That is a thing which has to be accepted.”

– Miss Marple, The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side

 

Last week I talked about women and aging. This week I’d like to take a look at the characters in this wonderful and insightful book. The main characters of our story are Jane Marple, of course, the fading Hollywood actress Marina Gregg, Chief Inspector Craddock, and the tragic Heather Badcock.

When I read a book, I cast every part as if it were going to be a movie. I have watched many episodes of Miss Marple on Mystery, and though I’ve enjoyed the story lines, I feel they’ve never quite chosen the correct actress for the part of Jane Marple. In the 1980 film version of The Mirror Crack’d it is Angela Lansbury who tries on the role. I love Angela Lansbury, but must tell you she was my least favorite Miss Marple. She came off as much too stern and not anyone I’d want to spend time with.

The entire movie seemed miscast. In an attempt to get some big names they lost sight of the characters. An interesting fact is that Rock Hudson is cast as the handsome husband of the actress Marina Gregg [in the book it is noted more than once how ugly he is] and Rock Hudson was born in 1925, the same year as Angela Lansbury.  So at the age of 55 Miss Lansbury was portraying an elderly spinster while Mr. Hudson was still a dashing leading man.

Elizabeth Taylor plays the part of Marina Gregg and Kim Novak as her rival Lola Brewster. The acing was over the top and lost any of the meaning the book held. It reminded me of the show Dynasty.

I have thought long and hard over which actress might do justice to the multi dimensional character of Jane Marple and I believe Helen Mirren would be fabulous. She’s an older woman who would be easily mistaken as frail, but is strong and intelligent. I think she could portray this character the way Christie envisioned her.

In my movie Jennifer Aniston is Marina Gregg with Tommy Lee Jones as her older, less attractive, director husband and the beautiful, younger Kat Graham as her rival Lola Brewster. How wonderful would it be if the film stayed true to the book?

Carey Mulligan as the ill-fated Heather Badcock and Benedict Cumberbatch as her husband Arthur.  Julie Andrews would be the perfect Dolly Bantry, Jane’s best friend. And who better than Emma Thompson as the overbearing Miss Knight? I would love to see Eddie Redmayne reunited with Felicity Jones as Miss Marple’s housekeeper Cherry and her husband Jim. The best part would be Matthew Goode as D I Craddock. I watch everything he’s in!

In 2010 another version was made with Julia McKenzie as Miss Marple. I haven’t seen this one yet, though I’m interested to discover if they are more loyal to Christie’s story.

If you have read this book, who would be in your movie? Who do you see as the perfect Miss Marple? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Let me know what you’re reading. It doesn’t have to be a Christie book. Who are you casting as the characters in your book?

Next week we’ll take a look at A Caribbean Mystery. I hope you will join me then.

One Comment to “The Mirror Crack’d – Part 2”

  1. I haven’t read the book, but it sounds like you would make an excellent casting director. I especially like the idea of Helen Mirren from what you describe of the MC. She is excellent.
    Once you have read a book, especially one you really enjoyed, and you have an idea/image of the characters, it certainly can be disappointing to see the “wrong” person playing that part.

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