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In a career that started in silent film in 1917 and ended in the mid-1980s with her splendid take on Miss Marple in this collection, Helen Hayes was inspirational to the end. Her performances in these made-for-television mysteries are absolutely spot-on as Agatha Christie's fearless genteel lady sleuth. This collection features three rollicking tales, Murder Is Easy costarring Bill Bixby, a still-radiant Olivia de Havilland, and a young Jonathan Pryce; A Caribbean Mystery, with Barnard Hughes and Swoosie Kurtz; and the grande-dame-duet Murder With Mirrors, with Hayes playing opposite her onetime real-life nemesis, Bette Davis. Mirrors alone is worth the price of the set, as Hayes is in fine form, completely un-vain and sweetly droll. As she heads toward a country manor to visit her "dear friend" Carrie Louise (Davis), she's informed of the vast changes that have undergone the estate; Carrie Louise's husband, a philanthropist, has decided to open the grounds to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents. As Miss Marple is being told some of the youthful offenders' stories, she's utterly unflappable. Told that one particular young man was caught flashing parishioners at St. Paul's, Hayes' Marple mutters, "We all must worship in our own way, I suppose." Davis, in one of her last film performances, plays a woman who may--or may not--be being slowly poisoned to death, but regardless is frail and slightly incoherent. Davis herself looks quite frail herself, and her line delivery seems a bit uncertain--perhaps extremely effective Method acting, or perhaps she was indeed as frail as she looks; either way, film fans won't want to miss this. It's chilling--and unforgettable.

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WAE3083 Agatha Christie DVD Collection featuring Helen Hayes as Miss Marple (A Caribbean Mystery / Murder Is Easy / Murder with Mirrors) $39.98 $35.99