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The three Hayes tales (also available as a separate set) are 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, played by Bette Davis. 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 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.
In the three Ustinov films (also available as a separate set), Thirteen for Dinner features Ustinov's Poirot trying to solve the murder of one Lord Edgeware, investigating, among others, the lovely mystery woman played by a witchy Faye Dunaway. (And in a fun bit of foreshadowing, David Suchet, who would go on to play a formidable, more metrosexual Poirot himself, appears here in the role of Poirot's sidekick Japp.) Dead Man's Folly finds Poirot and an old friend, a mystery writer played by Jean Stapleton, at a "murder hunt" party at which the dead body really does turn up dead. Murder in Three Acts finds Poirot far afield in sunny Acapulco, at a glorious villa belonging to a suave actor played by Tony Curtis. A random death-by-martini at a posh party opens the door to the possibility of murder--handy that Poirot is there to help the local constables. The supporting cast features top '80s TV actors like Emma Samms as the actor's arm candy, and Diana Muldaur (the wicked Rosalind Shays on L.A. Law). The production values are also topnotch--with gorgeous location shots in Mexico adding romance but also unnerving isolation to the proceedings.
The two non-Marple and -Poirot films (and thus not included on those individual DVD sets) are Sparkling Cyanide, starring Anthony Andrews and Harry Morgan as officers investigating serial poisonings, and The Man in the Brown Suit, a zippy yarn of international intrigue, with Stephanie Zimbalist as a tourist in Cairo caught in a nightmare of stolen diamonds and death. Supporting roles by Rue McClanahan, Tony Randall, and Edward Woodward add texture to the mysterious proceedings. Never has murder most foul been so deliciously entertaining. --A.T. Hurley
I love Agatha Christie Mysteries and I love Helen Hayes. Now days you don't see good acting as in years past. This collection is worth the price. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Library Goddess
A mixed bunch. THIRTEEN AT DINNER was excellent! But MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT was so bad I could not watch it past the first half hour. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Freeman Gilbert
really - read other reviews I've made and you will see I love Agatha Christie
that is: I have read all books that have ever become available in the US
seen every movie... Read more
Enjoyed seeing these old-time actors/actresses. Very deep and interesting stories that keep you glued. You cannot even eat popcorn during any of Christie's movies. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MD Johnson
Wow! These are mostly TV movies from the late 70's and 80's. While they mostly stick to Ms. Christie's storylines, everything has been updated to be contemporary with the times. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Julie Ratcliffe
I had VCR tapes of some of these movies, but wanted to update my collection to DVD. The 2 movies I hadn't seen before were great. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Bonnie T. Minch