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Agatha Christie Classic Mystery Collection (Murder Is Easy/Caribbean Mystery/Murder with Mirrors/Thirteen for Dinner/Dead Man's Folly/Murder in Three Acts/Sparkling Cyanide/The Man in the Brown Suit) (2006)

Helen Hayes , Peter Ustinov  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Agatha Christie Classic Mystery Collection (Murder Is Easy/Caribbean Mystery/Murder with Mirrors/Thirteen for Dinner/Dead Man's Folly/Murder in Three Acts/Sparkling Cyanide/The Man in the Brown Suit) + Agatha Christie's Mystery Collection: Death on the Nile/Evil Under the Sun/The Mirror Crack'd + Murder On The Orient Express
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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Hayes, Peter Ustinov, Bette Davis, Bill Bixby, Olivia de Havilland
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Korean
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 12, 2006
  • Run Time: 518 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000GB5M1U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,986 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Agatha Christie Classic Mystery Collection (Murder Is Easy/Caribbean Mystery/Murder with Mirrors/Thirteen for Dinner/Dead Man's Folly/Murder in Three Acts/Sparkling Cyanide/The Man in the Brown Suit)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Includes:
  • Three Helen Hayes mysteries:
  • A Caribbean Mystery (1983)
  • Murder Is Easy (1982)
  • Murder with Mirrors (1985)
  • Three Peter Ustinov mysteries:
  • Dead Man's Folly (1986)
  • Murder in Three Acts (1986)
  • Thirteen at Dinner (1985)
  • Plus:
  • The Man in the Brown Suit (1989)
  • Sparkling Cyanide (1983)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Agatha Christie Classic Mystery Collection (DVD) (8-Pack)

The grande dame of teacake murder mysteries, Agatha Christie, has kept generations of readers--and viewers--in her thrall, and this magnificent boxed set is a must for any Christie fan, rabid or casual. The collection includes eight films made for British TV in the '80s, most starring the first lady of the American theater, Helen Hayes, as Miss Marple, and the inimitable Peter Ustinov as Poirot. It would be hard to imagine more acting talent packed into compact TV mysteries.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Mystery Collection September 16, 2006
I saw some of these on TV when they first came out, and I have to tell you this set is well worth the price. First, we get Helen Hayes twice as Miss Marple and once as the victim with my old childhood hero Bill Bixby as the sleuth. Then we get 3 of the 6 mysteries with the only native born Russian to become a knight of the British Empire, Sir Peter Ustinov as Poirot (the other 3, 2 are available on Lion's Gate (older copies on Anchor Bay when I wrote this originally and 1 on MGM but only in England: Region 2). Watch for soon to be popular British TV star David Suchet on London Weekend Television's (PBS & A&E here) version of Poirot soon after, in one of these films, but as Japp. Finally, 2 other Christie Classics: Sparkling Cyanide and The Man In The Brown Suit, all with all star casts. Interesting to note, that the Hayes and Ustinov sets can be bought as separate items as well, but these latter 2 appear NOT to be available separately. If you wanna complete this great collection, I recommend the fore mentioned 3 pack by Lion's Gate with the other 2 Ustinovs available here (Evil Under The Sun and Death on The Nile) and Angela Lansbury (pre Murder She Wrote) as Miss Marple in The Mirror Cracked. These 3 are also available separately, but side by side these 2 multi disc sets would look great together. If you wanna see how "it was done" before Suchet and Hickson told us, buy these films.:-)
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Deadly Delight October 27, 2006
This collection of 8 American(!!!) TV movies is a real treat for Christie fans. And it proves that we can honor the First Lady of Mystery on this side of the Pond just as well as her fellow Brits. Not all 8 are perfect gems, but they sure get an A for effort. With 2-time Oscar-winners Helen Hayes and Peter Ustinov as Miss Marple and Poirot, backed up by an impressive crowd of A-list film and TV stars, who could complain?

Extra treat for American mystery fans: 2 of these films--A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY and SPARKLING CYANIDE--were written by our own national treasure of mysterydom, Sue Grafton, and her husband, Steven Humphrey. Sue went on to prove with her Kinsey Millhone "alphabet" series ("A" IS FOR ALIBI, "B" IS FOR BURGLAR, etc.) that she is a true "daughter" of Christie.

And it's a delight to see established stars like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Tony Curtis, and Faye Dunaway mixing it up with newer talents like Stephanie Zimbalist, Jameson Parker, Anthony Andrews, and Lesley Anne Down. And let's not forget Sir John Mills, Maurice Evans, Tim Roth, Bill Bixby, Jean Stapleton, Edward Woodward, Brock Peters, Tony Randall, Rue McClanahan, Jonathan Pryce, and David Suchet (as Inspector Japp in 13 AT DINNER, long before he went on to play Poirot). Whew! But the real treasures here are the stories themselves--8 of the cleverest mysteries ever written, well-served (for the most part) by several generations of our finest entertainers. And the slim packaging is especially elegant. Curl up in front of your TV and enjoy!

PS: The popularity of these films when they first aired led directly to CBS's decision to do MURDER, SHE WROTE--yet another reason to be thankful for them.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eight Great Agatha Christie Movies August 18, 2006
I'm so thrilled to hear about Agatha Christie Movies coming out on DVD in a Collection Box set of Eight enjoyable Agatha Christie movies - I loved watching A Caribbean Mystery, Murder With Mirrors, Murder Is Easy, Dead Man's Folly, Murder in Three Acts, Thirteen at Dinner, Sparkling Cynaide and The Man In The Brown Suit. I will add these eight movies to my Agatha Christie DVD Collection. Can't Wait for this collection to be released on September 12th. I loved the box cover Artwork. The Actors are superb to watch Peter Ustinov, Helen Hayes, Bill Bixby, Jean Stapleton, Bette Davis and many others to give wonderful performances in their roles in my favorite agatha christie movies.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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If you are as big a fan of mysteries and of old Hollywood stars as I am then this set is a must for you. You get Peter Ustinov, Jean Stapleton, Faye Dunaway, Bette Davis, Lesley Anne Down, Tony Randall, Tony Curtis, and my personal favorite--Helen Hayes--just to name a few! Some of my favorites are "Murder with Mirrors with Helen Hayes and Bette Davis, and "Dead Man's Folly" with Peter Ustinov and Jean Stapleton. Jean Stapleton is a riot in this one. She really steals the show!

But I must admit that the stars are probably the best part of these Warner Bros. productions. It's just a shame that with such great actors the producers didn't get better scripts and directors. The weakest of the lot is probably "Murder in Three Acts", with Tony Curtis. The dialogue is weak and the scenes very choppy and hard to follow. Some of these stories like "Sparkling Cyanide" have been messed with so much that there is very little resemblance to Christie's original story! But if you like mysteries and want to see some great old Hollywood stars (especially Helen Hayes) then you will enjoy this set.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery Heaven November 10, 2006
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What a treat to have some of the worlds favorites sleuths such as Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, and Colonel Race all in one collection of eight mysteries. And Agatha Christie doesn't disappoint with exciting mysteries such as Murder in Three Acts, The Man in the Brown Suit, Murder is Easy, and Thirteen to Dinner. It's a pleasure just spending time with some of the great actors that have given so much pleasure to so many over the years such as Helen Hayes, Peter Ustinov, Olivia de Havilland, Tony Curtis, Jean Stapleton, Bill Bixby, Tony Randall and so many more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great set of movies
Published 9 days ago by Judith A. Braun
5.0 out of 5 stars Get a good seat and bring on the popcorn the movie is about to start!
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 more
Published 2 months ago by Library Goddess
2.0 out of 5 stars THIRTEEN AT DINNER was excellent! But MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT was so ...
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 more
Published 2 months ago by Freeman Gilbert
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN _ FUN _ FUN
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
Published 4 months ago by Annette Vannostrand
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brown Box - Agatha Christie Classic Collection
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 more
Published 5 months ago by MD Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars Christie moderne
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 more
Published 7 months ago by Julie Ratcliffe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection
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 more
Published 7 months ago by Bonnie T. Minch
5.0 out of 5 stars Comfort food for my soul
I love Agatha Christie and have since I was 12. Watching these movies is like comfort food to me. I bought this collection mostly for The Man in the Brown Suit. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Connie R. Ziegler
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
This was a Christmas present for my wife. She was ecstatic when she saw the collection. We have enjoyed watching this collection
Published 8 months ago by William G. Fortner
4.0 out of 5 stars Helen Hayes v. Joan Hickson and Miss Marple
While I find this mystery collection enjoyable, and like Helen Hayes very much, her Miss Marple and other lead Christie ladies is not interpreted as seriously as Joan Hickson's. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Florence Perlman
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