The Mirror Crack’d (1980)

Angela Lansbury, Rock Hudson and Edward Fox stood having a conversation in front of a window with beige curtains

Angela Lansbury, Rock Hudson and Edward Fox © Columbia-Warner Distributors

Starring: Angela Lansbury, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Geraldine Chaplin, Edward Fox and Kim Novak

Production Company: G.W. Films, EMI Films

Kent Locations used: St Clere Estate, Smarden, Shoreham

The Mirror Crack’d is a detective drama based on an Agatha Christie novel of the same name. In this instalment of the Miss Marple Franchise, a visiting Hollywood production has come to the town of St Mary Mead. The story focuses on the life of Marina Rudd (Elizabeth Taylor), a veteran actress competing for the spotlight with a younger actress, Lola (Kim Novak), in an upcoming production. When a local resident is poisoned at a grand reception, it is thought that Marina herself was the intended victim.

Angela Lansbury (Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Murder She Wrote, Beauty and the Beast) stars as Miss Jane Marple alongside Elizabeth Taylor (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Cleopatra), Tony Curtis (Some Like it Hot), Rock Hudson (Dynasty, McMilan & Wife, Pillow Talk), Geraldine Chaplin (Remember my Name, Doctor Zhivago) Edward Fox (Gandi, Never Say Never Again) and Kim Novak (The Great Bank Robbery, Falcon Crest).

St Clere Estate, Heaverham in the Sevenoaks District of Kent is a private, family run country estate that today prides itself on being an ideal location for filming and photography, due to its period architecture and beautiful grounds. In this episode, it was perfect of the setting for Gossington Hall, the grand home of the Rudds.

 Ye Olde George Inn and a Bridge on Church Street in Shoreham are both noticeable in the production, doubling as part of the village of St Mary Mead. Shoreham is a picturesque village near Sevenoaks, famous for its traditional pubs and annual May Day duck race.

The village of Smarden and St Michaels Church are also used to double as the village of St Mary Mead. The Thatched House in Smarden was used as Miss Marple’s cottage. Smarden is located in the Ashford district of Kent, and the traditional thatched houses and village shops made it a perfect filming location.

The Mirror Crack’d was first released in February 1980 and is now available to buy on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


The Big Sleep (1978)

The Big Sleep film poster- a man pointing a gun at the camera, with a women looking at his behind. Smokey red background with Big sleep written in white

The Big Sleep film poster © Incorporated Television Company (ITC)/Winkast Film Productions

Director: Michael Winner

Writers: Raymond Chandler (novel), Michael Winner (screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Miles, John Mills, Oliver Reed, Edward Fox, James Stewart, Joan Collins

Production Company: ITC Films, Winkast Film Productions

Kent Locations Used: The Royal Harbour in Ramsgate

The Big Sleep is a film adaption of Raymond Chandler‘s 1939 novel of the same name. Set in 1970’s London, private eye Philip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) is asked by a retired general (James Stewart) to investigate who is blackmailing his family.

The detective mystery film is directed and written by Michael Winner (Death Wish, The Sentinel, The Mechanic) and stars an array of acting talent including Sarah Miles (Blow-Up, Hope and Glory, The Servant), John Mills (Gandhi, Bean, Great Expectations), Oliver Reed (Gladiator, Oliver!, Tommy), Edward Fox (The Day of the Jackal, Never Say Never Again, The Bounty), James Stewart (Rear Window, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo) and Joan Collins (Benidorm, Dynasty, The Bravados).

A black classic car parked at Ramsgate Harbour with cast members walking towards it, Boats and sea can be seen behind

The Big Sleep screenshot at Ramsgate Harbour © Incorporated Television Company (ITC)/Winkast Film Productions

a car being pulled out of the water at Ramsgate Harbour- a boat is in the water behind

The Big Sleep screenshot at Ramsgate Harbour © Incorporated Television Company (ITC)/Winkast Film Productions

The production visited The Royal Harbour in Ramsgate to film the scenes where General Sternwood’s chauffeur (Martin Potter) drives his car into the sea.

Ramsgate is a historic coastal town with England’s only Royal Harbour, stunning Victorian architecture, a sandy beach, amusements, arcades as well as shops and eateries. Ramsgate has previously been used as a film location in Big Bad World (2013), True Love (2012) and Gypo (2006).

The Big Sleep was released in 1978 and is now available on DVD.

 

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.