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Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (1991)

Miss Marple: They Do It with Mirrors (original title)
When Miss Marple is invited to the manor house of an old friend, it is not long before a puzzling murder puts her mind to work.


Norman Stone


T.R. Bowen (screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Hickson ... Miss Marple
Jean Simmons ... Carrie-Louise Serrocold
Joss Ackland ... Lewis Serrocold
Faith Brook ... Ruth van Rydock
Gillian Barge ... Mildred Strete
Neal Swettenham ... Edgar Lawson
David Horovitch ... Chief Inspector Slack
Ian Brimble ... Sergeant Lake
Christopher Villiers ... Alex Restarick
Jay Villiers Jay Villiers ... Stephen Restarick
Holly Aird ... Gina Hudd
Todd Boyce ... Walter Hudd
Saul Reichlin ... Dr. Maseryk
Matthew Cottle ... Ernie Gregg
John Bott ... Christian Gulbrandsen


Ruth van Rydock is worried about her sister's health and well-being and asks their mutual friend Jane Marple to visit her for a awhile. Her sister, Carrie-Louise Serrocold, is married to Lewis Serrocold and he has turned their estate into an institute of sorts for young offenders. Miss Marple is more than happy to visit and finds an odd assortment of characters on the premises. When Christian Gulbranson is found shot while sitting at the typewriter in his room, Miss Marple has a murder to solve. Gulbranson, a trustee of the institute, had only arrived that day on urgent business and Lewis Serrocold found a partly completed letter in his typewriter saying that someone was poisoning Carrie-Louise. Assisting Inspector Slack, with whom she had previously worked, she soon knows who committed the crime but is not quite sure how they did it. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-14 | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 December 1991 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

They Do It with Mirrors See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Gina Hudd: [to Miss Marple] You're a real prototype, aren't you? Most of Grandame's friends are absolutely last year's turnips, but you're different, aren't you?
See more »


References Murder Ahoy (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Is it deliberately uninvolving by design or by flaw? Either way the outcome is the same
16 January 2012 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Despite thinking that I had seen the vast majority of the BBC Marple films, my second random one in as many days turned out to be yet another one I had never seen before. Sleeping Murder had been the first and had been surprising accessible and lively and the opening of Mirrors made me think it would be more of the same, with the American voices and the tone of the opening scenes. I was also familiar with the story as I had seen the ITV Marple films adapt it as well. Sadly They Do It with Mirrors turned out to be a real summary of what I tend to dislike about the Marple series.

Running long (particularly with adverts lasting 4 minutes every 10-15 minutes) the film really takes its time with everything but not in a way that hooks me. Ironically I felt that Sleeping Murder was almost too accessible and easy to follow, but yet at the same time I appreciated it for this. They Do it with Mirrors goes the other direction by quite some measure as it does almost nothing to assist the viewer in keeping up with Marple or indeed even CI Slack. Instead of clues or red-herrings what we are given are characters and details – but none of which really are much used until we enter that final room for the traditional reveal. Like tedg said in his review, the viewer here is never allowed to be taken along with the case – we are sitting in the final room with the rest of them, knowing who people are but learning stuff we didn't know before and couldn't have figured out.

The problem I have with this is that I feel excluded and just expected to wait rather than be involved in the mystery. The longer this goes on the less inclined I was to care and by the end I was really not paying much attention to it. There never appears to be much in the delivery to intrigue the viewer or make them think – I watched this knowing the story but yet still didn't really know where it was going and while I'm open to the idea of me being dumb, I think part of it was that the film wasn't actually going anywhere until it got to the final reveal. I'd like to say the pieces all fell into place at this point, but they don't because we hadn't been given pieces – only characters, no clues, no nuggets etc. The cast are solid throughout despite this; I do like Hickson as Marple and enjoy her way of playing it as all observation and gossip – the downside is that she does live in her head as a character so she needs the script to help her in terms of what the viewer can "see", she gets no such help with this one.

I'm not sure if it is deliberate or by design but this film was incredibly uninvolving – it offered me nothing throughout and then suddenly pulls the solution out of nowhere. It is difficult to care and before the reveal scene I had really stopped being interested since the film itself seemed so uninterested in me.

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