Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Sparkling Cyanide ( 1983 )

Rosemary Barton takes one sip of champagne at her wedding anniversary dinner party and then suddenly collapses dead. "Cyanide poison", the doctor exclaims. Was it suicide or murder? Rosemary certainly had her fair share of enemies. Her husband George believes it to be murder and so he gathers together the same dinner guests and recreates the party, hoping to add a surprise guest to bring the killer out in the open. Unfortunately, poor George also gets a taste of poisoned champagne and ends up taking a trip to the morgue. It is then left to Rosemary's sister Iris and private investigator Tony Browne to solve the mystery.

Sparkling Cyanide was a made-for-television movie that aired on CBS in November, 1983. It was one of three Agatha Christie television adaptations produced by Stan Margulies between 1981-1983. Like the other two films ( Murder is Easy and A Caribbean Mystery ) it features a cast of popular British and American actors of the time. 

The personable Anthony Andrews stars as our lead sleuth, Tony Browne. Andrews is a Shakespearan actor best known for starring in a number of period miniseries throughout the 1970s and 1980s ( e.g. The Pallisers, David Copperfield ), so it would seem that he would be out of place in a modern-day detective drama, but quite the contrary. He lends a great deal of charm to what could have been a rather dull character. Browne isn't much of an investigator and he spends more time trying to woo Iris then piece together clues to solve the puzzle, but he does manage to hit upon one clue that acts as a glue for all the others and therefore catches the killer singlehandedly. 

Deborah Raffin portrays Iris, a pencil-thin young woman who just arrived in Los Angeles to visit her sister Rosemary. She thinks that Rosemary and her husband George are happily married but soon discovers that she really knows very little about her sister and just what does make her happy. It turns out other men make her happy. She was having an affair with a young political candidate ( David Huffman ) who dropped her like a hot coal when he realized she would interfere with his latest campaign. His wife Sandra ( June Chadwick ) naturally despised did her parents Eric and Viola ( portrayed by two familiar Brits - Barry Ingham and Anne Rogers ). 

Like most Agatha Christie stories, Sparkling Cyanide has a number of good suspects to keep you guessing till the very end who the killer might be, but on the whole, the mystery - and the film itself - is not as engaging as Margulies' other two Agatha Christie adaptations. It plays out like a soap opera and, with its setting in Los Angeles, it doesn't have that lovely English-mystery setting that one comes to expect in a Christie adaptation. The cast is its primary drawing feature and, in that respect, there are good performances to enjoy from all involved, including Harry Morgan ( as a police captain ), Pamela Bellwood, Nancy Marchand, and Josef Sommer.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie Game

Here's a juicy screenshot. "What on earth is it?!" you're probably thinking. It is a bit difficult to make out, but this was the best screenshot I could take. There aren't many clues here, but if you saw this film you'll probably remember this scene!

Aren't familiar with the Impossibly Difficult Name that Movie game? Click here to find out what it is all about

Monday, August 10, 2020

From the Archives: A View to a Kill ( 1985 )

Wow, look at Grace Jones! I don't know if Bond met his match in Mayday but he certainly did with Zorin ( Christopher Walken ). This has always been one of my favorite James Bond films. It was Roger Moore's last appearance as Bond and one of his best. Lobby cards from the movie are difficult to find in really good condition like this one. 

From the Archives is our latest series of posts where we share photos from the Silverbanks Pictures collection. Some of these may have been sold in the past, and others may still be available for purchase at our eBay store :

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Did You Know? - Lynda Carter Has Other Wonders

American actress Lynda Carter is best known for playing the beautiful Diana Prince, an Amazonian princess, on the television series Wonder Woman ( 1975-1979 ). For four years she entertained television audiences with her superhuman powers, deflecting bullets with her golden bracelet and capturing criminals with her magic lasso. Lynda Carter truly became her character and Wonder Woman remains part of her identity to this day. 

However, Ms. Carter is also famous for another talent: singing. Lynda always enjoyed singing and during the 1970s she recorded an album titled Portrait. Two of the songs that she helped co-write were performed on an episode of Wonder Woman in 1979. Later, when the series ended, Carter had a variety of her own musical television specials - Lynda Carter's Special ( 1980 ), Encore! ( 1980 ), Celebration ( 1981 ), Street Life ( 1982 ), and Body and Soul ( 1984 ) - where she performed with other popular singers of the time, such as Tony Orlando, KISS, Merle Haggard, Kenny Rogers and Ben Vereen. 
When she is not doing Wonder Woman appearances, Lynda still tours across the country today performing songs from her latest albums -  Crazy Little Things and Red Rock N' Blues.

Want to hear her in action? 

Lynda performs "Toto - Don't It Feel Like Paradise" ( a song she co-wrote ) from her 1978 album:

Lynda and Tom Jones perform "With You I'm Born Again":

"Did You Know?".....sometimes we just feel like sharing interesting fragments of television and movie history and now we have a place to do just that. If you have a hot tip that you would like us to share on Silver Scenes, drop us a line!