17 March 2018 | thursdaysrecords
Four Little Ol' "Miss Marples" From Pasadena
This is the perfect vehicle for veteran actresses Helen Hayes, Myrna Loy, Mildred Natwick and Sylvia Sidney. Four little old ladies living comfortably in Pasadena, reminiscing about their youth. Their flavor of the month pass time is participating in a computer dating service as a joke. Surely, this would be more amusing than their last adventure, when they decided to fill out military draft forms. Their little game leads to a string of unfortunate events, including the murder of a young prostitute.
What could have been made into a serious formula detective drama was helped by clever and amusing dialog, and the absolutely delightful quartet of aging stars, each in the typical character played so many different times over their long screen and stage careers: Sidney as the chain-smoking busybody, Natwick as the old-maid type always flattered by any attention given to her by men, Loy as the reasonable adult in the room, and Hayes as the lovable old lady with an answer for everything, for which she had just won the Academy Award the year before.
This is definitely entertainment of the 1970s, but a smart script like this one will be appreciated by audiences of all ages for generations to come. And, yes, that's "Dr. Ben Casey" as the unstable chauvinist, playing much against his beloved 1960s TV character. - This Comedy-Drama will bring joy to anybody out there with a flair for Hollywood Nostalgia. They don't write stories like this anymore, and they certainly no longer have the likes of real stars to play the parts.