A Lot of 80s Sparkle
Despite their troubled marriage Rosemary (Christine Belford) and George Barton (Josef Sommer) invite their friends and family to a restaurant for a little party. Amongst the guests are Rosemary's sister, Iris (Deborah Raffin), their aunt, Lucilla (Nancy Marchand), and also Tony Browne (Anthony Andrews), a journalist from London. But when Rosemary suddenly drops dead it is discovered that she has been poisoned with cyanide placed in her champagne glass. Whilst Captain Kemp (Harry Morgan) of the police force sets about investigating George decides to take matters in to his own hands by hosting another party at the restaurant in the hope of unnerving the killer, but things don't go to plan. What nobody is aware of is that Tony Browne is in fact an investigator from London and is working with Kemp to find the killer.
Well there is no getting away from it and that is that this version of "Sparkling Cyanide" is drenched in 80s soap opera style with clothes, hair, cars, music, camera work and of course the acting all very 80s. Now as someone who loves the 80s I have to say that this is a bit hit and miss as whilst Anthony Andrews, with his plumy English accent and Roger Moore style charm, is kind of entertaining some of the acting elsewhere is weak. This is one of those movies where some of the actors are unable to deliver a single sentence without pausing at least twice and making every pause sound like what they are going to say next is important when it isn't.
The thing is that watching this version of "Sparkling Cyanide" now it is incredibly hard to focus on the story and not be distracted by how 80s it is. Unfortunately when you do concentrate on the storyline there are flaws which also end up being distracting from police who don't follow procedures to revelatory statements which have no foundation and as such at times this feels less like we watch Tony solve the case but making a huge guess as to who is behind it all. But the one good thing is that if you watch this without knowing the story you are left guessing as to who the killer is as well as to how they did it.
What this all boils down to is that "Sparkling Cyanide" is entertaining and the whole murder mystery aspect still works and draws you in. But this is a movie where detail has been lost in favour of dramatic style and that style is so 80s that it is at times comical when you watch this now.