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Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  24 November 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 34,105 users  
Reviews: 160 user | 64 critic

In 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pierre (as Jean Pierre Cassel)
Colin Blakely ...


Famous detective Hercule Poirot is on the Orient Express, but the train is caught in the snow. When one of the passengers is discovered murdered, Poirot immediately starts investigating. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Who's Who in the Whodunnit! See more »


Crime | Drama | Mystery


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Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

24 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mord im Orient-Express  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Rodney Bennett was originally hired to arrange 1930s tunes for the soundtrack, but persuaded the studio that this was a cliché and that he should write an original score. Bennett said "Sidney Lumet wanted Eddie Duchin ... I wanted the Warsaw Concerto... the waltz [theme] was a combination of the two." See more »


When Hardman introduces himself to Foscarelli and Beddoes, he tells them to "call me Dick", indicating that his first name is Richard. Yet his name, as Poirot points out during Hardman's interrogation, is Cyrus B. Hardman. See more »


[first lines]
Ferry conductor: Your ticket, please.
Mary Debenham: Oh, yes.
Ferry conductor: Welcome aboard, Miss Debenham.
Mary Debenham: Thank you.
See more »


Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.14 (2011) See more »


Red Sails in the Sunset
Composed by Will Grosz and lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy
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User Reviews

Still the best introduction to Hercule Poirot for non-readers
25 February 2007 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

Sidney Lumet directs a great cast through a brilliant cinematic interpretation of one of Agatha Christie's most popular Hercule Poirot Mysteries. The train upon which the great investigator finds himself is halted by an avalanche of snow in the Alps, and two horrible crimes seem to have intersected in the first class cabin. Despite the cramped quarters, the only witness is the murder victim himself, and Poirot must put together the solution from disparate and seemingly contradictory evidence.

The three most striking qualities of this film are its production values, cast, and Finney's exhausting performance. Although a little over-the-top, Finney gets Poirot exactly right - Poirot is played as a somewhat obsessive, slightly manic, and flamboyant Belgian - not at all as a non-English Sherlock Holmes. The cast speaks for itself. Bacall, Perkins, Hiller, Redgrave, York and Bissett are all delightful in their supporting roles. But perhaps the most under-recognized achievement of this film is its cinematography. The film is extremely visually engaging from start to finish. This is achieved by perfect visual pacing, great camera work, spectacular - though somewhat cramped and redundant - sets, good costuming, and a stunningly attractive cast.

Murder on the Orient Express also succeeds in sticking with Christie's original narrative (mostly), and sets a high standard for film versions of the great mystery writers repertoire. From my perspective, the film remains unequaled among the Poirot interpretations and meets the challenge of adapting and simplifying Christie's often complex exposition very nicely.

21 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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