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Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

 -  Mystery  -  24 November 1974 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 31,251 users  
Reviews: 157 user | 55 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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Title: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

The greatest cast of suspicious characters ever involved in murder. See more »

Genres:

Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | | | |

Release Date:

24 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesinato en el Orient Express  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of four Agatha Christie film and TV productions featuring Sir John Gielgud. See more »

Goofs

When the body of the victim, Ratchett, is examined by the doctor and Poirot its eyes are wide open. In fact, the doctor asks permission to close the victim's eyes. However, when the murder scenario is recapitulated by Poirot, as soon as he becomes unconscious from the the sedative administered in his nightcap Ratchett's eyes close. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Danger Mouse: DM on the Orient Express (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

On the Good Ship Lollipop
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Played by the band at the restaurant
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It Oozes Elegance
7 February 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

This whodunit story by Dame Agatha is excellent. She has always been my favorite writer of detective fiction. I keep returning to the film version, however, not because of the story but because of the film's sheer elegance and style. It is awash in elegance ... the majestic cinematography; the glamorous clothes; the delightfully eccentric aristocratic characters; the mysterious yet refined musical score. The film is so theatrically regal I'm surprised that it did not feature a representative of British royalty.

The setting is Europe in the 1930's. The pace is slow and relaxed. And while the dialogue is in English, the film has a deliciously international flavor, with a mix of interesting accents and word pronunciations. Heavy on dialogue, the film never seems overly talky, the result of a clever screenplay and lush visuals. Humor is included in the script usually in the form of tasteful put-downs. Example: an attractive Mrs. Hubbard comments: "Don't you agree the man must have entered my compartment to gain access to Mr. Ratchett?" The aging Princess Dragomiroff responds in a deadpan tone: "I can think of no other reason, madam."

In his portrayal of Hercule Poirot, Albert Finney almost literally disappears into the role, a tribute to convincing makeup and to Finney's adroit acting. His performance is appropriately idiosyncratic, deliciously hammy, and theatrical, every bit as entertaining in this film as Peter Ustinov is in subsequent Christie movies. The rest of the cast has ensemble parts, my favorite being Wendy Hiller whose Princess Dragomiroff comes across as royal, proud, and very eccentric.

With its snowy landscapes, ornate and cozy interiors, and subdued lighting, "Murder On The Orient Express" is an excellent movie to watch on a cold, winter night, snuggled under a blanket or next to a warm fireplace with a cup of cappuccino or a glass of cognac. Just be sure that all knives and daggers in your mansion are out of reach from your staff of servants.


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