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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 31,294 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

A set of lyrics was composed for the main-title theme but was never used. The first line went, "Silky, there is murder in your eyes." See more »

Goofs

The film uses a French Railways (SNCF) Class 230G locomotive, including at the departure from Istanbul Sirkeci station. But locomotives on the Orient Express were provided by each State Railway system, and were usually changed at national borders. Only the carriages, not the locomotives, would have worked right through between France and Turkey. 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 There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Murder on the Orient Express (Theme and Waltz)
Composed by Richard Rodney Bennett
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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