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Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

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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Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Renown detective Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of a wealthy American traveling on a train.

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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:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mord im Orient-Express  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lauren Bacall and John Gielgud have re-appeared after 14 years in an Agatha Christie movie: Appointment with Death (1988). See more »

Goofs

As Poirot goes to leave the car after announcing his solution to the murder, Pierre is shown opening the salon door, and holding it open as Poirot pauses in the doorway, turns and watches as the various passengers make toasts to one another. Pierre is the first to step up and raise a toast with his glass of champagne. But when all the toasts have been made, Poirot is shown still standing in the doorway, then turning to exit, even as Pierre (actually just his arm is visible, but it couldn't have been anyone else) is seen in the exact same position, still holding open the door for Poirot. 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 Home and Away: Episode #1.1501 (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Overture And Kidnapping
Composed by Richard Rodney Bennett
Performed by Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden conducted by Marcus Dods
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.


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