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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 30,942 users  
Reviews: 155 user | 53 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

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 Who's Who in the Whodunnit! 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

As shooting went on, five of the actors were involved in West End stage plays at the same time. John Gielgud and Denis Quilley in "The Tempest". Vanessa Redgrave, Albert Finney and Ingrid Bergman were also performing in other productions. See more »

Goofs

In the train station we see Ataturk's (founder of independent and modern Turkey) poster on the wall. But in the 1930s, Ataturk was alive and had great power. Posters of him were only put on the walls years after his death. 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 Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Red Sails in the Sunset
(uncredited)
Composed by Will Grosz and lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy
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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