7.3/10
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170 user 66 critic

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

In December 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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Writer:

(screenplay)
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3,764 ( 218)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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

Country:

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The luxury food that is inspected and carried aboard the train early in the film had been stolen from the set just before shooting. All the food had to be bought again, in the middle of the night, on location in Paris. See more »

Goofs

When Poirot uses the hat box to decode the burnt paper, in one shot Poirot places his small burning lamp to his right. In the next shot, the lamp is in the center ready for the hat frames to be placed over it. 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 »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits: 1930

THE ARMSTRONG HOUSE, LONG ISLAND, N.Y. See more »

Connections

Referenced in There's Nothing Out There (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Entr'acte
(uncredited)
Composed by Richard Rodney Bennett
Performed by Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden conducted by Marcus Dods
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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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