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Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

PG  |   |  Mystery  |  24 November 1974 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 32,129 users  
Reviews: 159 user | 59 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 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

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

When Hercule Poirot is interviewing Edward Beddoes (John Gielgud) about Signor Foscarelli, the valet puts his glasses on twice on two successive shots. 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 Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Rebel Set (1992) 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

 
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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