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Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Poster

Goofs

Factual errors 

At the train station, the oriental women wearing kimonos are clearly made up as Japanese, but can be heard speaking Cantonese.
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Jump to: Anachronisms (7) | Boom mic visible (1) | Continuity (6) | Errors in geography (2) | Factual errors (1) | Miscellaneous (1) | Revealing mistakes (2) | Spoilers (2)

Anachronisms 

In Istanbul we hear a muezzin giving the standard Muslim azan (call to prayer) in Arabic: "Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!" However, the movie is set during the 1930s when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was in power. During this time, the Arabic azan was outlawed, and a Turkish one ("Tanri Uludur!") had to be used instead. After Ataturk's death in 1938 the law was repealed.
The musicians in the restaurant in Istanbul are wearing fezzes. The film is set in 1935, ten years after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk banned the fez in Turkey.
The British officer who escorts Poirot on the ferry thanks him for saving the honor of the British garrison in Jordan. The Kingdom of Jordan did not exist until 1946. In 1935 it was the Emirate of Transjordan.
The film takes place in 1935, but many of the extras (in the Turkish restaurant, at the railway station, etc.), and even actor Michael York (playing Count Andrenyi), have long, 1970s hairstyles.
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The film takes place in 1935. Not only is the French locomotive incorrect, but it bears a SNCF number. The SNCF was not formed until 1938 when the French railways were nationalized.
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Just after Poirot sips his liqueur (the green drink) in the dining car, a blurry white sedan can be seen zipping across the landscape in a way that cars do not move in the 30s. It appears to be a sedan from the 70s.
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The rescuing locomotive appears to be a Class 141R, a type of locomotive built in the USA, and not introduced until 1945.
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Boom mic visible 

During the interrogation of Colonel Arbuthnot, the reflection of a boom mic can be seen in the glass room divider behind the Colonel.
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Continuity 

When the conductor's uniform is discovered in a suitcase, the hat changes positions between shots.
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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.
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When Hercule Poirot is interviewing Edward Beddoes (John Gielgud) about Signor Foscarelli, the valet puts his glasses on twice on two successive shots.
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When the body of the victim, Ratchett, is examined by the doctor and Poirot its eyes are wide open. In fact, the doctor asks permission to close the victim's eyes. However, when the murder scenario is recapitulated by Poirot, as soon as he becomes unconscious from the the sedative administered in his nightcap Ratchett's eyes close.
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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.
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When Hardman introduces himself to Foscarelli and Beddoes, he tells them to "call me Dick", indicating that his first name is Richard. Yet his name, as Poirot points out during Hardman's interrogation, is Cyrus B. Hardman.
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Errors in geography 

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.
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While passengers are boarding the train, you can hear through the speakers in several different languages where the train is going to stop. Sofia, Belgrade, Zagreb, Brod, Trieste. The city of Brod between Zagreb and Trieste is in Slovenia and not on the railway line. The train halt is at Slavonski Brod located between Belgrade and Zagreb.
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Factual errors 

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.
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Miscellaneous 

In the credits at the beginning of the film Colin Blakely is wrongly listed as Colin Blankey.
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Revealing mistakes 

When the rescue locomotive arrives to push the snow away, (time frame 2:04:17) you can see the snow is flowing smoothly like a liquid, some even floating in the air, it is quite obvious that the snow is really foam from soapy liquid.
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Early in the film, when the Count and Countess walk past the window of the train car, the scenery outside moves vertically for a quick second, as only a film playing outside a set would do.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Plot holes 

After the conspirators stab Ratchett, Pierre "cleans up". He puts the blankets back over Ratchett's body, closes Ratchett's door into the passageway outside, locks it, and chains it - all without wearing gloves. While his fingerprints would be expected to be on the doorknob and possibly even the door lock, there would be no reason for his fingerprints to be on the door chain.
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Revealing mistakes 

After Mr Beddoes stabs Ratchett, the knife is seen to be clean and shiny.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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