Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
A friend of Miss Marple's sees a woman being strangled in a passing train. When police cannot find a body and doubt the story, Miss Marple enlists professional housekeeper, Lucy Eyelesbarrow, to go undercover.
When Gerry Wade sleeps in and is late for breakfast, his friends find that he has a very good reason - he's been murdered. Lady Eileen Brent, known to her friends as Bundle and in whose bed Wade died, returns home and decides to investigate. When a second man is killed, he mentions something about " ...seven dials...tell Jimmy Thesiger..." but Thesiger has no idea what he was talking about. What they learn is of the existence of a secret society and of a hugely valuable formula for making a specialized form of steel. But who exactly is behind the two murders and why were they killed? Written by
The roman numeral for the "eleven" o'clock position on the hoods is reversed reading 'IX' instead of 'XI'. Later in the movie it is corrected but they didn't make new hoods; instead they inked over the leading 'I' and added an 'I' after the 'X'. See more »
Marquis of Caterhan:
You really shouldn't go about shooting people, you know. They don't like it. I dare say some of them richly deserve it, but it only leads to trouble in the end.
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I have an all-encompassing quest to experience films in a lucid, coherent way. Within that are several little projects that have become hypnotic vortices of their own. One of these, in a sort of self-referential way is the quest for the best film of a Christie novel.
This comes close in terms of Christiness. That's because it is a pretty faithful rendering of the book. As such, it follows her nice form of introductions. In these novels, it is all a game of defining people that sew into each other. The people come first and we find of course that by the end we have sewn them together incorrectly because of the simple order in which they were introduced.
Christie (and others, Sayers) have this game of limited watching. Everything we see is true, but we don't see everything we need to in order to weave a coherent narrative until the end. That's when we revisit many scenes, which we "see again." Its all about seeing, really. And that's especially so when she writes book without her regular detectives. With the detectives, there is some internal sight, some mental perspectives, but with these it is purely about what is seen physically.
Here's the interesting part. Movies, and especially these puzzle movies are also about what we see and what we don't. That's the root of the cinematic experience. But Christie didn't write with a cinematic imagination. So the two conventions of visual trickery are close but not the same.
That's why I'm so fascinated by films of Christie stories. It is a wonderful cinematic challenge for the filmmaker, and in a way because all this is collaborative construction one for the viewer as well.
This adventure plays with secrets in three ways (signage, association and "state" secrets) and allows us to confuse them by natural assumptions that prove false. It is clever. As a book it is clever, I mean.
As a film, it goes on too long and asks us to accept some rather extreme portrayals.
Even with its length and observance of the story, there is a pretty jarring discontinuity between the first part of a large group of young, silly people. We need this large number to justify the eight clocks. But managing so many red herrings in a movie isn't feasible so all the girls are dropped.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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