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19 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Is there anyone as perfect as Suche?

Author: (amon_re2@hotmail.com) from Raleigh, NC
22 December 2000

I am commenting not just on "Hercule Poirot's Christmas," but on the entire DAvid Suche series. The entire cast is utterly superb. They have such an amazing on-screen chemistry. Hastings plays his part magnificently and Chief Inspector Japp is just as Christie describes him in her novels.

I am real big on cinematography and not often is it very good on made for TV movies, shows, etc, but Poroit on A&E has some very nice camera work. The stories are well presented and are concluded with nice, clear cut endings. This is the best Agatha Christie series ever and one of the best TV series on television.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Very good adaptation and seasonal fun

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
28 October 2010

Hercule Poirot's Christmas isn't what I consider the most definitive adaptation in the Agatha Christie Poirot canon, but it is good seasonal fun and a very good adaptation. My only complaints really are the occasionally stodgy pacing and I agree the reveal of the veiled lady was rather unnecessary. I personally had no problem with the final solution. As always, the production values are excellent with the scenery and photography particularly striking and the music is beautiful. The story is well written and is atmospheric and suspenseful, while the writing is excellent in general, likewise with the directing. I had no real qualms with the acting, I wasn't initially sure about Mark Tandy but I am fine with him now. David Suchet as he consistently is is superb as Poirot and Phillip Jackson is a joy as Japp. In the supporting cast, the standouts are (and I concur) Vernon Dobtchef as the chilling and hateful Simeon Lee and Sandra Behar as the beautiful Pilar. Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: dbdumonteil
24 December 2006

Fine adaptation of Christie's book,made with care.The yuletide spirit is perfectly captured and the use of Christmas carols ("I came to save you from that cacophony" Poirot says)delightful.All happens in four days ,the 22nd ,23rd ,24th and 25th of December,as the pages of a tear-off calendar show.

This is Christie at her best: a group of persons in a desirable mansion where a murder is committed ;all might have killed,everyone had a reason for it...Christie had probably read Gaston Leroux's "le Mystere de la Chambre Jaune" and her story is a brilliant variation on the theme.

If you've not read the book,I dare you to guess who...

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Poirot is invited to spend Christmas with Simeon Lee--a wealthy, embittered man--and his family.

Author: rwag-2 from United States
13 July 2006

This is one of my favorite Christmas movies, although I watch it year 'round. The interactions between Poirot and Japp are warm and indicative of their true (sometmes hidden) admiration and fondness for each other. The final scene will remind viewers of what Christmas is really about. David Suchet is--as always--the only Poirot to watch on screen. The soundtrack is one of my favorites--with children's choirs and Salvation bands. The setting is made more beautiful by the holiday events taking place within this suspenseful plot. Although I wonder about the whereabouts of Hastings and Miss Lemon, their absences don't significantly detract from this movie. Make this a part of your collection.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"I have yet to meet anybody in this household that has even the most rudimentary sense of humor."

Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
9 April 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Harry Lee, a wealthy and curmudgeonly old coot, invites Hercule Poirot to spend Christmas with him and his dysfunctional, greedy, money-hungry relatives. On hand are Lee's three sons, their two wives, and a Spanish granddaughter whose late mother was Lee's only daughter. Though Lee seems to relish tormenting his offspring with talk of changing his will, he tells Poirot that he's afraid for his life and wants Poirot to keep and eye on his family. As it turns out, Harry Lee's fears are proved to have been well founded when he's discovered with his throat slashed behind a locked door. With the able and welcome assistance of his friend Inspector Japp, Poirot sets out to find a killer for Christmas.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas is one of the very few Agatha Christie books that I haven't read. Therefore, I have no idea how faithful or unfaithful the movie is to the book. And quite honestly, that may be one of the reasons I enjoyed Hercule Poirot's Christmas so much – I went into it completely blind with no expectations. It has all the traits that I love about a good Agatha Christie mystery – a murder committed in a locked room, a house full of greedy relatives, a bitter old coot of a murder victim, and a gathering of the suspects for the final reveal. The killer's identity wasn't too awfully difficult to figure out, but the how it was done was quite interesting. Like most of the Poirot episodes, Hercule Poirot's Christmas looks fantastic with interesting sets, nice period touches, and solid cinematography and lighting. The acting from most of the supporting players is what I would call okay. The exceptions would be the notable performances of Vernon Dobtcheff as Harry Lee and Sasha Behar as Pilar Estravados. Phillip Jackson gives his usual enjoyable performance as Inspector Japp. And David Suchet is as good as always in the role of Poirot. I can't believe that there was a time just a few years ago when I didn't care for Suchet. Now, not only do I enjoy Suchet's performances, but I consider him the definitive screen version of Poirot. Quite simply, David Suchet IS Poirot!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Festive fun

Author: francyndra from United Kingdom
30 March 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Poirot's central heating is down, so he is attracted by the invitation to the mansion of millionaire Simeon Lee, where an act of brutality that takes place in the night makes Christmas a good deal less merry than usual. I was pleased to see that Japp makes an appearance in this episode, as Poirot normally explains the plot to him which makes the ins and outs understandable to his confused audience.

As always, there are red herrings galore, including a missing case of uncut diamonds concealed in the cabinet of the unfortunate Mr Lee.

Being a Christmas episode, there are several cheerful aspects in the story, including the present Japp gives to Poirot to round off a baffling yet highly entertaining festive treat.

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Poirot's Christmas is less than merry

Author: blanche-2 from United States
18 July 2014

Poor Poirot. There's no heat in his apartment, and it's not being fixed until after Christmas. Then this old man, Simon Lee, calls him and says he needs Poirot at his country home over Christmas, though he's not given an explanation as to why. Poirot has one question: Do you have heat? He's on his way.

Simon Lee is a perfectly awful man. In the beginning of the episode, we see an incident which took place 40 years earlier in South Africa, when Lee and his partner find diamonds. Lee kills his partner but is injured and is taken in by a woman who is disfigured by a port wine stain on her face. It's obvious she falls for him, but one night she discovers that he's disappeared.

Lee hasn't changed much. He has summoned his family to his home and he wants Poirot to watch them. "For what?" asks Poirot. "You'll know when you see it," Lee answers. What Poirot sees later is Lee's murdered body which was in a locked room.

The whole family makes up the list of suspects. Two sons, one of whom hasn't been around for years, a granddaughter, Pilar, the child of Lee's late daughter, and two daughters-in-law.

Soon, a local detective and Inspector Japp turn up.

I understand this is not a faithful adaptation of the book, and one reviewer here said he was glad Agatha Christie wasn't alive to see her work changed. Once the estate gets its money, it's obvious that they don't care what anyone does to the stories. If Christie were alive, I imagine things would be different.

I enjoyed this one, but that's because I don't remember the book.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Murder rates soar on holidays.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
20 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of the better feature-length episodes. There's nothing soppy about it, as there is likely to be in so many other Christmas tales. That's not Dame Agatha's style, nor Poirot's. (Nor Conan-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes for that matter -- the blue carbuncle.) No syrupy little kids either. Thank heavens for small favors.

David Suchet is Hercule Poirot, of course. He and Inspector Japp are required to spend a few days in a Shropshire mansion trying to unravel a mystery in which a dessicated old thief has been murdered and his diamonds disappeared. The wheelchair-bound geezer is Vernon Dobtcheff who almost steals the show with his villainy, looking as he does from some angles like a malignant Sir John Gielgud, without the savory inflections.

He's a spiteful old bastard. He hates the family members he invited to his lodgings, and they hate him. "It is not difficult to see why, M'sieur," remarks Poirot.

The murder seems impossible. The room was locked, the furniture wrecked although the old chap was in no condition to put up a struggle. Did he somehow kills himself and try to make it look like murder? He's certainly capable of it.

Sasha Behar stands out too, as Dobtcheff's Spanish granddaughter. She speaks English with a Spanish accent. Not New World Spanish, but Spanish Spanish. Philip Jackson is Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard. Of Poirot's two usual sidekicks I think I prefer Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings. Jackson looks too much like a dour Scot. Fraser, as Hastings, is gawky and comic, friendlier if no more helpful.

I am, how you say, happy to note that I twigged to the identity of the killer at about the same time Poirot did, in the gag shop, connecting the false mustache with the portrait. In the morgue I was even able to sketch in roughly the history and motive of the murderer and his or her accomplice. The actual details of the murder itself managed to squeeze past me, since I did not note on the wall of the shop, nor had I ever heard of, the Dying Pig. I don't claim that my little gray cells are any more numerous or dendritic than Hercule Poirot's, only that the mustache, the portrait, and the claimant to the family fortune came out of "The Hound of the Baskervilles." In fact I've begun to worry a bit lately about my little gray cells, which I believe are coming to resemble the results of a serious mistake I once made in a high school chemistry class.

This is one of Christie's better mysteries, if only because a viewer is able to keep the characters straight, and because of the blessed absence of mawkish children at Christmas time.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not True to Original Story

Author: RDOwens
31 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just read Hercule Poirot's Christmas. Someone mentioned there had been a television version of the story. I looked at Netflix and sure enough, here it is.

There were many details changed from Agatha Christie's story to the small screen adaptation. Many of those were inconsequential, some for no reason at all, and others that were changed that affected the story. I would have much preferred a more authentic retelling of the story, which was good.

Why was Poirot in the house at the time of the murder? It is a ridiculous premise and one that would assuredly cause Ms. Christie to turn in her grave. Three main characters were omitted from the television reenactment. That removed the "love" story end of the tale. The planting of the case, the arrival of the diamonds altogether, and the attack cheapened the plot of this murder mystery. Those changes seem to me unneeded.

The omission of the characters could perhaps be explained away as financial if the addition of the "mother" at the end was not included. I suppose if one were not familiar with the original story this would pass as okay.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not a very merry Christmas chez Lee!

Author: Iain-215 from United Kingdom
17 May 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

One of Christie's few seasonal outings comes to attractive life in this Suchet Poirot outing. One of the earlier episodes, there is slightly more humour and of course Japp makes an appearance though Hastings and Miss Lemon are happily absent (they are not needed!). Atmospheric and well shot, there are one or two minor changes to the plot but nothing too serious. Given the undue prominence of the South Africa storyline, I'm surprised they cut out the character of Stephen Farr who would have muddied the waters still further but things still worked pretty well. It's a slightly preposterous plot of course - why would anyone stage such an elaborate murder? But this story is all about puzzle and is one of Christie's few attempts at this 'locked room' style.

As others have pointed out, stand out performances in a uniformly good cast are Vernon Dobtcheff as the dreadful old victim and Sasha Behar who is really quite perfect as Pilar - both these characters are EXACTLY as I imagined them! Why not a 10/10? Well, it was a little slow in places and the 'veiled lady' storyline was a bit unnecessary but otherwise, very good!

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