6.7/10
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5 user 1 critic

Murder by the Book (1986)

| Drama, Mystery | TV Movie
Poirot has been murdered! Did Agatha Christie do it?

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(as Nicholas Evans)
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Sir Max Mallowan
Michael Aldridge ...
Edmond Cork
John Atkinson ...
Gardener
Dawn Archibald ...
Sally
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Agatha Christie's agents propose that it's time for her to publish the manuscript she wrote thirty-five years earlier, a novel in which she finally kills off her most famous creation. And it's not an entirely sad occasion. "That wretched little man," she says. "He's always been so much trouble. How is it Miss Marple has never upset me at all, not ever?" That night, who should appear at her doorstep but the wretched little man himself, Hercule Poirot? The great fictional detective and his creator proceed to play a very Christie-like game of cat and mouse for the manuscript - and for their own lives. Written by J. Spurlin

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User Reviews

 
Interesting idea, very nice film
7 April 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Anybody who is a fan of Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot or both will jump for joy at the idea of Murder by the Book. And there is very little to be disappointed by either. The opening and closing scenes are not bad but I agree not as interesting or as relevant as the rest of the film. However, the period detail is evocative and very competently shot, neither cinematic or cheap-looking. Howard Goodall's music is good as well, it is atmospherically orchestrated and has a haunting undercurrent that is perfect for Murder by the Book. What I also liked was that it actually sounds like the sort of music you'd find in an Agatha Christie adaptation. The story makes the most of the great idea it stemmed from, is paced very much an Agatha Christie adaptation- I did like that they made an effort to make a film about Christie and one of her detectives and stick to the spirit of how she wrote and the adaptations of her books- and throughout is very entertaining. The script is knowing, with some nice nods, subtle humour and genuine poignancy. Peggy Ashcroft and Ian Holm(made up to look like one of the more faithful recreations of this iconic literary detective) are respectively wonderful as Agatha and Poirot, and the rest of the cast do solidly. All in all, a very nice film and does a good job with the interesting idea it had. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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