Like three other Russian films made in the 1980s (A Pocket Full of Rye, Ten Little Indians, and Peril at End House), this one-based on the novel The Murder of Roger Ackroyd-remains quite faithful to Christie's original story. Although none of these productions were "authorized" (they were made without the consent or permission of the Christie Company or Estate)they are all nonetheless well-made and close to the written works.
Following the murder of Sir Roger Ackroyd, Poirot enlists the aid of butler Parker and Flora Ackroyd to reconstruct the crime. When asked how many glasses were on the tray the butler brought the victim the night he was murdered, he is surprised the answer was two, but the butler tells Poirot "I always brought him two glasses." Poirot explains at the end of the film that the murderer has to fit certain criteria-six points in all. The killer had to know Ackroyd had a dictaphone, had to have a receptacle to hide same, had to have been at the Three Boars Inn, needed a mechanical type mind, had to have an opportunity to take the murder weapon, and finally needed access to Ackroyd's study after he was dead.
Konstantin Rajkin makes a very fine Poirot, and also Sergei Makovetsky is good as Dr. Shepherd. The latter actor is known as The People's Actor of Russia, and has won numerous film and theatre awards. This film was selected Picture of the Year by the Russian Film Academy. It also has great cinematography and period settings. If you can find a copy it's well worth the time to watch it.
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