Fourteen years after her mother, Caroline Crale, was hanged for the murder of her artist father Amyas Crale, Lucy Crale asks Hercule Poirot to investigate her father's death. She is convinced that her mother was innocent but is prepared to accept the truth, whatever that may be. Poirot visits in turn all five persons present when the murder took place including Amyas' best friend, Philip Blake, who was visiting the Crales when Amyas was killed; Philip's brother Meredith from whom Caroline supposedly stole the poison used to kill her husband; Elsa Greer, who was sitting for a portrait and with whom Amyas was supposedly in love; Caroline's half sister Angela who despised Amyas but believed her sister to be innocent; and Miss Williams, the governess. Having heard the tale from five different perspectives, Poirot reunites them all to identify the murderer. Written by
Hercule Poirot is called in to re-investigate a fourteen year old murder case, in which a womanizing artist was poisoned and his wife hanged for the crime, by the daughter who is convinced of her mother's innocence.
An engrossing whodunit. It takes a few viewings to fully appreciate this one, but it is actually a highly imaginative adaptation of Christie's novel with sympathetic characters and directed with flair by Paul Unwin. He and Producer Margaret Mitchell elected to shoot the flashback scenes with hand held cameras in order to try and make the audience feel as if they were part of the film. And in the children's flashbacks they tinted the shots in hazy colours to heighten the impression of the vagueness of the characters' recollections. All the performances work but Suchet stands out particularly as Poirot. The DVD comes with a bonus interview with the actor in which he talks about playing the Belgian sleuth. He has read every Christie Poirot novel and has compiled a complete dossier of the character's habits and eccentricities and as his star status has risen with the success of the series, he has been allowed to have more influence on the scripts and costume design and he is determined to go back to the books for inspiration.
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