While spending the weekend at his cottage outside London, Hercule Poirot is invited to dinner by Sir Henry and Lady Angkatell. Leaving immediately after dinner, he returns the next day to find that a weekend guest, John Christo, has been shot dead. There is any number of suspects: his former lover, Veronica Cray whom he had not seen for 12 years but suddenly turned up at a nearby cottage; his wife, Gerda who was deeply hurt by his womanizing; his current mistress Henrietta Savernake; Midge Hardcastle, who was very much in love with him, but whom he constantly ignored; and Edward Angkatell, who was in love with Midge. What Poirot finds however is that the evidence equally implicates everyone just a little too equally for it all to be just by chance. Written by
When Henrietta doodles, she always sketches a stylized tree that she calls Yggdrasil. In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is a giant ash tree that represents Viking cosmology, with the branches standing for different parallel worlds. "Heaven" is at the top and Hel is at the bottom. The world we experience is on one of the middle branches. See more »
Gosh. Sometimes a production is completely overwhelmed by the performers. Its particularly noticeable in Christie projects, where nuances in the story are supposed to matter; we worry about every detail and essential to that is our immersion in what Poirot sees (plus other stuff we see and learn). But in this case, a central character is played by Sarah Miles.
If you have an interest in movie personalities, Sarah is a sort of Jane Birkin, a figure behind the scenes who was a muse of sorts in some important projects. These women are the hidden cosmos of sex, romance, partnership for some of our finest film experiences. Sarah and Jane both were in "Blow-up." Sarah was Ryan's daughter. There are stories about her that seem magical. We don't see much of her in film, but here she's all over her character and pulls the whole enterprise into a fireworks show while Suchet putters around on the ground. By the end, we feel as her character says; we just don't care who the murderer was.
Here's the oddest. Her husband is played by the fellow that played Dr. Watson to Jeremy Brett's Holmes. Its at least the highest regarded of the Holmes series. But that husband character is a nitwit. The real person that takes care of the family in the story is the butler. He's played by Edward Fox who is interchangeable in manner and appearance for his brother, James. Sarah had a famous affair with James before marrying Robert Bolt the first time.
Its a strange experience watching this because the backstory mirrors the story of the movie so closely in terms of artistic initiative.
She's something. The Béatrice Dalle I suppose of the last great generation.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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