Elinor Carlisle seems to be the obvious murderer of her ailing aunt and the beautiful romantic rival who broke up her engagement, but Poirot uncovers darker motives.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Elinor Carlisle
Mary Gerrard
Dr. Peter Lord
Nurse Hopkins
Nurse O'Brien
Mrs. Welman
Stuart Laing ...
Ted Horlick
Jack Galloway ...
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Alistair Findlay ...
Prosecuting Counsel
Linda Spurrier ...
Mrs. Bishop
Ian Taylor ...


Distant cousins and childhood friends Elinor Carlisle and Roddy Welman are happily engaged to be married. One day Elinor receives an anonymous letter in the post, claiming that someone is trying their hardest to work their way into the affection, and subsequently also bank account, of her wealthy aunt Laura Welman, who is presently bedridden at her home since after a stroke and from whose death Elinor and Roddy both expect to inherit a large fortune. Not knowing what to make of the letter, the young couple eventually decide to pay Laura a visit in order to see for themselves what is really going on at the house. When they arrive, Elinor immediately becomes suspicious towards Mary Gerrard, the lodge keeper's daughter, recently returned to England after having studied in Europe and whom everyone else at the house seem to absolutely dote on. No one else however seem to share Elinor's suspicions or dislike of the young woman, and in particular not Roddy, whom Elinor one night discovers ... Written by Anonymous

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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 December 2003 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(DVD) | (11 episodes)

Sound Mix:


(Kodak Vision Color Negative Film)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The title refers to lines from William Shakespeare's play "Twelfth Night": "Come away, come away, death, And in sad cypress let me be laid." See more »


When Poirot gets into a taxi he asks to be taken to 'The British Library.' This was not created until 1973. He should have asked for 'The British Museum' or 'The British Museum Library.' See more »


Nurse Hopkins: As I said before, Mr. Poirot, let the dead rest in peace.
Hercule Poirot: Not when one has to consider the living.
See more »

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User Reviews

Still Great but...
18 April 2004 | by (Casablanca) – See all my reviews

Poirot: Sad Cypress maintains the usual high quality that any adaptation with David Suchet has. Elinor Carlisle receives an anonymous letter advising her to visit her sick aunt or risk being cut out of the will by the enormous and negative influence someone recently acquired over the old lady. Elinor along with her fiancé Roddy although not believing the letter decide to do as it says in an attempt to discover what is really going on. By the advice of a friend they give Poirot the letter and it is clear to the Belgian detective that evil will soon take his victim. I wont say any more about the story not to ruin it for you but it has plenty of mystery as always and a few twists you wont expect. I was literally falling off the couch in the last minutes as the truth was about to be revealed as it is not easy to take a pick as to whom the killer is despite the opening shot that shows us Elinor being prosecuted for two murders and her off voice proclaiming that she has no remorse about it. We stay in doubt as to if that truly is the case or if maybe she actually is innocent. Of course that is a job for Hercule Poirot.

David Suchet is again perfect in his role. I love his work. I worship his portrayal of Poirot. Unfortunately time goes by and Suchet is not in his best shape and at times seems rather tired. Still he is the best Poirot there is and ever will be. Sad Cypress does loose a lot for not having its main character on screen much time. An hour had passed and we had seen Poirot in only a few scenes. While the story may justify this in a way it still is a disappointment to wait so long to see him in action.

The other actors all do a fantastic job with Elisabeth Dermot-Walsh taking the spotlight. She is amazingly beautiful and mysterious. What an absolutely gorgeous woman.

Sad Cypress is recommended to Agatha Christie's fans and to anyone who enjoys a good mystery. Still it is somewhat disappointing due to a little too far fetched explanation and a sometimes absent Poirot performed by an aging Suchet that while still possessing great skill is bellow his best. And of course there's no Captain Hastings, Miss Lemon or Chief Inspector Japp. Its always more fun when the whole gang is present.

A wonderful effort that could maybe be better but still proves an absolute pleasure to watch.

23 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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