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
Stunning adaptation and even heart-rending in places
Sad Cypress is one of my favourite Poirot episodes, along with Five Little Pigs and Peril At End House everything about this adaptation was stunning. I do admit I did cry two or three times. It is faithful to the book, apart from a slight misjudgement about the rose. The plot is quite a complex one, but it is very well constructed here. The look of Sad Cypress was absolutely exquisite- you can never go wrong with dazzling photography, splendid scenery and lovely costumes- this adaptation had all three of those things. The music was gorgeous, haunting yet tragic, and I think it was this that reduced me to tears. The script is very good, beautifully written, and does have a hint of faithfulness about it. The acting was exceptional, although he looked tired, David Suchet turned in an impeccable performance as Poirot. I do consider Suchet the definitive of the Poirots, like Jeremy Brett was the definitive Sherlock Holmes. Elizabeth Dermott Walsh was beautiful beyond words as Elinor Carlisle, just perfect for the role, and Rupert Penry Jones perfectly conveys his flawed character. Diana Quick and Phyllis Logan are fine actresses, and they were superb in their roles. The final solution was very well done, not quite as good in construction as the one in the book, but still effective. I have to say when I first saw this adaptation, I was extremely disturbed by Poirot's dream of Mary Gerrard and her decompsing face. All in all, highly recommended. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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