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
Geoffrey Beevers ...
Alistair Findlay ...
Prosecuting Counsel
Linda Spurrier ...
Mrs. Bishop
Ian Taylor ...


Elinor Carlisle and Roddy Winter are happily engaged. Elinor's aunt is receives is Laura Welman, wealthy but ailing and bed-ridden. Elinor receives an anonymous letter, warning her that someone will try to gain favour with Mrs Welman, to her expense. Her aunt's doctor, Doctor Peter Lord, contacts Hercule Poirot to investigate. Mrs Welman dies with no will, and, as her next-of-kin, Elinor receives everything. Elinor. Shortly before her death, Mary Gerrard, an old friend of the family, reappears after a long absence. Roddy falls for her and this ends his engagement to Elinor. Elinor is openly resentful of Mary ending her relationship with Roddy and says she wished Mary was dead. One afternoon, Mary stops by for tea and sandwiches with Elinor and a short while later is found dead, poisoned. After a thorough investigation, which Poirot assisted in, Elinor is charged with and ultimately found guilty of the murders of Mary and Mrs Welman. She is sentenced to hang. Doctor Lord insists that ... Written by grantss

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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?


Paul McGann portrays a doctor in this episode. McGann is well known for playing the eighth version of the Doctor in the Doctor WHO series. See more »


The paper boy at the newsstand announces "Gershwin dies!" Poirot opens the newspaper, which features the obituary of famed American composer George Gershwin. On the opposite page is the obituary of Laura Welman, and the date on the newspaper states that it is September 1937. George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937. See more »


Hercule Poirot: I am, as you say, bored to the tears.
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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.

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