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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
Hercule Poirot looks into the case of a woman accused for two murders:
there is overwhelming evidence against her, her dislike for one of the
victims - the girl who stole her fiancé's heart - is well-known, and
she doesn't express any feelings of regret. Despite all that, a doctor,
who is secretly in love with her, is convinced of her innocence and
asks his old friend Poirot to help him prove it.
Let me put it simply: the story, direction, performances, music, and set design of "Sad Cypress" are of higher quality than approximately 90% of what is available out there. Dropping the (highly entertaining, it must be said) sidekicks, changing the tone to almost completely serious, and reducing Poirot's screen time in favor of the other characters (in fact, it could be argued that the beautiful Elisabeth Dermot Walsh is the central figure here) are all bold moves, and they pay off brilliantly, in this case at least. Up to this point in the series, and without having seen "Five Little Pigs" yet, the only episodes I would rank above this one are "Wasps' Nest" and "Lord Edgeware Dies".
A must-see if you love good cinema, even when it's made for TV. (***1/2)
David Suchet is a wonderful actor, he represents Hercule Poirot as
anybody. I love Agatha Christie's novels. I never lose a movie with
David Suchet, I saw him in Henry the VIII too, as cardinal Wolsey, very
good performance. I like Peter Ustinov's performances too, of Poirot I
mean, but David Suchet is insuperable. I am reading now The sad cypress
and is very interesting as all the work of Agatha Christie, in a
Spanish version. I enjoy the novels where Hercule Poirot is the
protagonist. Miss Marple is very smart too but I prefer Poirot.
Congratulations for Mr. David Suchet and I can not wait to watch on TV his last movie.
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
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.
This is one of Agatha Christie's very finest novels, and the producers
have brought it to the screen with sensitivity. Unlike previous
episodes, the writers made comparatively minor changes to the plot,
mostly for dramatic effect (the only one I didn't like was making Mary
Gerrard less of a sympathetic character.) But this is more than made up
for by the performances.
Suchet is compelling to watch as usual, but it is Elizabeth Dermot Walsh's performance as Elinor Carlisle that you'll remember. In what must surely be regarded as one of the very best guest-star turns in the entire series, Ms. Dermot Walsh perfectly captures the character of Elinor from the novel, bringing a luminous, quiet and sorrowful beauty to the episode.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a beautiful looking production, wonderfully shot and - on the
whole - very well acted. David Suchet's excellent Poirot enters the
story somewhat earlier than in the book but that's not too surprising -
the series is called 'Poirot' and fans will want to see him at the
earliest opportunity. Being one of my favourite Poirot books, I had
quite definite ideas of how these characters should look and feel and
generally speaking I was happy with the results in the film. Elisabeth
Dermott Walsh was really spot on as Elinor and Rupert Penry Jones
catches Roddy's weakness very well. It was nice to see the excellent
Phyllis Logan pop up as one of the nurses and Diana Quick is suitably
sympathetic as the invalid Mrs Welman. Perhaps my only slight
reservation is that the crucial role of Mary Gerrard is played as
rather more 'knowing' than she ought to be and as a result rather less
Two disappointments, one very trivial and one not quite so. Much as I enjoyed the denouement, it didn't have the power of that in the book where the solution was revealed by a series of revelations within the courtroom. The film opts for a more exciting end but as a result it's less believable. The trivial disappointment is a lack of attention to detail, for the important supporting role of the Zephirine Drouhin rose is miscast - it should be bright pink and not crimson red! Seriously though, this is a very good film overall and well worth watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was pleasantly surprised to come across the adaptation of another
Agatha Christie novel starring the inimitable David Suchet. He really
IS the definitive Hercule Poirot.
While pleasantly surprised, I was mildly dismayed to realize that it was an adaptation of "Sad Cypress", one of Christie's "minor" Poirot mysteries and certainly not her best. However, I couldn't have been more wrong. This has to be one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. In the book, much of the action is discussed within the context of Elinor's trial, making it come across as a sort of Britishized Perry Mason mystery. The movie, while narratively framed by the trial, wisely jettisons most of it to focus on the characters and, of course, Poirot.
The actors are all very good with special kudos to actress Elizabeth Dermot-Walsh as the wrongly accused (or is she?) Elinor Carlisle. Her performance is heart-breaking. And it doesn't hurt that she's one of the most interesting-looking women I've seen in a long time.
The only weakness comes in the middle of movie as the shift of Roddy's affections from Elinor to Mary seem to be rather rushed and not well-explained. But overall, the movie is time well-spent.
This movie was just shown on the Biography Channel although it was
released in 2003!
I agree that Suchet is 'slowing down' a bit as Poirot and I definitely do not like his current mustache!
However, I don't agree with one commenter on the roles of Japp, Hastings & Ms. Lemon re: their interaction with Poirot.
I personally think Ms. Lemon was in love with Poirot.
Hastings was the perfect 'foil' to Poirot in that he was so very 'English' and much more relaxed to Poirot 'fussiness'! Japp is a definite 'cop' and brought the police's role into the mix full bore. Police usually take the line that the simplest reasoning is the answer so again it's a great 'foil' to Poirot's little 'gray cells' which have to ferret out the idiosyncrasies of the different characters.
The movie was excellent! I knew who was going to die but the rest of it was a 'mystery' to me! I loved the ending - Suchet did a great 'dying' scene!
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 Elinor is innocent and implores Poirot to
reinvestigate the case. Poirot agrees, resulting in a race against time
to save Elinor.
Clever and intriguing. The number of suspects is quite small, but you're never sure which it is. Motives by anyone other than Elinor appear non-existent, making things more difficult. So, the murderer is very well hidden, making the case even more interesting.
Sad Cypress does have a similar story and feel to Mrs McGinty's Dead. However, Sad Cypress has a much more plausible plot, especially backstory and motive.
In the great tradition of the Poirot series, a great supporting cast. The notable names this time are Paul McGann (of Withnail and I and Hornblower fame) and Kelly Reilly (True Detective S2, among other things).
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a very good adaptation of one of Christie's novels about
The pace is great, and the village setting is quite believable. I've never been to an English village, but this is the image I receive of one when reading Christie.
The plot is perhaps a little weak as for the motive, and the criminal. Sad Cypress is not one of her best novels. The title is apparently from Shakespeare.
There are naturally some divergences from the original story: Mary Gerrard received only 2000 pounds, and not 7000. Elinor Clarlisle actually sold the estate after the death of her aunt.
Special praise for the ingenious dream sequence where Poirot sees Mary Gerard's pretty face dissolve into that of an ugly corpse. It is actually one of the best, and scariest, of the kind that I've seen in a long time. I do, however, believe that this was not in the novel.
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