"Agatha Christie's Poirot: Sad Cypress (#9.2)"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Agatha Christie's Poirot" Sad Cypress (2003)

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28 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Stunning adaptation and even heart-rending in places

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
24 October 2009

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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21 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Exceptionally well-done

Author: gridoon2016
30 March 2008

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)

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Congratulations Mr. Suchet

Author: hlarrauri11 from Peru
29 August 2005

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.


Helen Larrauri


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23 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Still Great but...

Author: JackBravo69 from Casablanca
18 April 2004

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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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Lovely, elegiac Poirot episode

Author: granola357 from United States
23 January 2010

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.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Good, quite faithful adaptation

Author: Iain-215 from United Kingdom
28 April 2008

*** 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 sympathetic.

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.

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Another excellent movie from the pages of Agatha Christie

Author: gee-15 from United States
24 September 2004

*** 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.

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12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:


Author: pterron4 from Orange County California
11 October 2004

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!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Clever and intriguing

Author: grantss from Sydney, Australia
3 June 2016

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).

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: merrywater from Sweden
31 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very good adaptation of one of Christie's novels about Hercule Poirot.

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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