After traveling on the Blue Train from Calais to Nice, Hercule Poirot is pressed into service to help solve the murder of heiress Ruth Kettering who is found savagely beaten in her compartment. She was the daughter of wealthy industrialist Rufus Van Alden and very much wanted a divorce. Both her husband and her lover were on the train but she had changed rooms with another passenger, Katherine Grey, so the question naturally arises as to whether she was the intended victim. Grey may also have had enemies as she had recently inherited a very large sum of money and greedy relatives had suddenly taken a interest in her. When an attempt is subsequently made on Grey's life, this appears to the case but Poirot methodically sifts through all of the clues to determine the motive and identify the killer. Written by
very disappointing - not up to usual good standard of Poirot on ITV
Have at last managed to force myself to watch the Mystery of the Blue Train to the end but what a struggle, and what a tremendous disappointment after all the other wonderful Poirot films. In the documentary about the making of the film the director said he was taking "monstrous liabilities" with the story; he massacred it. What on earth is the point of making a film of a good book if it is almost unrecognisable? It may not have been Agatha Christie's favourite, but I certainly enjoyed it, and the atmosphere of the Riviera it created, and it was a much better story in her capable hands than in the makers of this attempt. It was confused; much of it seemed to have been shot in the dark, even some of the daytime scenes; and to jam all the characters on to the train in a poor imitation of Murder on the Orient Express was just pointless. I couldn't even recognise some of the characters - so many looked alike it was hard to tell them apart even when a name was mentioned; and the two curly-headed clowns with the young man in tow (alias Lady Lennox, her daughter and husband) who kept popping up all over the train looked as though they belonged in a circus. Does the director not understand that Agatha Christie is popular because her plots, although they sometimes have quite a cast of characters, are not that difficult to understand? They are good stories, and many people actually enjoy believe it or not good stories that they can just sit and watch and enjoy without having to do mental gymnastics to work out what is happening and who is who. They have stood the test of time, and seem, if anything, to be gaining in popularity - this film will do nothing to enhance that. This was an ill-judged attempt to entertain that failed completely. I had been looking forward very much to the next three that are to follow; now I just don't know what to expect - probably the ruination of three more good stories. I am surprised David Suchet has lent his name to such a poor adaptation; he has gone down in my estimation. After the high standard of the previous David Suchet/Poirot films, this was a huge disappointment.
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