IMDb > "Agatha Christie's Poirot" Four and Twenty Blackbirds (1989)

"Agatha Christie's Poirot" Four and Twenty Blackbirds (1989)

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Agatha Christie's Poirot: Season 1: Episode 4 -- Poirot's keen powers of observation and culinary know-how help him solve a murder case.


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7.3/10   514 votes »
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Russell Murray (dramatized by)
Clive Exton (script consultant)
View company contact information for Four and Twenty Blackbirds on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
29 January 1989 (Season 1, Episode 4)
When a reclusive painter is found dead, Poirot finds the vital clue in the dead man's last meal. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
One of the series' finest See more (10 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

David Suchet ... Hercule Poirot

Hugh Fraser ... Captain Hastings

Philip Jackson ... Chief Inspector Japp

Pauline Moran ... Miss Lemon
Richard Howard ... George Lorrimer
Tony Aitken ... Tommy Pinner
Charles Pemberton ... Stooge
Geoffrey Larder ... Harry Clarke
Denys Hawthorne ... Bonnington
Holly De Jong ... Dulcie Lang
Clifford Rose ... Makinson
Philip Locke ... Cutter
Hilary Mason ... Mrs. Hill
Cheryl Hall ... Molly
Marjie Lawrence ... Irene Mullen
Su Elliot ... Edith (as Su Elliott)
John Bardon ... Lavatory Attendant
Peter Waddington ... Forensic
Guy Standeven ... Vicar
Andrew Mackintosh ... Doctor
Stephen Pruslin ... Pianist

John Sessions ... Radio Voice Overs (voice)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Renny Rye 
Writing credits
Russell Murray (dramatized by)

Clive Exton (script consultant)

Agatha Christie  short story "Four and Twenty Blackbirds" (uncredited)

Produced by
Linda Agran .... executive producer
Brian Eastman .... producer
Nick Elliott .... executive producer
Original Music by
Christopher Gunning 
Cinematography by
Peter Jessop (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Paul Hudson 
Casting by
Rebecca Howard 
Production Design by
Mike Oxley 
Costume Design by
Linda Mattock 
Makeup Department
Hilary Martin .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Martin Bond .... production manager
David Fitzgerald .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Brett .... first assistant director
Art Department
Mickey Lennon .... property master (as Micky Lennon)
Les Peach .... construction manager
Vanda Vivian .... production buyer
Mark White .... construction (uncredited)
Sound Department
Graham Harris .... dubbing editor
Sandy MacRae .... sound recordist (as Sandy Macrae)
Camera and Electrical Department
Jamie Harcourt .... camera operator
Joe Spence .... gaffer
Other crew
Richard Dobson .... location manager
Sam Donovan .... continuity
Sam Donovan .... production assistant
Pat Gavin .... titles
Nigel Gostelow .... location manager
Mike Littlejohn .... production accountant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

UK:50 min (36 episodes)
UK:U (video rating) (1989) (1998) (2005)

Did You Know?

Anachronisms: During Poirot's and Hastings' visit to a music-hall, a modern 'EXIT' sign is clearly visible in the background.See more »
[first lines]
Doctor:There's very little I can do for him now, Mrs Hill. He's very weak.
Mrs. Hill:Oh dear! Is there no hope?
Doctor:I'm afraid not. It's more a matter of hours, rather than days, now. Doesn't Mr Anthony have any relatives?
Mrs. Hill:There's a brother, Henry, but they haven't spoken in twenty years.
Doctor:No one else?
Mrs. Hill:Well, yes. There's Mr George, his nephew, in London. I expect he'd want to know.
See more »


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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
One of the series' finest, 25 April 2012
Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom

I have always been a huge fan of Poirot and of Agatha Christie, and alongside The Adventure of the Italian Nobleman, Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb, Wasp's Nest and The Chocolate Box, Four and Twenty Blackbirds is one of the better short story adaptations. It is a simple story, but still very clever and elegant in its simplicity. The writing still has humour, intelligence and suspense, the music is hauntingly beautiful and the adaptation with the evocative atmosphere, beautiful locations and sets and elegant costumes is very well made as usual. David Suchet is impeccable, and he as always is well supported by Hugh Fraser, Phillip Jackson and Pauline Moran. The support cast are solid, with nobody weak but nobody quite up the standard of acting set by the four leads. EastEnders fans look out for John Bardon(aka Jim Branning) as a Lavatory man. All in all, a great episode and one of my favourites of not just the short story adaptations but also of the series. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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