Poirot is thrilled to receive an invitation from renowned Belgian actress Marie Marvelle. She has been receiving anonymous notes about the Western Star, a valuable diamond purchased by her husband at a cut-rate price several years before. The notes speak to the mystical nature of the diamonds and that they should be returned to their rightful owners. The next day, Lady Yardly claims to have received similar notes about her own fabulous diamond, the Eastern Star. When Poirot and Hastings visit Lord and Lady Yardly the diamond is stolen in a daring robbery. Needless to say, none of this sits well with Poirot who finds he has a very tight knot to untie. Written by
Poirot is seen placing a card with the words "Mlle. Marie Marvelle." on top of the flowers he has brought with him to the apartment before putting final touches to the tea table. When he gazes at the bouquet before he picks it up later on, the card is nowhere to be seen. See more »
The "Western Star" of the title is a flawless diamond that supposedly represents one eye of a Chinese god; the other eye is represented by an equally valuable diamond, the "Eastern Star". The first is owned by a Belgian female film star and her husband; the second by an English Lord and his wife. When both couples receive anonymous letters threatening them that their diamonds will soon be stolen, Hercule Poirot comes to the rescue.
This is one of the tightest, most story-driven "Poirot" episodes I've seen so far. Usually there's some sightseeing or some subplot along the way, but this time almost every one of the 50 minutes is, directly or indirectly, related to the main plot. Another notable thing is that one big twist is revealed halfway through - and the story just keeps going. Hugh Fraser has some outstanding acting moments in this one, particularly when Captain Hastings THINKS he knows what's going on. Well worth seeing. (***)
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