After a visit to Parade film studios with his friend Captain Hastings, Poirot finds himself investigating the murder of Henry Reedburn, the head of the studio. Reedburn was something of a tyrant who had fired a veteran actor, taken over a major film from a young director and had recently blackmailed actress Valerie Saintclair into signing a new contract. Upon finding the body, Saintclair ran to a neighboring house to seek help, interrupting the Oglander family's bridge game in the process. However, the lack of a king of clubs on the card table provides Poirot with only clue he needs to solve the crime. Written by
How many times have you seen this story? We see a man at his place of business. Clearly not a pleasant man. He orders one of his employees to be fired, and we see the employee come to the man's office and launch an angry attack on the man before being escorted away. We see the employee mutter "I'll show him" before staggering away to get drunk. Later we see the man at his home. A woman comes to his home, taking care not to be seen by a visitor who is just leaving. Then we see the woman entering another house nearby, and the lady of the house is calling the police, apparently to report an incident at the house next door. The detective is called in because the unpleasant man has been found dead in his home. Who is responsible? The woman who was apparently sneaking in? The disgruntled employee? One of the gypsies making camp just down the street? This could be an episode from any detective series made in the last 50 years. The fact that it features David Suchet as Poirot makes it bearable, but it's missing all the extra touches that make this series so entertaining. The writing and acting are not particularly memorable, the clues that lead to the solution have nothing to do with the actual crime, and the solution itself can be predicted from the relationship that the characters have to each other. Nothing wrong with it. Just not very interesting, I'm afraid.
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