During a village's Hallowe'en party, a young girl boasts of having witnessed a murder from years before. No one believes her tale until her body is found later on in the evening, drowned in the apple-bobbing bucket.
When Ariadne Oliver and her friend, Judith Butler, attend a children's Halloween party in the village of Woodleigh Common, a young girl named Joyce Reynolds boasts of having witnessed a murder from years before. Joyce's story is heard by all the party, including her strange brother Leopold, the impeccable hostess Rowena Drake, her bookish son Edmund, and the local Reverend Cottrell. Mrs Whittaker, the church organist, and Frances Drake, Rowena's feisty daughter, are dismissive of her story, but later that evening Joyce's lifeless body is discovered face-down in the apple-bobbing bucket. At Mrs Oliver's behest, Poirot travels down to Woodleigh Common to investigate the murder. Although the local police and Joyce's stepmother dismiss the dead girl's claim, Poirot takes Joyce's story seriously. Mrs Goodbody, a gossiping charwoman, tells Poirot there have been a number of suspicious deaths in the village in recent years which Joyce could indeed have witnessed, and that old curses still ... Written by
Guy Fawkes Day, which Michael refers to, is an English patriotic semi-holiday, that can be compared to the American Fourth of July. It is celebrated on November 5 with bonfires and fireworks. See more »
Poirot quotes Shakespeare, saying that "Methinks the lady doth protest too much". This is a common but an incorrect quote. The writing actually says: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks.". The word 'protest' doesn't mean denying anything, but the same as 'vowing' in the current English language. See more »
It doesn't have to be a masterpiece, Ariadne.
No, no. Better take my time. Last one looked like it had had its throat cut.
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I admit, it took me a while to warm up to David Suchet as Poirot. For all time, my favorite Poirot films will be Finney's Murder on the Orient Express, Ustinov's Death on the Nile, and Ustinov's Evil Under the Sun. But Suchet has certainly shaped his own interpretation of Poirot with integrity and consistency. Usually, he's a pleasure to watch.
Hallowe'en Party really surprised me; it has become one of my very favorite Poirot films. It certainly is the best at making use of the wonderful Zoe Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver. She is at her funniest in this film, and I enjoyed watching her tussle with a new Sven Hjerson novel--one where he solves a murder while on a hot air balloon over Abyssinia. I'm not sure why I love this story so much. I usually prefer those in exotic locations, with glamorous figures, and this has neither. But it DOES have all the things that make for a great murder mystery--wonderful back stories that all become relevant in time; eerie, slightly grotesque murders; good, solid red herrings; strong motives; well-rounded characters; a wonderful, satisfying scene of unmasking the killer; and clever use of sound and mise-en- scene.
The film manages to make a rather parochial setting exciting and chock full of sin and lust. I was able to solve it, but didn't find the solution particularly easy or obvious. I would highly recommend it, especially for Ariadne Oliver lovers.
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