Railway director and fellow Belgian Monsieur Bouc secures Poirot a last minute berth on the Orient Express, returning to England from Istanbul. Ratchett, an abrasive American businessman, traveling with his valet and male secretary, tries to secure Poirot's services as he fears that his life is in danger. Poirot turns him down, but the next morning, whilst the train is stuck in a snowdrift in Serbia, Ratchett is found stabbed to death. There is vague talk of a man seen fleeing the train, but many of the passengers in Poirot's compartment do not appear to know either Ratchett or each other, so what could the motive be? Poirot, assisted by Bouc and Dr. Constantine, attempts to find out. Written by
don @ minifie-1
The movie is based on the Lindbergh kidnapping in New Hope, New Jersey. The character of Hector MacQueen (Brian J. Smith) is revealed to be the lead prosecutor who lost the case against the murderer Ratchett. If that were true, his real life figure would be Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, the father of General Norman Schwarzkopf, who was the lead New Jersey State Police investigator in the Lindbergh case. See more »
A few moments before the train hits the snowdrift it is seen moving across the screen from right to left surrounded by a landscape which, much as is it beautiful, doesn't at all correspond to the actual topography of that part of former Yugoslavia. The land there is predominantly fertile plains and there are most certainly no snowy mountains on the horizon to be seen. See more »
No! Lieutenant, you lie to Poirot. You say that you were in the barracks by midnight, but Poirot has proved this to be false. At a quarter to one in the morning you were seen over two miles away in the company of the woman who died. General, this is not a murder, as is suggested by the Palestinian police, but I do believe the lieutenant lied about his whereabouts, first out of panic and then, by sticking to this *lie*, but reinforcing it with *lie* after *lie* for weeks and weeks ...
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Suchet & Murder on the Orient Express - A Masterpiece Mystery
David Suchet gives a towering and commanding performance as famed Belgium detective Hercule Poirot in this latest version of "Murder on the Orient Express" based on the novel by Dame Agatha Christie. There is such fire and passion in Suchet's eyes that I scarcely recognized his Poirot from the other times he has performed Poirot throughout his many years in this role. I literally could not take my eyes off of him.
This 2010 version of Murder on the Orient Express chooses to focus on the character of Poirot, his belief in justice, and his inner turmoil on how to reconcile the solution to the mystery with his own values. This is done rather than focus on the glamorous suspects on the train, which has been done in other versions. As the reality of who the murderer or murderers becomes clear, Poirot becomes visibly weary at the path that lay before him. Will he make an exception and let the murderer or murderers go?
Mr. Suchet knows the inner workings of Poirot's mind so intimately from having played the character more times than any other actor in history that he is explosive on the screen as he portrays Poirot's soul in turmoil. Mr. Suchet's performance is the reason to watch this version.
My one criticism that prevents me from giving the film a 10th star, is the use of religion as something that would enter Poirot's consideration. The film conveniently omits reference to Poirot's reference to his "little gray cells" because the logical mind of Hercule Poirot is not affected by religious considerations. I believe that Suchet could have portrayed Poirot's inner conflict with a secular opposition to murder as the break down of society. In this 2010 film, Poirot says as much when he savagely defends the rule of law to prevent man from descent into anarchy on the train. The introduction that Poirot was a Catholic was a cheap shortcut to clarify Poirot's decision as to what to do with the murderer or murderers at the end. Instead of using Catholicism, Poirot's open and often spoken belief in the value of life could have been used to justify Poirot's final decision.
Regardless of the screenwriter's choice to make Poirot unnecessarily ultra religious (even going so far as to have Poirot clutching rosary beads in the last shot of the film), I strongly recommend this 2010 version of Murder on the Orient Express to your kind attention.
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