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
Although this version of the story takes place in 1938, Christie's original novel was published in 1934. See more »
Mr. Bouc compares one of the characters to the "Bismark" battleship. The Bismark was laid down in 1936 only, launched in 1939 and commissioned in 1940. 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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While a fan to David Suchet as Poirot, I still don't understand the crew's urge for a different version of MOTOE. Why not true to the book and apply their artistic talents, if any? The new version tries to differentiate everything, including things that shouldn't be touched. Poirot as an uncontrollable personality. Poirot as a super religious person, so emphatically stressed. Why adds all these? Poirot is already world-famous because of his eccentric style and peculiar expression. Respect that and move on, instead of re-creating his character away from Agatha Christie. Somehow I feel an unnecessary revolt to what has been done before. Some I-want-to-leave-my-fingerprints kind of mindset. This is probably why talents in this one episode are so misplaced. Such attempts on Poirot result in another missed opportunity: underdeveloped characters all over the place. Only Toby Jones as the villain gets lucky, since he came, did his piece, and left the face of the earth before more script pages can do him any harm. A murder scene, yes. Gruesome and real, much more than the Lumet's glamorous version. But it makes the ending even more frustrating. How can anyone forgive the culprits having witnessed a crime such as that? The realism of the murder scene takes away the merit of Poirot's "second solution", while the Lumet version treats this one part so masterfully. The key word of this story is sympathy. And that is exactly so missed here.
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