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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Like other reviewers, I expected (or at least hoped for) much more from this movie. I don't understand why Poirot is made to appear so sullen, almost despondent, in this film. And I agree that the many references to religion seem forced. But what really frustrates me about some of the recent Christie adaptations, and especially this one, is that there simply isn't enough time to develop the story properly. The pace is all wrong, so the whole thing has a hurried, unnatural feel to it. If you haven't seen the 1974 version with Albert Finney, you owe it to yourself to rent it. Don't let the fact that the film is over 35 years old discourage you; it has held up well, and is a genuine pleasure to watch.
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