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Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writer:

Paul Dehn (screenplay by)
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Popularity
1,013 ( 45)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Albert Finney ... Hercule Poirot
Lauren Bacall ... Mrs. Hubbard
Martin Balsam ... Bianchi
Ingrid Bergman ... Greta
Jacqueline Bisset ... Countess Andrenyi
Jean-Pierre Cassel ... Pierre (as Jean Pierre Cassel)
Sean Connery ... Col. Arbuthnot
John Gielgud ... Beddoes
Wendy Hiller ... Princess Dragomiroff
Anthony Perkins ... McQueen
Vanessa Redgrave ... Mary Debenham
Rachel Roberts ... Hildegarde
Richard Widmark ... Ratchett
Michael York ... Count Andrenyi
Colin Blakely ... Hardman
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Storyline

The first class compartment of the December 1935 departure of the Orient Express from Istanbul is full, unusual for this time of the year. Regardless, famed and fastidious Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who needs to get back to London immediately, is able to secure last minute passage in the compartment with the assistance of his friend, Signor Bianchi, one of the directors of the train line who is also making the trip. Some of the first class passengers seem concerned about Poirot's presence on the train. At least one of them has reason to be concerned, as later, another first class passenger, who earlier in the trip asked Poirot to provide protection for him due to several death threats, is found murdered in his stateroom by multiple stabbings. At the time the victim is found, the train is unexpectedly stopped and delayed due to snow in remote Yugoslavia, which may be problematic for the murderer in getting away now that Poirot is on the case, which he is doing as a favour to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Who's Who in the Whodunnit! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French | German | Turkish | Italian | Swedish

Release Date:

24 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mord im Orient-Express See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$35,733,867, 31 December 1975
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Colour by) (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Sidney Lumet, Paramount Pictures decided to release the film on a Sunday in only two theaters on the film's opening day. See more »

Goofs

At the train station, the oriental women wearing kimonos are clearly made up as Japanese, but can be heard speaking Cantonese. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ferry conductor: Your ticket, please.
Mary Debenham: Oh, yes.
Ferry conductor: Welcome aboard, Miss Debenham.
Mary Debenham: Thank you.
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Connections

Featured in Making 'Murder on the Orient Express' (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Princess Dragomiroff
(uncredited)
Composed by Richard Rodney Bennett
Performed by Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden conducted by Marcus Dods
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It Oozes Elegance
7 February 2005 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

This whodunit story by Dame Agatha is excellent. She has always been my favorite writer of detective fiction. I keep returning to the film version, however, not because of the story but because of the film's sheer elegance and style. It is awash in elegance ... the majestic cinematography; the glamorous clothes; the delightfully eccentric aristocratic characters; the mysterious yet refined musical score. The film is so theatrically regal I'm surprised that it did not feature a representative of British royalty.

The setting is Europe in the 1930's. The pace is slow and relaxed. And while the dialogue is in English, the film has a deliciously international flavor, with a mix of interesting accents and word pronunciations. Heavy on dialogue, the film never seems overly talky, the result of a clever screenplay and lush visuals. Humor is included in the script usually in the form of tasteful put-downs. Example: an attractive Mrs. Hubbard comments: "Don't you agree the man must have entered my compartment to gain access to Mr. Ratchett?" The aging Princess Dragomiroff responds in a deadpan tone: "I can think of no other reason, madam."

In his portrayal of Hercule Poirot, Albert Finney almost literally disappears into the role, a tribute to convincing makeup and to Finney's adroit acting. His performance is appropriately idiosyncratic, deliciously hammy, and theatrical, every bit as entertaining in this film as Peter Ustinov is in subsequent Christie movies. The rest of the cast has ensemble parts, my favorite being Wendy Hiller whose Princess Dragomiroff comes across as royal, proud, and very eccentric.

With its snowy landscapes, ornate and cozy interiors, and subdued lighting, "Murder On The Orient Express" is an excellent movie to watch on a cold, winter night, snuggled under a blanket or next to a warm fireplace with a cup of cappuccino or a glass of cognac. Just be sure that all knives and daggers in your mansion are out of reach from your staff of servants.


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