Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond brings Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi.
Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
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 favor to ...Written by
The final toast between the principals served two purposes: After two hours of role playing, it allowed the characters to drop their façades and interact transparently as a family. Secondly, director Sidney Lumet envisioned the toast as a theatrical curtain call, forming Lauren Bacall and Jacqueline Bisset into a "proscenium" from behind, into which each star steps, one at a time, for his or her bow. See more »
In the end credits, Wendy Hiller is credited as Wendy Miller. See more »
Not my favorite Poirot film, but undeniably a classic and enjoyable to (re)watch
"Murder On The Orient Express" is arguably the most famous theatrically released film based on an Agatha Christie book, but there are two factors that keep me from rating it quite as high as its successors, "Death On The Nile" and "Evil Under The Sun": a) Albert Finney has his moments as Hercule Poirot, but sometimes his stuffy, mannered performance comes close to obnoxiousness (some people might claim that he's trying to be more accurate to the character as written by Christie, but I don't think the Poirot of the books would ever tear up the menu of a restaurant and throw the pieces up in the air), b) although the solution to the mystery is one of Christie's most daring and unusual, it is also pretty tough to translate from the page to the screen because it is necessary to introduce a remarkably high number of characters and explain the connection of all their backgrounds to the present events. The script does not succeed 100% at this task, and some of Poirot's conclusions seem to come from pure supposition. Besides all that, however, there's still a lot to like about "Murder On The Orient Express": the superb cast (though I don't know why Ingrid Bergman won an Oscar for this role, if anyone deserved such an award, it was probably John Gielgud or Wendy Hiller), the exhilarating music score, the nostalgic train setting, and some memorably atmospheric scenes (the opening, the re-construction of the crime, etc.). Definitely a film that can be watched multiple times. *** out of 4.
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