7.3/10
52,327
213 user 89 critic

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Trailer
3:12 | Trailer
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)
Reviews
Popularity
2,024 ( 31)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

As Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board. Can Poirot identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its journey?

Director: John Guillermin
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Mia Farrow, Simon MacCorkindale
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Peter Ustinov, James Mason, Maggie Smith
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a murder occurs on the train on which he's travelling, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When a former prison wardress who dominates the lives of her three adult stepchildren and her daughter is found dead at an archaeological dig near the Dead Sea, there are a great many suspects.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Lauren Bacall, Carrie Fisher
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Miss Jane Marple (Dame Angela Lansbury) comes to solve the mystery when a local woman is poisoned and a visiting movie star seems to have been the intended victim.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Angela Lansbury, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney
Thirteen at Dinner (TV Movie 1985)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Lou Antonio
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Faye Dunaway, David Suchet
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Five famous literary detective characters and their sidekicks are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even stranger mystery.

Director: Robert Moore
Stars: Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers
The Verdict (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden
The Offence (1973)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A burnt-out British police detective finally snaps whilst interrogating a suspected child molester.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation, which turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Serpico (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe

Photos

Edit

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 favor 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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sound mixer Peter Handford pioneered the use of radio mikes in a feature film on this production. The microphones were concealed in table fittings. See more »

Goofs

Whilst passengers are boarding the train, you can hear through the speakers in several different languages where the train is going to stop. Sofia, Belgrade, Zagreb, Brod, Trieste. The city of Brod between Zagreb and Trieste is in Slovenia and not on the railway line. The train halt is at Slavonski Brod located between Belgrade and Zagreb. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Wallander: The Fifth Woman (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Murder
(uncredited)
Composed by Richard Rodney Bennett
Performed by Royal Opera House Orchestra, Covent Garden conducted by Marcus Dods
See more »

User Reviews

 
When Agatha Christie Finally Came Into Her Own Cinematically
1 January 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

Agatha Christie lived long enough to enjoy something few of her contemporaries could claim.

Movies based on Christie's novels and stories were being made back to the 1930s. One early one with Charles Laughton as Hercule Poiret so turned her off that she was hesitant about future productions of her work. But they were made - like the two versions of LOVE FROM A STRANGER. There were two high points: Rene Clair's AND THEN THERE WERE NONE and Billy Wilder's WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (oddly enough with Laughton again, but in a better fitting performance). Then came the popular series of Miss Marple films with Margaret Rutherford, which were rewritten to emphasize Rutherford's comic abilities (and to give Miss Marple a companion - Mr. Stringer, played by Rutherford's husband Stringer Davis). Another attempt at Poirot was made, again as a comic film, THE A.B.C.MURDERS (with Tony Randall as Poirot). Christie was not amused. But in 1974 she saw her vision of Hercule Poirot as a character put properly on screen by Albert Finney in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.

It gave her a satisfaction that few mystery novelists of her age ever had. Dorothy Sayers did live to see Lord Peter Wimsey played by Robert Montgomery in BUSMAN'S HONEYMOON, but while entertaining it was not the Wimsey that she created - she died before she could see Ian Carmichael play the role on a series of television multi-episodes shows based on her novels. While Josephine Tey's novels occasionally were made into films, her Inspector Grant was not turned into a good running series character.

I think that the reason that Agatha Christie was satisfied was the care that Sidney Lumet took with MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. Not only the all star cast involved, but keeping the story in the late 1920s to early 1930s style, with clothing, vehicles, and class snobbery maintained. It actually helped preserve the novel's effectiveness.

The casting is quite good. Poirot is ably played by Finney, who is fussy but also serious and sharp when going over the clues and interrogations. Martin Balsam as his friend, the railroad official, is properly "watsonish", constantly jumping at conclusions as to who the killer is. Interestingly forgotten in the background is the only other passenger we learn of that is not under suspicion, the Greek doctor who assists Poirot (George Coulouris). In the 1940s Coulouris would have been a red herring at least.

The suspects (led by Lauren Bacall and Wendy Hiller) are properly snobbish (especially Sean Connery). They are even snobbish towards each other. But the question of who killed the victim is handled to constantly throw off the viewers. It is one of the most perfectly balanced whodunits.

I only have one minor criticism. The murder centers on a "Lindbergh" kidnap-murder tragedy of the past, and the killer has to be someone after the real brains behind the tragedy. So all the suspects happen to be connected to the victim(s). But as it turns out there was one victim who was overlooked - the patsy killer (based on Hauptmann?) who was frightened into committing the crime and was hanged. It would have been interesting if the family of this criminal also had been represented among the suspects.


67 of 86 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 213 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | French | German | Turkish | Italian | Swedish

Release Date:

24 November 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Murder on the Orient Express See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

GBP1,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$27,634,716

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,655,657
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed