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
The luxury food that is inspected and carried aboard the train early in the movie had been stolen from the set just before shooting. All of the food had to be bought again, in the middle of the night, on-location in Paris, France. See more »
When Poirot gives Ratchett the cigar lighter and they start to talk, Ratchett's left arm is resting on the table when seen from the side, but raised with his hand close to his face when seen from in front. 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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