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Thirteen at Dinner (1985)

Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | TV Movie 19 October 1985
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

Writers:

Agatha Christie (novel), Rod Browning (teleplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Ustinov ... Hercule Poirot
Faye Dunaway ... Jane Wilkinson / Carlotta Adams
David Suchet ... Inspector Japp
Jonathan Cecil ... Captain Arthur Hastings
Bill Nighy ... Ronald Marsh
Diane Keen ... Jenny Driver
John Stride ... Film Director
Benedict Taylor ... Donald Ross
Lee Horsley ... Bryan Martin
Allan Cuthbertson ... Sir Montague Corner
Glyn Baker ... Lord Edgware's Butler
John Barron ... Lord Edgware
Peter Clapham Peter Clapham ... Mr. Wildburn
Lesley Dunlop ... Alice Bennett
Avril Elgar Avril Elgar ... Miss Carroll
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Storyline

Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) appears on a television talk show with actor Bryan Martin (Lee Horsley), who is making an action detective movie with Jane Wilkinson (Faye Dunaway). He also meets impressionist Carlotta Adams (Faye Dunaway). They all go to a party and Jane asks him and Captain Arthur Hastings (Jonathan Cecil) to go and meet her husband, Lord Edgware (John Barron) in regards to a divorce. They do so, to discover that the Lord had already granted her a divorce. Jane is delighted, but drops hints that she could have killed the Lord if he didn't grant her the divorce. The next day, Lord Edgware is found dead, and all of the staff at the Lord's house swear that Jane was the one who did it, but witnesses at another Lord's party swear that Jane was with them. Carlotta then dies, and Poirot must investigate, as Inspector Japp (David Suchet) is determined to put Jane away. Written by Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sir Peter Ustinov and David Suchet appeared in Victoria & Albert (2001). See more »

Goofs

During Poirot's solution the long tracking shot of the dinner party during the flashback has been reversed as evidenced by one of the maid's walking backwards behind the seated characters. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Japp: Poirot - buzz off like a good chap, will you? I've got bigger fish to fry.
Hercule Poirot: In a good bouillabaisse the little fish are often tastier than the big ones.
Inspector Japp: What are you talking about?
Hercule Poirot: Add poison, however, and the whole soup is polluted. Then the size of the fish are immaterial.
Inspector Japp: What's fish got to do with it?
Hercule Poirot: It was your own metaphor; I didn't bring the fish...
Inspector Japp: I didn't either!
Hercule Poirot: Stop fish then! Let's leave it out!
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Connections

Followed by Appointment with Death (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Die Walküre: Ride of the Valkyries
(uncredited)
Composed by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
Well done made-for-TV adaptation of Poirot
15 July 2000 | by Chris-268See all my reviews

"Thirteen at Dinner" is good, solid entertainment. I recently watched it on video, and apart from the obvious, dramatic commercial pauses, it was hard to tell I was watching a made-for-TV movie. Ustinov is my favorite Poirot, and he is his usual, boisterous self in this adaptation. I love David Suchet as well, and I was delighted to see him in the role of Inspector Japp. Is there a better voice actor than Suchet? If one were to listen to this movie with closed eyes, it would be very hard to tell that Japp was being played by Suchet, so convincing is his accent and manner of speech.

This production has a very British feel to it, but apparently it was an American venture. Surprising! Also, I had a bad feeling when I saw the opening scene- Poirot appearing on the David Frost talk show! But the filmakers and screenwriters did an excellent job of taking a novel written in the '30s and adapting it to the mid-'80s. They followed Christie's original plot faithfully, keeping all the essential elements which make it such a good whodunnit. It would have been nice to see a different actress play the part of Carlotta Adams (Faye Dunaway plays both her and Jane Wilkinson.) She did a commendable job though, as did the other supporting actors. I thought the interplay between Ustinov and Johnathan Cecil (who played Hastings) was hilarious. And I really wish that Ustinov had made more Poirot movies! Oh well. Check out "Death on the Nile" for another of Ustinov's best Poirot efforts. Hard core fans will want to see "Appointment With Death" as well, but that film ranks at the bottom of my Poirot list.


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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agatha Christie's Thirteen at Dinner See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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