Fourteen years after her mother, Caroline Crale, was hanged for the murder of her artist father Amyas Crale, Lucy Crale asks Hercule Poirot to investigate her father's death. She is convinced that her mother was innocent but is prepared to accept the truth, whatever that may be. Poirot visits in turn all five persons present when the murder took place including Amyas' best friend, Philip Blake, who was visiting the Crales when Amyas was killed; Philip's brother Meredith from whom Caroline supposedly stole the poison used to kill her husband; Elsa Greer, who was sitting for a portrait and with whom Amyas was supposedly in love; Caroline's half sister Angela who despised Amyas but believed her sister to be innocent; and Miss Williams, the governess. Having heard the tale from five different perspectives, Poirot reunites them all to identify the murderer.Written by
This film is incredibly good. The cast is uniformly good. The direction is clever and thoughtful. The music is beautiful. The script has all the essentials of the plot and remarkably faithful to the book. I would be quite willing to say it's the best Christie adaptation so far. It's so good in fact that it could have been made for the silver screen. I even forgive the fact that it isn't set on a rocky battlement as it is in the book - the documentary on the DVD explains why - budgetary constraints - and the water garden does just as well. All the heart-breaking tragedy from the book - and it is a tragedy, even for the culprit - is there. It bodes well for the next lot of Poirot films, and so too for the upcoming Miss Marples. I thank the producers for having the courage, which has paid off handsomely. Well done.
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