Murder on the Orient Express and Wine

This was a great book, and an even greater movie. A stellar cast came out for this one, including Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Berman, Michael York and many others. Albert Finney plays Hercule Poirot, the obsessively clean Belgian detective who pre-dates Adrian Monk as an incredibly intelligent but quirky detective.

Right away it's clear that this storyline is based on the Lindbergh kidnapping. The child of a rich couple is stolen and then slain. Only a short while into the train ride, a man is slain - and it's the main accused of having killed that child. Poirot immediately sees the connection and starts questioning all of the riders, one by one, while the train is stopped by a snowdrift.

The sets and plotting are brilliant. You really get the sense that the occupants are all part of a "well decorated, lavish prison". The rooms are tiny. The people are all jammed together. There isn't any privacy or room to think. The personalities chafe against each other.

Each actor and actress is given their special time on the screen. The interviews are done one by one, giving each personality a chance to develop and shine. I have to say that Finney isn't my favorite actor in the set - I find his interpretation of Poirot a little "reedy" and as if he is hobbling around at times. I accept that each actor that has played this character has his own interpretation of it. That's normal. I just personally like another actor's interpretation better.

I love how the movie takes the time to poke fun at its own genre. One character keeps saying "HE did it!" with each new discussion. He even says "The Butler Did It!" at one point. I love the glass-clinking sequence at the end.

As much as I adore this movie, I do have to point out a few tiny problems. SPOILERS ALERT!!

Surely, if these people all plotted the death of this man, they would have known it would be VERY obvious to police that they all had a common tie. This wasn't a vagrant that was slain, it was a rich, wealthy man. His death would have been seriously investigated. Surely a great alibi would have been arranged for the situation. Instead they all claim they didn't know him at all. This would have been spotted as a lie almost immediately.

I love rewatching this movie even though I know who-done-it - it's just great fun to experience.

Hercule Poirot / Agatha Christie and Wine
Mystery Book Reviews and Movie Reviews