October 4th, 2011: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Cast and Crew:    Jean-Pierre Cassel, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiler, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Rachel Roberts, Michael York

What It’s About:  Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) is taking the luxurious Orient Express from Istanbul to Calais with his friend Bianchi (Martin Balsam),  the owner of the Express. Ill-mannered American business man Ratchett (Richard Widmark) offers to pay Poirot to protect him from whomever is sending him threatening letters, but Poirot refuses.  That night someone murders Ratchett, and the train gets stuck in a snow drift.  Poirot must solve the murder before the train begins moving again.  Only Bianchi and a Greek doctor who spent the night in the dining car can give each other a solid alibi.  Who is the murderer and what is the motive? Could it perhaps tie into the kidnapping and murder of the Armstrong baby which we see in the opening montage?

Why Watch it Today?: The famed Orient Express made its first run today in 1883.  Agatha Christie secured the line’s enduring reputation with the novel today’s film is based on.   Sidney Lumet’s star-studded adaptation was Christie’s own favorite film based on her works.  You can read the full review here.

Where to Get ItLibraries, Netflix (rental) or Amazon

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