Two British former soldiers decide to set themselves up as Kings in Kafiristan, a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander the Great. In addition to the earlier self-incriminating revelations by Hardman, McQueen, Miss Schmidt, and the Princess, the Princess had incriminated three others: when asked Mrs Armstrong's maiden name, she replied "Greenwood," the English for "Grunwald," allowing Poirot to deduce that Countess Elena was her sister, and Count Andrenyi her brother-in-law; the Princess also claimed the secretary's name was "Miss Freebody," so Poirot deduced the secretary was in fact Mary Debenham (as in the London department store Debenham and Freebody). Although Albert Finney who does a fine job as the Belgian Sleuth Hercule Poirot declined to do further films with Poirot, Peter Ustinov more than amply took up the slack in later productions.Richard Widmark is an American expatriate traveling on the famous Orient Express train and he's been receiving mysterious death threats. Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond brings Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. As Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board. I'm betting the critics noted that her part was offbeat casting for her which she pulled off. 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. 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. The film features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney), who is asked to investigate the murder of an American business tycoon aboard the Orient Express train. When Nat Cohen, chairman of EMI Films, and producer John Brabourne attempted to get her approval for this film, they felt it necessary to have Lord Mountbatten of Burma (of the British royal family and also Brabourne's father-in-law) help them broach the subject. The other passengers travelling in Poirot and Bianchi's coach are American widow Harriet Hubbard; American businessman Samuel Ratchett, with his English manservant Edward Beddoes and secretary/translator Hector McQueen; elderly Russian Princess Natalia Dragomiroff and her German maid Hildegarde Schmidt; Hungarian diplomat Count Rudolf Andrenyi and his wife Elena; British Indian Army officer Colonel John Arbuthnot; Mary Debenham, a teacher; Greta Ohlsson, a Swedish missionary; Italian-American car salesman Antonio Foscarelli; and Cyrus Hardman, an American theatrical agent. Title: :246–247, The entire budget was provided by EMI. Of course I won't tell you the solution, but here's a hint. Thus, when Ratchett is himself found murdered, everyone is suspect. In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before. Poirot gathers the suspects and describes two possible scenarios. Full Cast & Crew: Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Cast (27) Albert Finney. A French maidservant named Paulette, suspected of complicity in the kidnapping, committed suicide, only to be found innocent later. McQueen had drugged Cassetti so each of the passengers could stab him – with the Andrenyis stabbing Cassetti together, totaling 12 stab wounds. Interiors were filmed at Elstree Studios. Cast members eagerly accepted upon first being approached. Bianchi Ingrid Bergman. Colonel Armstrong, consumed by these tragedies, committed suicide.  There were concerns about a lack of snow in the weeks preceding the scheduled shooting of the snowbound train, and plans were made to truck in large quantities of snow at considerable expense. Adam asks his criminal grandpa for help. Murder on the Orient Express wasn't made into a movie 40 years ago, and after you see the Sidney Lumet production that opened yesterday at the Coronet, you may be both surprised and glad it wasn't. The suspects are portrayed by an all-star cast, including Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Perkins and Wendy Hiller. An ex professor offers Adam $1,000,000 to "get" some plasma from a high tech company's lab. Several clues are quickly discovered, suggesting that an assassin boarded the train during the night while it was stuck in the snowdrift, murdered Cassetti, and then left the train. Albert Finney is the only actor to play Poirot and … In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards. Kenneth Branagh took a stab at it in 2017. Dr Constantine confirms that it could have inflicted all the wounds found on Cassetti's body. Can we point to a "best" Poirot as far as productions of Murder on the Orient Express is concerned? Written by Countess Andrenyi Jean-Pierre Cassel. In the movie, everyone on board the Orient Express seems to have concluded that hateful financier Ratchett (Richard Widmark) was behind the abduction and murder of the infant daughter of a famed aviatrix. A lot of actresses would have hesitated over that.  The New York Times's chief critic of the era, Vincent Canby, wrote: [...] had Dame Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express been made into a movie 40 years ago (when it was published here as Murder on the Calais Coach), it would have been photographed in black-and-white on a back lot in Burbank or Culver City, with one or two stars and a dozen character actors and studio contract players. , Unsworth shot the film with Panavision cameras. Exterior shooting was mostly done in France in 1973, with a railroad workshop near Paris standing in for Istanbul station. Murder on the Orient Express was released theatrically in the UK on 24 November 1974. Of course she didn't turn it down.As I said, this was one elaborately planned murder and I think you will enjoy seeing Poirot unravel it and what happens later. 45 of 57 people found this review helpful. Albert Finney, who plays Poirot, is the most impressive, largely because we can never for a moment that he is Finney. When a former prison wardress who dominates the lives of her three adult stepchildren and her daughter is found dead at an archaeological dig near the Dead Sea, there are a great many suspects. Finally, Mrs Hubbard discovers a bloody dagger. Examining the letter, Poirot discovers that Ratchett was actually Lanfranco Cassetti, a gangster who, five years earlier, planned the kidnapping and murder of Daisy Armstrong, infant daughter of British Army Colonel Hamish Armstrong and his American wife, Sonia. Is there really such a drink as an "amber moon"? As these clues are being discovered, Poirot begins interviewing the passengers. Poirot's reconstructed timeline of passenger activities the night before indicates that Ratchett was murdered at about 1:15 a.m. The case of the vanishing mystery writer: Christie liked only two of the 19 movies made from her books. Murder on the Orient Express is a 1974 British mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet, produced by John Brabourne and Richard Goodwin, and based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. The film received positive reviews and currently holds a "Certified Fresh" 90% rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes from 39 reviews with an average rating of 7.71/10. You must be a registered user to use the IMDb rating plugin. He joined the Birmingham Repertory where he excelled in plays by William Shakespeare. A San Francisco civilian police detective is forced to work on a series of murders with his former enemy commanding officer while dating his daughter. Poirot agrees to interview all aboard the famous train's Calais coach, hoping to find the killer of an American millionaire before the local police arrive. Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Murder on the Orient Express is a 1974 British mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet, produced by John Brabourne and Richard Goodwin, and based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. When Poirot interviews Princess Dragomiroff, he discovers she is a great friend of Linda Arden, Mrs Armstrong's mother; the Princess was Sonia's godmother. In accepting the award she got up and said quite matter-of-factly that fellow nominee Valentina Cortese deserved it. Cassetti betrayed his partner by fleeing the country with the ransom and was only revealed to be involved on the eve of his partner's execution. Albert Finney is the dapper detective Hercule Poirot, for whom murder-solving is a precise, intellectual exercise. Greta Jacqueline Bisset. I thought that a pity—why shouldn't he?". When shown the photo of Paulette, Hardman breaks down and reveals he knew her. Use the HTML below. The luxurious dining car, where scenes were filmed, is now in the OSE museum of Thessaloniki, Greece. 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. And Finney is a delight as the eccentric Poirot. In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before. Poirot (Albert Finney), then, is left to do his work, with, strangely, no sense of urgency, no awareness of the possibility that other murders might occur. In the uniform's pocket is a conductor's passkey. Bergman was initially offered the role of Princess Dragomiroff, but instead requested to play Greta Ohlsson. Some of the first class passengers seem concerned about Poirot's presence on the train. The second, his complex solution, links all the suspects on the coach to the Armstrong case. Since her part was so small, I decided to film her one big scene, where she talks for almost five minutes, straight, all in one long take. Some of it provided by Mrs. Hubbard, the caustic American, played by Lauren Bacall. 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. The first class compartment of the December 1935 departure of the Orient Express from Istanbul is full, unusual for this time of the year. Ingrid Bergman got a Best Supporting Actress award for her portrayal of a simple soul who is a missionary. It was Albert Finney, as my detective Hercule Poirot. Lumet said: She had chosen a very small part, and I couldn't persuade her to change her mind. Pierre (as Jean Pierre Cassel) Sean Connery. Huggo. Murder On The Orient Express Sequel Death On The Nile Could Be Skipping Theaters, Wamg Tribute: Original Film 007 Sir Sean Connery Has Died, Albert Finney, ‘Tom Jones’ Star Nominated for Five Oscars, Dies at 82. Looking for something to watch? As of today, Finney is the only actor to receive an Academy Award nomination for playing Poirot, though he did not win. Mrs Hubbard reports that she detected a man in her bed. Being just 38, at first Albert Finney was considered too young to play Poirot, but eventually he was chosen regardless as it was decided that he could be made up to resemble an older Poirot. She ran the gamut of emotions. As it happens Poirot is on the train also and refuses Widmark's offer to be a bodyguard. However, he has a plan and just the right people to carry it out. Nat Cohen claimed it was the first film completely financed by a British company to make the top of the weekly US box office charts in Variety.. (1974). The scenes of the train proceeding through Central Europe were filmed in the Jura Mountains on the then-recently closed railway line from Pontarlier to Gilley, with the scenes of the train stuck in snow being filmed in a cutting near Montbenoît. The cost of the cast came to ₤554,100. In 1956, he won a scholarship to RADA where his fellow alumni included Peter O'Toole and Alan Bates. Bianchi decides that Cassetti deserved to die and elects the simple solution. Hercule Poirot Lauren Bacall. Poirot then presents the motives of the other suspects: Pierre was Paulette's father; Beddoes was Colonel Armstrong's army batman and the family butler; Miss Ohlsson was Daisy's nursemaid (having inadvertently shown an understanding of complex English words and that her devout charity works comes from a personal tragedy); Col. Arbuthnot was a close army friend of Armstrong's; Foscarelli was the Armstrongs' private chauffeur; Hardman was a police officer in love with Paulette and Mrs Hubbard is Linda Arden, Mrs Armstrong's mother. Having concluded a case, detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) settles into what he expects will be a relaxing journey home aboard the Orient Express. Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them. Poirot flatters Hildegarde Schmidt by saying he knows a good cook when he sees one, and she responds to his request for a photo of the maid Paulette, with whom Miss Schmidt was friendly. Foscarelli vehemently denies ever having been in private service as a chauffeur. ", According to one report, Christie gave approval because she liked the previous films of the producers, Romeo and Juliet and Tales of Beatrix Potter. In any event she was surprised as all get out when her name was read at the Oscars in 1975. He admits that the Yugoslavian police will likely prefer the simple solution. The piano soloist was the composer himself. He learns that: McQueen was the son of the District Attorney who prosecuted the case and was very fond of Mrs Armstrong; Beddoes had been a British Army batman; Countess Andrenyi is of German descent, and her maiden name is Grunwald; Greta Ohlsson has limited knowledge of the English language and has been to America; Pierre Michel's daughter died five years earlier of scarlet fever; Col Arbuthnot, who displays knowledge of Armstrong's military decorations, plans to wed Mary Debenham. The film was a success at the box office, given its tight budget of $1.4 million, earning $36 million in North America, making it the 11th highest-grossing film of 1974. It received six nominations at the 47th Academy Awards: Best Actor (Finney), Best Supporting Actress (Bergman), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. Albert Finney did it in 1974. The local authorities plan to refit the train to make it available for tourist use around the Balkans in the near future. " Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, writing that the film "provides a good time, high style, a loving salute to an earlier period of filmmaking". The film was a commercial and critical success. They enlist the help of Stavros Constantine, a Greek medical doctor who was traveling in the other coach. Pierre confirms that he is not missing any buttons. She was sweetly stubborn. Later, an entire conductor's uniform is discovered that does not fit Pierre and misses a button. Overcome with grief, the pregnant Mrs Armstrong went into premature labour and died giving birth to a stillborn baby. Albert Finney is the dapper detective Hercule Poirot, for whom murder-solving is a precise, intellectual exercise. When one of the passengers is discovered murdered, Poirot immediately starts investigating. Security is incredibly tight and the task seems an impossible one. Murder on the Orient Express started a nice trend in filming some of the most stylish of Agatha Christie novels by producer John Brabourne. A master criminal aims to rob a train of a large sum of gold. Famous detective Hercule Poirot is on the Orient Express, but the train is caught in the snow. Was this review helpful to you? However, heavy snowfall the night before the shooting made the extra snow unnecessary—just as well, as the snow-laden backup trucks had themselves become stuck in the snow.. Poirot asks Bianchi to choose one of the two solutions to present to the police once the train is freed from the snowdrift. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi. The critical consensus reads: "Murder, intrigue, and a star-studded cast make this stylish production of Murder on the Orient Express one of the best Agatha Christie adaptations to see the silver screen. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Can Poirot identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its journey? The son of a Lancashire bookmaker, Albert Finney came to motion pictures via the theatre. , Christie's biographer Gwen Robyns quoted her as saying, "It was well made except for one mistake. Col. Arbuthnot Often pinpointed as the turning point in the history of Agatha Christie screen adaptations, in 1974 Murder on the Orient Express was released, starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot. Mills, Nancy. An earlier adaptation could have interfered with plans to produce this terrifically entertaining super-valentine to a kind of whodunit that may well be one of the last fixed points in our inflationary universe. In 2001 Albert Molina struggled with a lousy script. Of course in that same tradition the plotters would have gotten away with it more than likely had Poirot and his little gray cells not been present.Widmark as it also turns out was a gangster who had to flee America because he was named as the mastermind of a horrific crime that shocked the nation. Can they convince Adam's now honest dad to join? She loved the idea and made the most of it. Poirot agrees, admitting he will struggle with his conscience when he gives his report to the police. Then, a button from a sleeping car conductor's uniform is discovered. Albert Finney was an angry and aggressive Poirot. When a murder occurs on the train on which he's travelling, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case. Richard Rodney Bennett's Orient Express theme has been reworked into an orchestral suite and performed and recorded several times. The morning after the train departs from Istanbul, Ratchett tries to secure Poirot's services as a bodyguard for $15,000 (equivalent to $286,679 in 2019), as he has received death threats, but Poirot declines. Bianchi entreats Poirot to solve the case. Murder on the Orient Express. Hardman reveals he is, in fact, a Pinkerton detective hired to guard Cassetti. Movie Info. Directed by Sidney Lumet. Widmark is later stabbed to death in his compartment and while the train is stranded somewhere in Yugoslavia due to snow drifts, Poirot investigates the murder in the best Agatha Christie tradition. Of these nominations, Bergman was the only winner. It was performed on the original soundtrack album by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Marcus Dods. Albert Finney as Poirot in the 1974 film, Murder on the Orient Express Albert Finney played Poirot in 1974 in the cinematic version of Murder on the Orient Express . There are a whole lot of people who had reason to want him dead.Poirot conducts his inquiry of the other passengers and they are quite a crew consisting of among others, Lauren Bacall, Michael York, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Wendy Hiller, Rachel Roberts, Vanessa Redgrave, Jacqueline Bissett, etc. View production, box office, & company info. With Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery. An intellectually nonconformist friar investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey. Albert Finney, Murder on the Orient Express, 1974. Dame Agatha Christie had been quite displeased with some film adaptations of her works made in the 1960s, and accordingly was unwilling to sell any more film rights. (5,028) IMDb 7.3 2h 7min 1974 X-Ray PG. The next morning, Ratchett is found stabbed to death in his cabin. Murder on the Orient Express Lumet went to Sean Connery first, saying that if you get the biggest star, the rest will come along. Some of the first class passengers seem concerned about Poirot's presence on the train. Albert Finney, Actor: Murder on the Orient Express. I've never seen anything like it. Choose an adventure below and discover your next favorite movie or TV show. As Will Smith joins the cast of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" for a reunion on HBO Max, we take a look at his rise to fame. I wrote that he had the finest moustache in England—and he didn't in the film. How does "Murder on the Orient Express" compare to the Lindbergh kidnapping? The success of this film, costing just $1.4 million, but earning $36 million in North America, lead to several other all star Agatha Christie adaptations.This would be the only one to star Albert Finney. Poirot agrees to interview all aboard the famous train's Calais coach, hoping to find the killer of an American millionaire before the local police arrive. Found at the crime scene is a fragment of a burned letter. , Christie later said that this and Witness for the Prosecution were the only adaptations of her books that she liked.. The first class compartment of the December 1935 departure of the Orient Express from Istanbul is full, unusual for this time of the year. In December 1935, Hercule Poirot is travelling aboard the Orient Express, encountering his friend Signor Bianchi, a director of the company which owns the line. Having concluded a case, detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney) settles into what he expects will be a relaxing journey home aboard the Orient Express. The noises which disturbed Poirot's sleep were contrived to obfuscate the time of death. And in 2010, David Suchet climbed aboard the train and cracked the case. England, 1850s. Like many of Agatha Christie's mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express is predicated on an actual event, in this case the Lindbergh kidnapping. The Best TV Shows About Being in Your 30s. The screenplay is by Paul Dehn. During the journey, the train is stopped by a snowdrift on the tracks in Yugoslavia. When an escort girl is found dead in the offices of a Japanese company in Los Angeles, detectives Web Smith and John Connor act as liaison between the company's executives and the investigating cop Tom Graham. The doors to the other cars were locked, so the murderer is likely one of the passengers in Poirot's coach, or its French conductor, Pierre Michel. Its running time would have been around 67 minutes and it could have been a very respectable B-picture. In the end, according to Christie's husband Max Mallowan, "Agatha herself has always been allergic to the adaptation of her books by the cinema, but was persuaded to give a rather grudging appreciation to this one. The passengers celebrate with champagne as the train is freed of the snow and resumes its journey. That night, Bianchi lets Poirot use his compartment as he goes to sleep in another coach. Poirot later agrees with Foscarelli that the assassin was likely a rival Mafia gang, exacting vengeance as part of a Mafia feud. Note what Sean Connery says while he's being grilled.It's a great ensemble cast of course with a bunch of seasoned players doing their thing. Dr Constantine finds Ratchett was stabbed 12 times. The first, his simple solution, suggests that Cassetti's murder was the result of a Mafia feud. He learns that the Armstrongs had a butler, a secretary, a cook, a chauffeur, and a nursemaid to Daisy. DVD documentary "Making Murder on the Orient Express: The Ride", Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, http://lumiere.obs.coe.int/web/film_info/?id=61364, "Murder on the Orient Express, Box Office Information", The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories, Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories, Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express, King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Murder_on_the_Orient_Express_(1974_film)&oldid=990715144, Films featuring a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award-winning performance, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, This page was last edited on 26 November 2020, at 02:50. Mrs. Hubbard Martin Balsam.