Railway director and fellow Belgian Monsieur Bouc secures Poirot a last minute berth on the Orient Express, returning to England from Istanbul. Ratchett, an abrasive American businessman, traveling with his valet and male secretary, tries to secure Poirot's services as he fears that his life is in danger. Poirot turns him down, but the next morning, whilst the train is stuck in a snowdrift in Serbia, Ratchett is found stabbed to death. There is vague talk of a man seen fleeing the train, but many of the passengers in Poirot's compartment do not appear to know either Ratchett or each other, so what could the motive be? Poirot, assisted by Bouc and Dr. Constantine, attempts to find out.Written by
don @ minifie-1
The original 1934 title was "Murder on the Calais Coach" because it was feared that readers would confuse it with "Stamboul Train" by Graham Greene, published in 1932.
It was only in America that this was published as "Murder on the Calais Coach". Within the United Kingdom (which is the original) it has always been published as "Murder on the Orient Express". See more »
A few moments before the train hits the snowdrift it is seen moving across the screen from right to left surrounded by a landscape which, much as is it beautiful, doesn't at all correspond to the actual topography of that part of former Yugoslavia. The land there is predominantly fertile plains and there are most certainly no snowy mountains on the horizon to be seen. See more »
No! Lieutenant, you lie to Poirot. You say that you were in the barracks by midnight, but Poirot has proved this to be false. At a quarter to one in the morning you were seen over two miles away in the company of the woman who died. General, this is not a murder, as is suggested by the Palestinian police, but I do believe the lieutenant lied about his whereabouts, first out of panic and then, by sticking to this *lie*, but reinforcing it with *lie* after *lie* for weeks and weeks ...
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I, too, was waiting with bated breath for this incarnation of MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. I love Poirot. I love David Suchet. I did not love this filming of the Agatha Christie classic. It was so dark, both visually and emotionally. And Poirot himself seems to be more jaded given to darkness and explosions of anger. His hardness seems out of character especially regarding the stoning of the unfaithful woman prior to boarding the train.
The essence of Poirot is his compassion in the midst of his seeming aloofness. This episode shocked me in the changes in his character. Poirot and his "little grey cells" are above the maudlin religious scene, the anger at Mary Debenham, the aforementioned agreement regarding the punishment of the infidel.
I know the later stories did not include Japp, Hastings, and Miss Lemon, but, these later episodes make me see how much their characters kept Poirot human in the context of the stories.
I am giving 5 stars for the production values....always true to the time period.
I am going back to watch my tapes of the earlier episodes...THE ABC MURDERS, POIROT'S Christmas, and many, many more wonderful stories that I thank David Suchet for starring in....
Just hope the next ones show the debonair, fussy, human Poirot to us again.
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