Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Murder on the Orient Express
The greatest cast of suspicious characters ever involved in murder.
In 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.
Decades Project: 2/7 of the 70's
"I take only such cases now as interest me, and to be frank, my interest in your case is, uh... dwindling."
Sidney Lumet returns to the fertile territory of 12 Angry Men with 12 more angry men (and women this time!) and more spatial restrictions (a train instead of a jury room). Taking a group of people and sticking them in a confined space will always be entertaining with a good director in charge because they can play the various characters off of each other (see also: Hitchcock's Lifeboat); unfortunately, instead of the reality and spontaneity of Lumet's debut, Murder on the Orient Express is more caricatured and simplistic (even beyond the characters, spoon-feeding…
The 'Whodunnit?' type of storytelling is something I have always liked as it always provides a fun distraction that, when done well, almost always guarantees immediate audience involvement as we are always part of the investigation. Agatha Christie is in the top tier of authors in this genre, heck, she practically invented it.
Lumet's film takes on one of her classic Poirot stories. His hand is immediately present, not only because Sean Connery pops up, but also because it has a rich visual flair, beautifully constructed scenes and crisply edited dialogue that make the distilled version of this elaborate novel not only beautiful to look at, but also quite easy to follow.
This film has an excellent cast, but of…
Look at this cast! Sean Connery. Lauren Bacall. Ingrid Bergman. Richard Widmark. Albert Finney. Vanessa Redgrave. Anthony Perkins. Martin Balsam. Jacqueline Bisset. and plenty of great stage actors. With Sidney Lumet behind it all, I asked myself: what took so long to see this?
Detective Poirot (Finney) was a late addition to the Orient Express train route that evening, given permission to a full car lot by company director Bianchi (Balsam). Onboard the train, a man known as Ratchett (Widmark) looks to Poirot for protection as he fears he is a wanted man. Well, when a gruesome murder takes place in the middle of the night, it's up to Poirot to put the pieces together.
To sum it up, this…
"Is it about sex?"
"No, it's about 10:30."
What's Sidney Lumet done here, then? He's made this into a comedy, that's what he's done. And not an inadvertent one either, despite the melange of dreadful accents and overacting on display.
I'm pretty sure he meant this to be completely tongue-in-cheek. I just wonder if the Academy Awards got that when they handed out an Oscar for best supporting actress to Ingrid Bergman and a nomination for best actor for Albert Finney's approximation of Hercule Poirot. I suspect probably not but in their own way they are both rather deserving.
I can't say that I've ever been a fan of Agatha Christie's stories. As far as I'm concerned she only ever…
The story may seem hard to follow, but in the end you get the gist of everything. Some people will find the conclusion annoying, but it's original. Apart from the fantastic performances by a perfect cast, the film is beautifully shot, with its flawless execution of both suspense and cinematography that gives it an overall taste of a classic whodunnit.
Although for some the story remains more connected to Agatha Christie's novel than Lumet's interpretation, the director offers the material a huge amount of respect in this classy looking film. There is more than a nod back to the earlier traditions of filmmaking, with everyone appearing to have a ball disappearing into character, never making the mistake of taking this too seriously.
Lumet was an actor's director, typically able to get the biggest names on board and what a cast he assembles here. Bergman, Bacall, Connery, Gielgud, Finney, Balsam, Perkins, York, Cassell, Redgrave...the type of All-star list that can overburden modern attempts to bring together a similar style line-up. Perhaps it is the nature of Christie's writing that allows the…
Could have just been a bunch of movie stars phoning in parts for the spectacle - and there are elements of spectacle to the movie - but it rises above all that to offer some great performances in service of a compelling mystery with a truly touching resolution.
Made me wish I was playing Clue. It only takes a fourth of the time and it's less obvious.
I have this one on dvd and think it is a great addition to any 'who done it' collection. Cast is excellent as are their performances. It's not heavy, and Albert Finney is the best in this. What reminded me of this one was The Last Of Sheila. I think this one is better on all counts, but at least The Last Of Sheila came out a year before and can claim some originality.
Murder on the Orient Express (Sidney Lumet, 1974) 8/10
Christie's famous novel (with the multi-twist ending) gets a top notch production with a memorable cast of "A" list actors, led by Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, taking center stage over the intricate plot. All the actors get to play "types" and get "scenes" to chew on; especially memorable are Ingrid Bergman (winning her third Oscar), Wendy Hiller, John Gielgud, Rachel Roberts and ofcourse Finney (Oscar nominated) playing the Belgian detective much before David Suchet made the part his own on television. Superbly photographed and designed, the film is montonously directed and paced by Lumet.
Και χρυσόψαρο μέσα σε γυάλα να σκηνοθετήσει ο Lumet, επί δύο ωρες θα τρως τα νύχια σου.
The first two-third was incredibly boring, but the last third redeemed itself. Sort of.
Lumet's "Murder on the Orient Express" claims to be a thriller, but I was not all that thrilled with movie. I got so lost in the intricate plot that i stopped caring after for first 40 minutes.
I think the motion picture works best as a star vehicle, and what stars! Everyone who is everyone is in the film! Ingrid Bergman even won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her minor performance in the film, though I am not exactly sure why. She doesn't get to do a whole lot here.
Great murder mystery with an awesome cast.
I expected a bit more from the Ending but still a really good mystery on a train movie.
Now I know this might seem like a shameless way to get other people to find loads of 1970s crime…
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