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…
Whistle stop #14, UK, on:
I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve found a Lumet that I didn’t particularly like.
Films like Network, Dog Day Afternoon, Fail Safe .. all among my favourite films; all dialogue heavy / action light character dramas. I’m not a reader of who-done-it’s, but I loved Lumet’s own Deathtrap from 8 years later. It can’t be that I’m having an issue with claustrophobia, with so many characters in such a cramped space, as I consider 12 Angry Men a masterpiece. All I can think of is the script and the performances, and, dare I say it .. the direction.
As the opening credits rolled, and star after star…
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.
A great case-study in how one great performance can make a movie worthwhile. Murder on the Orient Express is exquisitely constructed. Director Sidney Lumet handles the sprawling cast with ease and constantly fills the frame with lush period-detail. It's as glitz and glam as a 70s period picture can be, shot on beautiful celluloid, production designed within an inch of its life, scored with utter bombast and cast to the nines. This is probably the most impressive international cast you could hope to assemble in 1974; Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Anthony Perkins, Ingrid Bergman, Richard Widmark, Martin Balsam, Michael York, Vanessa Redgrave and Albert Finney. Blimey! Talk about A-list.
Being based on one of Agatha Christie's most renowned novels, Orient…
A surprising misfire by Sidney Lumet with a dynamite cast and a dynamite mystery that feels rather flat and weak throughout.
With names like Anthony Perkins, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Albert Finney-and many more-one can't help but notice that the film could have been stronger.
Finney is definitely the strongest part as he's nearly unrecognizable while playing Poirot-and the rest of the players feel fine.
Yet there's a recognition that the story holds little suspense and the mystery feels campy rather than significant.
Perhaps the director meant for the film to be a comedy-but even there it doesn't quite fully work.
Still fun to see so many talented people in one picture.
The film is in fact based on the 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. It is a wonderful film - I have never read the book to compare to the movie - but I can say the film is worth watching if you love a good mystery movie.
An all-star, well seasoned, cast does help to make the film more intriguing, more appealing because all gave outstanding performances in this film. The story itself will easily pull you in even if you are unfamiliar with the cast - the story (mystery) is that good.
If you like this movie then you may enjoy similar types of films like "Sleuth", "Deathtrap" or "Murder By Death".
Potential is here
With this cast, but it goes by
Far too fast to solve.
The detective novel written by the fantastic Dame Agatha Christie, who happens to be my favorite crime novelist of all time, was here made into film by one of the best directors of all time, the fabulous Sidney Lumet. Previous films I've seen by Lumet such as 12 Angry Men and Dog Day Afternoon was filmed in one location, which made Lumet the perfect director for this film, since it was almost entirely done on the "Orient Express". The film is very faithful to the novel and does a good job overall portraying the characters and it seems that Christie agrees with me, "An 84-year-old Agatha Christie attended the movie premiere in November of 1974. It was the only film…
An unforgettable all-star director and cast for a classic Agatha Christie murder-mystery voyage on a mythical train.
I’ve never been fully convinced by Sidney Lumet, but I think he deserves respect for the way he had such a long career within Hollywood but kept slightly to the side, found a place in the periphery which gave him a certain freedom to do what he wanted. But here he makes a solid Hollywood machine film, 1970s style. And it is so dull. Yes, I know Agatha Christie is dull, but the books are lightweight and unpretentious, while the film is big and plodding and dull. Take the beginning, all the characters arriving for the train, one after another, they walk down the platform – it’s a fashion parade for the Hollywood costume department but completely dead. Then when…
Star-studded film version of the Agatha Christie whodunit. Albert Finney stars as Hercule Poirot, who's heading from Istanbul to London on board the famous train. A wealthy American businessman is murdered on the same night that the train is held up by a massive snow drift on the tracks. The man was a detestable asshole, but did he deserve to die? And who did it? - the loudmouth American? The flustered missionary? The Hungarian royal couple? The British officer? The businessman's secretary? Some other mystery person? And how is it all related to the high profile kidnapping and murder of a famous child? A great cast offers great acting all around, led by Finney's eccentric turn as Poirot. Fun, stylish period mystery, well-written, with great use of a claustrophobic location and a rather satisfying solution. Nicely creepy opening montage detailing the child's kidnapping, based on the Lindbergh kidnapping case. Great old-fashioned filmmaking, of a type they really don't do anymore.
Nota = 8
These are my favorite films of all time. Some of the rankings may be estimated, ratings are subject to frequent…