Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974), directed by Sidney Lumet.

Steaming west from exotic 1935 Istanbul, the luxury train is stopped by snow drifts and a man is found murdered next to Hercule Poirot's compartment. It turns out he was the mastermind of the kidnapping, ransom and murder of a little girl in America several years earlier. Poirot is on the case; this is the one where:


...they all did it. Poirot lets them go because the victim deserved to die.

It's optional for Lumet completists, being mainly of interest to cozy mystery fans, or to those who enjoy the cavalcade of stars casting:

Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Michael York, Vanessa Redgrave, Jacqueline Bisset, Richard Widmark, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Martin Balsam, Rachel Roberts, Wendy Hiller, Denis Quilley, Colin Blakely, Jean-Pierre Cassel, George Coulouris.

It has to be slow moving because there are twelve suspects (and others) who have to be introduced, then questioned, then accused and explained when Poirot gets everyone together in the dining car for the traditional big resolution.

Finney's Poirot is not particularly well developed as a character. He seems rather indifferent to the shocking solution to the crime.

Photographed by Geoffrey Unsworth, score by Richard Rodney Bennett.

Available on DVD.