It would be criminal to miss out on these great blu-ray releases of Murder on The Orient Express, Death on The Nile, Evil Under the Sun and The Mirror Crack’d.
Agatha Christie is one of best-selling novelists of all time, and the characters of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple have gone on to join the pantheon of iconic literary characters. In the 1970s and 1980s, these characters were brought to the big screen in a series of star-driven movies. They were classy affairs which brought both Poirot and Marple to the masses, before they migrated to TV screens.
Sydney Lumet’s 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express kick-started the series, with Albert Finney playing everyone’s favourite moustachioed detective. The supporting cast is bulked out by the starry likes of Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset and Michael York. It’s a great piece of filmmaking with an impressive twist. It’ll be interesting to see how Kenneth Branagh’s remake stands up against it.
Peter Ustinov took over the role of Poirot in director John Guillermin’s Death on the Nile (1978) and Guy Hamilton’s Evil Under the Sun (1982), and he was joined by another impressive line-up of stars, with James Mason, Maggie Smith, Diana Rigg, David Niven, Bette Davis and Angela Lansbury (amongst others) filling out the ranks. Lansbury graduated to the role of Miss Marple in Guy Hamilton’s The Mirror Crack’d, where she shared the screen with Elizabeth Taylor, Geraldine Chaplin, Tony Curtis, Edward Fox, Rock Hudson and a very young Pierce Brosnan.
They’re all great and each film has its particular charm, but Murder On The Orient Express nudges into the lead because it has the strongest cast and a wonderful sense of decadence.