The great 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.
Sidney Lumet’s 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express kick-started the series, with Albert Finney playing everyone’s favourite moustachioed detective. The film’s supporting cast is bulked out by an all-star line-up which included Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Perkins and Wendy Hiller.. It’s a great piece of filmmaking with an impressive twist-ending.
Kenneth Branagh directed an equally starry adaptation of Murder On The Orient Express in 2017 with a cast that included Branagh himself as Poiriot, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer and Daisy Ridley.
Released in November 1974, Murder On The Orient Express grossed $35,7 million at the US box office and more than $37.7 million worldwide – an impressive tally for its day.