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Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Albert Finney, Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Murder on the Orient Express (1974)


Murder on the Orient Express is a 1974 star-studded film adaptation of Agatha Christie's mystery novel of the same name. Private detective Hercule Poirot (Finney) boards the Orient Express for England after solving a case.
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Early in the train trip, he declines a job offer from Ratchett (Richard Widmark), who has received death threats. That night, Ratchett is stabbed to death. Since the train is snowbound and there are no footprints in the fresh-fallen surrounding snow, it is clear the murderer must still be aboard. Bianchi, Poirot's good friend and a director of the Orient Express line, asks him to investigate. The train is unusually crowded for that time of year, and Poirot has a dozen passengers to question (most played by major stars such as Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins and Vanessa Redgrave).

*** Spoiler alert ***

Poirot discovers that Ratchett was a retired gangster who masterminded the kidnapping and murder of a little girl, and that all of the other passengers and even the train conductor had a strong connection to the girl. Poirot presents Bianchi and the others with two scenarios: all the other passengers conspired together to commit the murder, or a fictitious murderer got off the train and escaped. In the interests of justice, Bianchi chooses the second one, with Poirot's approval.
Best part of story, including ending: It's got an imaginative plot.

Best scene in story: After the murder is first discovered, there are several bits of humor. When Mrs. Hubbard (Bacall) explains how she knows that a late-night intruder in her compartment must have been a man, despite it being pitch black and she had her eyes closed. Then, when she guesses that the intruder only wanted to get to Ratchett's compartment, Princess Dragomiroff (Hiller) dryly remarks that she cannot think of any other reason. Hilarious.

Opinion about the main character: Finney does an okay job, but the accent is unconvincing, and his portrayal of the Belgian detective pales in comparison to that of David Suchet, at least in my opinion.

The review of this Movie prepared by J. Lee a Level 10 Peregrine Falcon scholar

This is a classy if not terribly subtle 1974 British production (with American director Sydney Lumet at the helm) of the 1934 Agatha Christie novel. Millionaire Ratchett (Richard Widmark) is riding the famed Orient Express from Istanbul to Paris when he is found dead, stabbed 12 times. Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot (Finney) is on the same train, and he has plenty of time to question all the other passengers at the behest of the railroad's detective Bianchi (Martin Balsam) when the train gets stopped by heavy snow. Among the potential suspects are Ratchett's butler Beddoes (John Gielgud), his secretary Hector McQueen (Anthony Perkins), the Countess Andrenyi (Jacqueline Bissett), and many others played by Connery, Bacall, Wendy Hiller, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York. Ingrid Bergman received an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role as a pinched Swedish missionary who is questioned by Poirot in one continuous take, lasting nearly five minutes. Hammy and entertaining.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus




A classic Agatha Christie mystery brought to the screen. A murder occurs on the famous 'Orient Express', and Hercule Poirot, supersleuth, sets out to find the culprit before the train reaches its destination. This film features some great performances, from such talents as Lauren Bacall and John Gielgud, and the whole piece is delivered in great style.
The review of this Movie prepared by Soph




This is the classic Agatha Christie film. It made the novel on which it is based famous, with not only the baffling solution, but also Poirot's treatment of the guilty party. Made in 1974, but set in 1930s, this tells the story of the Orient Express being caught in a snowdrift, and the murder of a brutal child-mrderer and Kidnapper Samuel Ratchett. The all star cast includes Albert Finney as POIROT and Lauren Bacall as Mrs. Hubboard. The kidnapping and murder part is based on a real event - Chas Lingburgh Jr. One of the best films in creation... Ever! Watch it!!!
The review of this Movie prepared by Bert



Script Analysis of Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 65%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30% How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/Era of Movie:    -   1930's-1950's Murder Mystery?    -   Yes What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   nearly 100% Murders of set profession?    -   criminals Kind of mystery?    -   skilled citizen investigator

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   60's-90's

Setting

Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Switzerland    -   Turkey    -   Eastern Europe    -   England/UK    -   France Misc setting    -   moving train

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately messy visuals of dead Kind of violence:    -   knives Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--swords/knives Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing Is this movie based on a    -   book

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