Serving up this steaming pile of
Celebrity Gossip
Gay Politics
Gay News
and Pointless Bitchery
Since 1995

Hello and thank you for being a DL contributor. We are changing the login scheme for contributors for simpler login and to better support using multiple devices. Please click here to update your account with a username and password.

Hello. Some features on this site require registration. Please click here to register for free.

Hello and thank you for registering. Please complete the process by verifying your email address. If you can't find the email you can resend it here.

Hello. Some features on this site require a subscription. Please click here to get full access and no ads for $1.99 or less per month.

What is your favourite Agatha Christie adaptation?

Agatha Christie has been subject to countless and continuing adaptations. That , in itself, is intriguing. But what is your favourite? For all the several attempts, I don’t think there is a consensus on the definitive adaptation.

On the poll i tried to include the most famous ones. Excluded the latest Murder on the Orient Express as I-think nobody liked it much.

My favorites are: And there were none (2015), Five Little Pigs (David Suchet), A Murcer is Announced (both tv versions are great), A Murder On Tne Orient Express (1974, for the scary intro and the boarding and Ingrid Bergman) and Evil Under the Sun (for Nicholas Clay’s bathing suit).

by Anonymousreply 366a day ago

What poll???

by Anonymousreply 102/01/2020

sorry, I lost the poll somewhat (after all the trouble of looking for the dates). Well, just say what is your favourite and why

by Anonymousreply 202/01/2020

"Murder on the Orient Express" - hands down (OP: there's no "A" in the title...) Albert Finney was the prissiest Poirot ever...was my favorite movie as a kid...got the soundtrack for my 14th birthday...

by Anonymousreply 302/01/2020

Hmmm... "Five Little Pigs" was done really well, I think that would definitely be a contender for the best for sure. Actually that season was pretty great all up. It was so strong that "Death on the Nile" managed to be the weakest of the four.

I think "Sad Cypress" is really great too, because I love Elisabeth Dermot Walsh as Elinor Carlisle. She was Suchet's favourite actress to play against throughout the whole series too apparently.

I love 1978's "Death on the Nile". Also the 1996 TV adaptation of "The Pale Horse" is really very good.

by Anonymousreply 402/01/2020

I would say DEATH ON THE NILE. It has a great cast, including Mia Farrow being enchantingly manic. And it isn’t as stagnant as ORIENT EXPRESS.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 502/01/2020

I love the 70s movies of "Murder on the Orient Express" and "Death on the Nile" because the production values were so gorgeous and the scores were so brilliant. "Evil Under the Sun" is great fun, and Nicholas Clay's ass is a thing of wonder. And "The Mirror Crack'd" was so much fun because of the bitchy lines Kim Novak and Elizabeth Taylor get to trade, and because of that fun little movie within a movie that begins it.

Of the TV versions, I was most impressed with "The Mysterious Affair at Stiles" (Poirot's first appearance is so memorable), "The Hollow" (with the director making great use of the tableau effect of the important murder scene), "Five Little Pigs," and "Hallowe'en Party." None of the TV Marple episodes has ever really impressed me. I love the Miss Marple film series with Margaret Rutherford even though as Christie said they have nothing to do with her books (although she admitted, as everyone has to, that Margaret Rutherford is so great that the movies are huge fun anyway).

by Anonymousreply 602/01/2020

I love the 1978 "Death On The Nile" mainly for the incredible cast. If gorgeous Nicholas Clay had played Simon then it would have been perfect!

I love the majority of the David Suchet Poirots. There are some lamentable and unnecessary plot changes in the later episodes and I wish they had done a series of 1-hour "Labour's Of Hercules" but generally excellent.

by Anonymousreply 702/01/2020

I love the 1978 "Death On The Nile" mainly for the incredible cast. If gorgeous Nicholas Clay had played Simon then it would have been perfect!

I love the majority of the David Suchet Poirots. There are some lamentable and unnecessary plot changes in the later episodes and I wish they had done a series of 1-hour "Labour's Of Hercules" but generally excellent.

by Anonymousreply 802/01/2020

R7, I would've loved if they'd done another series of short story adaptations before the end based on The Labours of Hercules too. I also thought when they rebooted the Marple series they should've started with shorter adaptations of the short stories which had never been done before too, before going into the novels.

I think I might be the only person who doesn't really like the "Evil Under the Sun" movie, Nicholas Clay's arse notwithstanding. It's just a bit too silly for me, and changes a lot from the novel. It's fun seeing Diana Rigg and Maggie Smith trade barbs, but the character of Arlena really was more nuanced than in this movie, and more interesting because of it. In fact her true nature is a clue towards her death. "Death on the Nile" I feel gets the balance of camp and seriousness right.

by Anonymousreply 902/01/2020

R5, Though I actually liked her, I think Mia Farrow was hopelessly miscast as Jacqueline de Bellefort. I like the movie a lot, but it also drags on the murder simulations With All Suspects. The Poirot version was also interesting, but, alas, the Jacqueline actress was horrible (everyone would have changed het for rich Emily Blunt).

by Anonymousreply 1002/01/2020

Any Suchet Poirot after they went to the long format is better than any other Christie as far I'm concerned. (The early ones that were played more for laughs, with over-emphasis on Hastings and Miss Lemon, I don't like so much.)

I don't much care for the campy '70s movies with the big names. They tend to be about exaggerated performances and, well, campy. The atmosphere is usually too all-in-fun for Christie, whose books are quite dark and pessimistic despite the quips and stiff-upper-lip manners. Along those lines, the costumes are - as was often the case in '60s and '70s movies - inaccurate and overdone.

My favorite single Christie screen adaptation: The David Suchet version of Death on the Nile. It's perfect. The actors are attractive, but not so famous that their presence detracts from the characters. The costumes are beautiful and accurate to the 1936 setting. The opening scene at the hotel in Cairo, with the band playing a very good imitation of Richard Himber's classic version of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" - again perfectly in period since it's from 1935 - and all the beautifully dressed people dancing and drinking cocktails remains one of my favorite TV scenes ever.

by Anonymousreply 1102/01/2020

R10, I agree, that actress was not good as Jacqueline (she also played Gina in Marple's "They Do It with Mirrors"). It sounded like she was rushing her lines a lot. Also, although they only get along as friends for a short moment as far as what we see goes, it's important I think that Linnet and Jackie come across as old friends, which they didn't here. There wasn't the chemistry.

Frances de la Tour was fun though.

by Anonymousreply 1202/01/2020

I recently got the Complete Poirot on Blu-ray (28 discs). I saw many, though not all, when they were on TV originally. I'm watching them in order, and have only watched a few of the hour-long "short story" episodes so far, but am looking forward to making my way through the set. I had forgotten how perfect Suchet was in the part.

I have to renew my acquaintance with the Hickson Marples, as well as eventually seeing the Rutherfords and McEwans. (I've heard the Julia McKenzie series is problematic.) And, though I'm sure I saw them at one point, I have no recollection of the various TV movies starring either Ustinov or Helen Hayes.

Of the "big name/studio" films, I liked [italic]Death on the Nile[/italic] (1978) and [italic]Evil Under the Sun[/italic] (1982) the best. [italic]Orient Express[/italic] was too condensed for me. (I did not see the Branagh version.) The less said about [italic]The Mirror Crack'd[/italic] (1980), the better.

I have not seen it for awhile, but I have good memories of [italic]Endless Night[/italic] (1972) with Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett and Britt Ekland.

Another I haven't seen in ages is the 1945 [italic]And Then There Were None[/italic]. It's a good adaptation, although I have an issue with the changed ending. (It was patterned after one Christie herself did for the stage version.)

For a purer take on [italic]And Then There Were None[/italic], I really liked the BBC's adaptation in 2015 featuring Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, and the scrumptious Aidan Turner.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1302/01/2020

Death On the Nile (the feature film version)

Evil Under the Sun (feature film)

A Murder is Announced (both TV versions, but especially the one w Zoe Wannamaker)

Five Little Pigs

Hallowe’en Party

The Hollow

by Anonymousreply 1402/01/2020

Completely agree, r12, the thing i like about Death on the Nike (the book), is that there is a horrible treachery between friends and neither adaptation does justice to that. Both are fun but neither conveys the book (where poirot actually has to be consoled by the murderer)

by Anonymousreply 1502/01/2020

There was NO cock in my original books! Fuck all these changes!

by Anonymousreply 1602/01/2020

The 1946 rene clair version was on my failed poll, r15, i like it but the ending kills it (adapted by Agatha I know). The 2015 version is perfect. I think the good thing about it is that there is almost no attempt st humour whatsoever, as it should be.

by Anonymousreply 1702/01/2020

The 2015 version of "And Then There Were None" is definitely the best of all of them. I have one criticism, in that they change the backstories of the characters to make them a bit more violent which does miss the point I think. These people could all convince themselves that they weren't murderers. In the adaptations many of the characters commit murder in a way that they could never convince themselves they were innocent. In the book General Macarthur doesn't shoot his wife's lover in the back of the head, he sends him on a dangerous mission. The Rogers don't smother their employer, they delay in calling the doctor. Lombard doesn't sack a village and murder the inhabitants, he runs off with the supplies after they get lost. It's more nuanced and more interesting like that, I feel. It's how they have got away with their crimes until now, and it even raises the issue of "is it even a crime?" Is it a crime to dismiss a maid from your house who is desperate and has nowhere else to go? Are you somehow responsible for her suicide? These are questions the book raises but which were flattened out in the TV series.

That all sounds like I'm being very critical, but as I said in the beginning, this is absolutely the best of the adaptations and has a lot to recommend it. I've watched it a few times and always enjoyed it.

Also, for those interested, this woman has created a video discussing "Crime and Colonialism: Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None". She argues against the removal of racial tones in the book. It's really interesting!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1802/01/2020

One of the worst was Tony Randall as Poirot in "The ABC Murders." Just execrable.

by Anonymousreply 1902/01/2020

Great post, r18, it is my favorite adaptation as well. It sometimes lack nuance, but that is the part where I think freedom adaptation works. I love the image of the maid/cook preparing the lobsters, the drunkenly party et al. There is a tendency in Agatha Christie’s adaptations in introducing humour and winking to the viewers, which this one completely avoided, thus being much faithful to the original.

by Anonymousreply 2002/01/2020

I think one of the worst is Appointment with Death, with David Suchet.

by Anonymousreply 2102/01/2020

R20 absolutely! The book contains a real claustrophobic feeling and the sense you are spiralling towards a nasty ending. This adaptation successfully keeps this feeling.

R21 completely agree with you there. I would like to rewatch the entire Poirot series but I'm honestly not sure I wouldn't have to skip this one. Embarrassingly bad. And the book is really good - Mrs Boynton is a fascinating character that no one has gotten right yet. What they were thinking with that one, I'll never know.

by Anonymousreply 2202/01/2020

Agreed, r22, i was particularly peeved because I actually think it is a very good book, with good characterization (something Christies detractors always claim). She had a thing with mothers, which is evident in this book (and Ordeal by Innocence, another one which has never been adapted as it should )

by Anonymousreply 2302/01/2020

Not this one....

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2402/01/2020

Oh Ordeal By Innocence is another shame, I totally agree R23. I really enjoyed that book and it's never been done right. And Christie is often much better at characterisations than she is given credit for, providing the book requires it. If she needs characters to just move the plot forward she perhaps doesn't bother so much, but I think that's fine in a puzzle. However I can't believe someone can read say "Five Little Pigs" or "Sparkling Cyanide" or "The Hollow" and not see how interesting her characters can be.

Appointment with Death is so good. I think people trying to adapt it have a hard time with the aspect of psychological abuse in it. She is a terrifying woman. However she wasn't physically abusive, but physical abuse is easier to show on screen.

by Anonymousreply 2502/01/2020

The one about the British retired teacher in Maine solving murders with Mr. Cunningham from "Happy Days" playing the bumbling police officer was pretty awful.

by Anonymousreply 2602/01/2020

Completely agree, r25, Five Little Pigs and The Hollow are some of my favorites . Sparkling cyanide is enjoyable but in my view fails in the crucial point that people would return to a table in a restaurant and completely change seats based on where the ladies purse were. She was not perfect. I would add Sad Cypress to your list.

Another good adaptation is Mirror Cracr’d, with Lindsay Duncan as Marina Gregg. It is another one where most characters are completely forgetful but the main story has a lot of drama. And there’s the line “it’s only chanel”. Go to19 min

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2702/01/2020

Thank you for that, r27. I started watching it and couldn't stop.

by Anonymousreply 2802/01/2020

Why does no one like Julia MacKenzie 's Miss M? I've seen this mentioned a few times on DL.

by Anonymousreply 2902/01/2020

Personally I think the series improves very slightly with MacKenzie. She still had some clunkers, but nothing as godawful as "Sleeping Murder" or "The Sittaford Mystery" under McEwan.

by Anonymousreply 3002/01/2020

Glad you liked it, r27, maybe you know that the main story is actually based on what happened to Gene Tierney (minus the murder).

by Anonymousreply 3102/01/2020

Yes I did know that, r31. Duncan is so ethereal and Lumley is off the wall perfect.

by Anonymousreply 3202/01/2020

Thirteen at Dinner with our Faye in a juicy dual role

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 3302/01/2020

I recently watched the entire Joan Hickson version of Miss Marple, which has been remastered from the original 16 mm and looks great, on BritBox.

Gentle but clever, I think she's the definitive Marple

by Anonymousreply 3402/01/2020

My favorite is still Evil Under The Sun. Yes, the ass is beautiful, but the bitchy lines make the film so much fun. The Cole Porter score. Diana Rigg and Maggie Smith. Roddy McDowell in his sailor suits... The whole thing is a delight. Yes, it veers from the novel in some of the characterizations, but it's still faithful to the mystery. Some of the more recent TV adaptations of Christie's stories have had the temerity to change the identity of the murderer!

by Anonymousreply 3502/01/2020

Theatrical films - Death on the Nile and the 70s Murder on the Orient Express (didn't like the recent one)

TV adaptations - the recent And Then There Were None, Five Little Pigs, Halloween Party, Hercule Poirot's Christmas, Cards on the Table, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, A Murder is Announced, the 2004 version of Murder at the Vicarage is fun and has a super gay cast (Derek Jacobi, Mark Gatiss, Julian Morris)

by Anonymousreply 3602/01/2020

The Joan Hickson Murder at Bertram's Hotel was flawless, and slightly better than Christie wrote it.

by Anonymousreply 3702/01/2020

R37 agreed, and I feel you can say the same about their adaptation of Nemesis too. I cite them as examples of good script writing where the source material needs to be tightened up. Compare Hickson's Nemesis (well done) to McEwan's which is a travesty.

by Anonymousreply 3802/01/2020

For inaccurate period costumes and especially hair, you can't do worse than the 1980s Miss Marple reboot, although Joan Hickson is sublime - cynical and just the right amount of snark.

by Anonymousreply 3902/01/2020

I love the Joan Hickson Marple series but I have to say R39 is spot on about the inaccuracies in style sometimes. I recently rewatched The Moving Finger and the hair and makeup is very 80s.

by Anonymousreply 4002/01/2020

Death on the Nile (1978)

It also had the most impressive line-up of stars, though Murder on the Orient Express (1974) & Evil Under the Sun (1981) come close.

by Anonymousreply 4102/01/2020

I'm not a fan of Joan Hickson. She's too much of a snooze.

And neither Geraldine McEwan nor Julia McKenzie should be blamed for the extreme changes in several of the stories. That was clearly a decision that Matthew Pritchard, Christie's grandson, decided would be okay. All of the later Poirots have big changes as well.

by Anonymousreply 4202/02/2020

The changes are often so weirdly unnecessary. I am completely behind changes that help the story work better in a different format, or to tighten up something in the plot, or streamline the action a bit, but what on earth was with the changes to the more recent Sleeping Murder for example? That is an excellent story, quite gothic and creepy too, and they turned it into a farce. Suchet's Appointment with Death has been mentioned too.

There was an interesting article written by Ian Hallard, I think it was, who wrote alongside Mark Gatiss on some of the stories, like Cat Among the Pigeons. The writers can't be blamed for everything in these cases either, as the director makes certain decisions too. He mentioned that Miss Springer would be killed with a javelin, a change they made from the original pistol, but he says they never intended or imagined a scene where the murderer actually kills her by throwing the javelin at her.

by Anonymousreply 4302/02/2020

R30 Once I saw Géraldine McEwan as the ghastly nun in the Magdalene Sisters, I tried and failed to come anywhere near liking her as Miss Marple. I much preferred Joan Hickson as Miss M - and she was closest in looks and temperament to Christie’s descriptions. Why they have to faff about and change characters is beyond me, especially when you look at the Margaret Rutherford character. She always reminds me of the type of hearty Miss M you could see Miriam Margolyes playing with relish. Just a side note - Joan Hickson played a daily woman in one of the Margaret Rutherfords - think it was The 4.50 From Paddington,

by Anonymousreply 4402/02/2020

My problem with Joan Hickson is that she is completely uninteresting. I have to pinch myself to keep watching in her Miss Marples, because they are so deadly dull. (The exception being "A Murder is Announced," which is excellent. Not as outstanding as the McEwen version, but excellent nonetheless).

[quote]There was an interesting article written by Ian Hallard, I think it was, who wrote alongside Mark Gatiss

Ian Hallard is Mark Gatiss' husband. The"crown jewel" of their Christie adaptations is "Hallowe'en Party," which is fairly faithful to the plot of the book, and is extremely well acted (including by Hallard himself, who takes a supporting role).

by Anonymousreply 4502/02/2020

That's the one I was thinking of R40. A cropped boy-cut on a young woman in the early1950s? Puhlease. The styling in the Geraldine McEwan version is gorgeous and much more authentic.

by Anonymousreply 4602/02/2020

Thank you, r43, I found the article/interview (link below) and it is very interesting, they explain some of the changes, and some of the reasons make sense (budget, timings, too many characters, etc).

Others, not so much, the javelin being a case in point. Also, when they change some ofthe murderers motivation/identity, they sometimes mess with the whole mood of the story. Cat Among the Pigeon has some silly scenes, but the parts in the school are actually quite spooky. The second murderer is interesting because it is not connected with the main story but concerns the dark side of office politics involving the school teachers, and a supposedly nice character acts out of spite. I find this more interesting and nuanced than what they went with...

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 4702/02/2020

Miss Marbles....

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 4802/02/2020

Can't read all of these but Rufus Sewell is now Mark Easterbrook in The Pale Horse (BBC), I'd like to watch that.

by Anonymousreply 4902/02/2020

"A cropped boy-cut on a young woman in the early1950s? Puhlease. The styling in the Geraldine McEwan version is gorgeous and much more authentic."

Here's Liz Taylor with a very short, cropped hairdo in 1954

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5002/02/2020

[quote]My favorite is still Evil Under The Sun. Yes, the ass is beautiful, but the bitchy lines make the film so much fun. The Cole Porter score. Diana Rigg and Maggie Smith. Roddy McDowell in his sailor suits... The whole thing is a delight.

Forgetting someone?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5102/02/2020

R44, that's right, Joan Hickson had a part playing the daily, Mrs Kidder, in Murder She Says (alternative title for 4.50 from Paddington). During her own adaptation of this story in 1987, Hickson's Marple has a line where she's explaining why the Crackenthorpes need more help with: "Now, Mrs Kidder is NOT very efficient - and she knows it!" which is a nice little in-joke.

by Anonymousreply 5202/02/2020

Joan Hickson’s series were shown when I was kid, liked them a lot. Haven’t seen them since. Suchet is Poirot I prefer. Five Little Pigs and They Do It With Mirrors are very well written and adapted.

by Anonymousreply 5302/02/2020

Another vote for DEATH ON THE NILE. The cast, The score, it truly is my Favourite guilty pleasure.

by Anonymousreply 5402/02/2020

Awesome, R47, that's the interview I was talking about. I found it really enlightening and I think it helped open my mind a bit when watching adaptations, to stop thinking so much that writers were always just ruining good stories/thinking they could do it better, but understanding that there are certain constraints that need to be worked through. And that even their vision may not be honoured at the end of the day.

Cat Among the Pigeons is a curious story where it's half boarding school mystery, half international thriller. The boarding school part is the superior part (though I generally really enjoy this story anyway), and you're spot on with the second murder.

by Anonymousreply 5502/02/2020

The recent adaptation of ' and then there were none '. Do I need explaining why ?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5602/02/2020

Yes please

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5702/02/2020

DROP. THE. TOWEL.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 5802/02/2020

Actually, come to think of it, Season Ten was a really good one for Poirot, too. "The Mystery of the Blue Train," "Cards on the Table," "After the Funeral," and "Taken at the Flood" were all extremely well done.

And all of the episodes with Zoe Wannamaker as Ariadne Oliver were terrific. She was outstanding as Lettie in "A Murder is Announced," for Marple, and even better as Mrs. Oliver for Poirot.

by Anonymousreply 5902/02/2020

The Many Moods of Myra Gardener

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 6002/02/2020

Thank you, r47, for letting me know about it, i liked it a lot, including for what you say. But you can also see that there is a degree of randomness in it, which doesn’t always work. I don’t mind changes per se, if they don’t affect the spirit of the thing or highlight certain aspects. For instance, Marple’s Body in the Library with the lesbian plot was perfectly ok (in my view) because, if anything, it reinforced the motive while keeping the plot almost the same. For instance, Third Girl is unrecognizable and a mess (though I grant it has a plot issue very difficult to adapt and which even in the book is hardly credible).

Agree that that season is very good, r59.

by Anonymousreply 6102/02/2020

R59, After the Funeral is really well done, it's fantastic. They pull off something that could've gone terribly wrong when it comes to the companion and Cora. Even re-watching it doesn't take anything away from it. The rest of those episodes I'm a bit meh on, personally. I think they really missed the boat with Taken at the Flood, because they adapted it in such a way that completely ignores the significance of the title of the story. David Hunter was meant to be an opportunist: "There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; etc". This is my problem with some of these adaptations; rather than going with Christie's intentions, they try to shoehorn the all stories into standard murder mystery tropes but not all the stories are written that way.

I didn't like the switching of Anne and Rhoda's characters in Cards on the Table. I liked Rhoda in the book. And while I totally accept and enjoy the inclusion of homosexuality in Five Little Pigs, I don't think it worked here.

R60, I know this is me and me alone, but she is actually one of the biggest reasons I don't really like that film. Like nails on a chalkboard.

Sorry, this is a bit of a negative sounding post!

by Anonymousreply 6202/02/2020

No problem R61, and I also agree with you re: the lesbian twist in The Body in the Library didn't really bother me either. And it's certainly nothing on what they did in other stories. It's the randomness that is so jarring sometimes for sure.

by Anonymousreply 6302/02/2020

r60 The costume designer should've won an Oscar just on the basis of her outfits and Nicholas Clay's trunks.

by Anonymousreply 6402/02/2020

Interestingly, Thirteen at Dinner (at R33) also stars David Suchet in his first Christie role as Inspector Japp.

by Anonymousreply 6502/02/2020

Actually, great comment, r62. I agree with you about Cards on the Table on the Anne/Rhoda thing, which was perfect on the book. On the other hand, I think the gay thing in Five Little Pigs worked very well, in the book the character has a deep and almost inexplicable dislike for the wife, it is implied that he is attracted to her but I think the tv version actually works better, alas.

I have a soft spot for After the Funeral, which was the first Christie i read. It is sinister, violent and had a surprising motive, ranging on class warfare. The adaptation was ok but i didn’t at all like Lucy Punch, she seemed to be in a different movie.

by Anonymousreply 6602/02/2020

What was the one where ... shoot. The wife went to the Middle East, and wound up ... oh, is that Cards on the Table? And the killer was having an affair with her husband, which is why he killed the wife? And Mr. what's his name, Saddiq? knew about it? I can't remember, shoot. That one had a very tenuous murder - that she would get injected with a filthy needle and several weeks later would develop a deadly infection or something like that. It seemed very iffy for the killer to be counting on that.

by Anonymousreply 6702/02/2020

R66, when I think of Lucy Punch I always think: "But we're cousins!" Hahaha. The class thing was well done in that adaptation too, when Susan goes to Miss Gilchrist's house and the way she treats her, in a casual sort of "you are naturally inferior to me" way. That was well done.

Oh, I think I didn't explain myself well. I had no problem with homosexuality put into Five Little Pigs, I even think it added to the character. It was the homosexuality of Dr Roberts in Cards on the Table that I didn't think was necessary or successful.

by Anonymousreply 6802/02/2020

That is indeed Cards on the Table, r67.

Completely agree with you on Cards on the tsble, r68, it was unnecessary and almost overkill. I guess they thought it was edgy or something.

by Anonymousreply 6902/02/2020

R67 that is Cards on the Table, but the adaptation veered from the book in a number of ways. It's been ages since I read it, so I can't tell you exactly everything, but Dr Roberts wasn't having an affair with another man, Anne and Rhoda's characters are switched, and the book also had Superintendent Battle and Colonel Race in it, who were characters from other Christie works. The host was a Mr Shaitana who planned a dinner party with four detectives and four criminals. I think the adaptation even made out that Mr Shaitana wanted to die and was hoping to get killed (correct me if I'm wrong)? In the book he was just playing with fire.

by Anonymousreply 7002/02/2020

I have a couple of questions that are only slightly off topic. Is The Mousetrap still running in London? Has it ever been filmed?

by Anonymousreply 7102/02/2020

R67 Yes...that's part of the plot of Cards on the Table.

I very much enjoy all four of the big 70s/80s Christie films but my absolute favorite is Evil Under The Sun...great script with terrific bitchy lines. And, the costumes. And, the divine Myra/Sylvia Miles...if you hate her, then....go sit in the other room and think about your transgressions.

Suchet IS Poirot...I didn't used to like the early seasons where they did all the short stories and they featured so much of that idiot Hastings but now I love them...and, even Hugh Fraser's terrifically daft Hastings..."I, say!!!" And, actually and even though I know it's not well liked, I think Suchet's Murder on the Orient Express is my favorite version. It should have been a tad longer but it's the only version where you feel like this MIGHT have actually happened...the ludicrous plot as exposed by Poirot AS a ludicrous plot. And, Poirot/Suchet's terrific anger at it all.

Rutherford's Marples are silly froth (with a fun theme tune!) and while I like Hickson's Marple, they aren't the best written and directed.

I adore McEwen and she's NOTHING like Marple but her Marples ARE very fun, even though they very much overdid the "lets add lesbians to EVERY plot" bit.

I like McKenzie, and in many ways, she really IS Miss Marple as written by Christie, but her series suffered from poor writing/directing.

by Anonymousreply 7202/02/2020

I don’t think he planned to get kill, he thought himself as a collector and took stupid risks, r70. Cardsvon the Table is a great book, there are only 4 suspects and she doesn’t mess with it, one of them fit it, but you keep getting surprised. The Anne character was great, as a sly, almost passive aggressive killer. And Mrs Lorrimer is formidable.

by Anonymousreply 7302/02/2020

R71, it is still on andthey can’t film it when it is still on. I think even the book is not easy to get.

I also liked Suchet’s Murder on the Orient Express, it is very grim and moody.

by Anonymousreply 7402/02/2020

The Hickson version of Nemesis.

by Anonymousreply 7502/02/2020

I liked Suchet's Murder on the Orient Express too. I guess as we already have a faithful one filmed I wasn't too upset with them doing something a bit different. There's a sense from the morning the body is discovered that Poirot has it worked out already and is really pissed off with all the lies people are telling. The scene with the lady's maid made me think of this in particular. I liked how distraught and upset the characters were at the denouement, rather than toasting each other with champagne. And I think it was the best use of Poirot as a bon catholique and how that would affect him during and after making his decision.

by Anonymousreply 7602/02/2020

Suchet deserved more awards for his Poirot. He was superb.

by Anonymousreply 7702/02/2020

All those well-done Murders on the Orient Express stand in stark contrast to the dreadful Kenneth Branagh version

by Anonymousreply 7802/02/2020

I thought the Suchet version of Elephants Can Remember was better than the book

by Anonymousreply 7902/02/2020

This one, of course.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 8002/02/2020

Well, Elephants Can Remember is a terrible book...it's one of her last ones.

Pretty much everything after about 1965 or so, isn't good. You read them and realize, "she's getting very old".

I "like" the original 70s Orient Express...it's got that big, starry cast and it's gorgeously designed. But, Finney actually isn't a very good Poirot...he just BELLOWS a lot. And, then there's the fact he's actually a tall man so he just hunches over all the time trying to seem small. But, it's still fun. Even the idea of Lauren Bacall playing one of the best dramatic actresses in the world.

by Anonymousreply 8102/02/2020

There was a study done on the novel "Elephants Can Remember" which I think showed evidence of dementia setting in by that point, or something like that. The range of her vocabulary had dropped significantly. I read somewhere that after the following novel "Postern of Fate" was released her daughter stormed into the publishers (she was apparently quite fearsome) and demanded they stop forcing Christie to write a new novel each year. I think she was worried her legacy would be tarnished by the last few books she wrote.

Still, she has an amazing track record. Even in the lesser novels, her authorial voice is so delightful. But yes, from I'd say "By the Pricking of My Thumbs" onwards (1968) she was losing it. Often still interesting ideas, just not executed well enough.

by Anonymousreply 8202/02/2020

Agree, r82, even her worse one have some good ideas, including Elephants and the creepy By the Creeping of my Thumbs. The sole exception is Postern of Fate, which is dismal. And plotless.

by Anonymousreply 8302/02/2020

R81, you must not have much FLAVAH if you can't accept moi as a great actress!

by Anonymousreply 8402/02/2020

Thanks for the laugh, [R51]. My god, that picture is truly horrifying! Is that really her, or is it a man in drag??

by Anonymousreply 8502/02/2020

r85, didn't you see R60?

by Anonymousreply 8602/02/2020

No, I didn't see [R60] -Then I posted, [R51] was the latest post. Don't know how thirty people got in there ahead of me...

by Anonymousreply 8702/02/2020

Recently as part of a book challenge type thing set up by someone I follow on YouTube, I read back through the Miss Marple novels, and something that struck me after I finished was that I'm not sure any of the actresses playing her have her down quite as she was written. She was quite arch and could be playful for a start. She was nosier than portrayed anywhere, to the point where in A Caribbean Mystery she broke her own shoe and then lay down under a window to eavesdrop, the plan being if anyone saw her she could claim she fell when her heel snapped. In At Bertram's Hotel she walks past a table in a café three times, dropping things each time so she could listen in on a conversation. She spends the entirety of the short story Strange Jest trolling a young couple. There can be something quite amusing about her behaviour. She was also for most of the run very Victorian, and dressed in lace. The picture I've attached here (the top one) is of Christie's inspiration for Marple - I couldn't find a better version online, but you get the idea.

Not a criticism of the actresses playing her, but an interesting observation. They all take elements of her, but none come close enough to be her as written.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 8802/02/2020

Good post, r88. Though I think that fashion was for the earlier books and I don’t think it would look good with the looks of the other characters in the adaptations. Mrs Marple is a more elusive character than Poirot, she only appeared in 12 novels whereas he appeared on 30 or 40 and is more recognizable from the description. It is to Mrs Marple’s credit that they are actually often compared.

by Anonymousreply 8902/07/2020

It's an interesting thing about Christie - Miss Marple and Poirot were always written as contemporary, even though their stories were published across several decades. I mean, "Hallowe'en Party" and "A Caribbean Mystery" are taking place when they were written, the 1960s. The Miss Marple of "Nemesis" (the last one written; "Sleeping Murder" was written in the 40s) would have to have been born around the start of the first World War, or a little bit earlier, whereas the original Miss Marple was clearly born in the end of the Victorian era.

(Tommy and Tuppance, on the other hand, definitely aged with the series, from young adventurers to a senior couple).

It was the TV series that set them in one era - Poirot in the 1930s, and Miss Marple in the early 1950s (in all the TV versions), and that's how we tend to think of them. Even the feature films were consistent - 1930s for Poirot, and 1950s for the one Marple outing (The Mirror Crack'd).

by Anonymousreply 9002/07/2020

It'd be kind of fun to see a series where they move through the decades. Would need complete suspension of disbelief over the no aging thing, of course.

by Anonymousreply 9102/07/2020

I would like to see Miss Marple in the early 1970s, the ear of "Nemesis." See her reacting and adapting to the hippie anti-war movements, and to all the fashion changes.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 9202/07/2020

"How Miss Marple Got Her Groove Back"

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 9302/07/2020

That would be fun R92! It's sort of touched on earlier in the novel The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, where Miss Marple goes for a walk into the new development on the edge of her village. She goes in with quite a negative mindset about how everything is changing, but on visiting is delighted to see that while things are changing on the surface, human nature is as it once was and she can still find all the people familiar. It's a nice little bit. But I don't think something like that has been put on film/television and to portray that in an adaptation would be very cool.

Hahah R93, that cracked me up!

by Anonymousreply 9402/07/2020

Wasn’t there going to be a new Marple series where Miss Marple would be young? What happened to that?

by Anonymousreply 9502/07/2020

Oh my god yes, I remember hearing about that. Starring Jennifer Garner, wasn't it?

by Anonymousreply 9602/07/2020

It rightfully died. I think it was supposed to be a young, modern Ms Marple in America...which makes no gawdamned sense. That's not who the character is.

by Anonymousreply 9702/07/2020

Are there any stories about how the cast got on? Did Bette Davies clash with Angela Lansbury or Maggie Smith? Did Lauren Bacall spiit on Ingrid Bergman?

by Anonymousreply 9802/22/2020

Re: Death on the Nile, I think I read somewhere that Davis, Smith, Lansbury and... Farrow? I think, all shared a dressing room and got along well. But I thought I read somewhere that Davis didn't like Hussey very much.

by Anonymousreply 9902/22/2020

No rumors from the original Murder on the Orient Express set. Everyone was on best behavior - it had been a while since such a large group of major stars had been put together, and it was a "prestige" gig to have.

The only thing I could find re Death on the Nile is this quote from director John Guillermin: "The more experienced people created a very generous atmosphere. They were not impatient at all. I have never worked with Bette Davis before and was told she was professional but not communicative. Well, she was an absolute bastion of support and enthusiasm. During the breaks, the cast would often sit to one side engaged in terrific conversation. There was Ustinov's great wit and Niven's dry humour. Jack Warden is a very funny man and Mia Farrow is a very funny woman. This was a bunch of people who could relax."

by Anonymousreply 10002/23/2020

Thanks r100, that was lovely

by Anonymousreply 10102/23/2020

Angela Lansbury also discusses how great Bette was when she introduced her for a lifetime achievement award.

by Anonymousreply 10202/23/2020

[quote]What is your favourite Agatha Christie adaptation?

It was so clever how they made the story contemporary in "Clueless."

by Anonymousreply 10302/23/2020

Thinking about all these different adaptations, it really is striking that there's never been a definitive Marple. (Apologies to those who love Hickson but she doesn't quite do it for me.)

by Anonymousreply 10402/23/2020

"Are you somehow responsible for her suicide?"

This is why I absolutely LOVE the Lumet ORIENT EXPRESS (and dismissed the remake). Because beneath the camp, the star wattage, the fabulous design, the beating heart of the story and the movie's true concern is: the far-reaching and devastating consequences of evil. I have seen the film a score of times over the decades and the scene that I currently find the most gripping is when Poirot lists the tragedies that befell the numerous characters directly or indirectly affected by baby Daisy Armstrong's kidnapping and murder. It evokes the pity and terror of Greek tragedy and raises goosebumps. For my money Christie never wrote a more magnificent story and Lumet delivered the finest Christie adaptation (though I adore the 70s DEATH ON THE NILE as well and will certainly be checking out the other recommendations in this thread.).

I'm also surprised to see no one has mentioned the Glenn Close CROOKED HOUSE from a couple of years back. Thoughts??

by Anonymousreply 10502/23/2020

Friday the 13th (1980)

by Anonymousreply 10602/23/2020

R105 Greek tragedy is a great way to put it! I've not seen the Japanese adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, but I believe it's in two parts with the first part being the novel and the second part being a recreation of the Daisy Armstrong case. There's certainly enough in the back story in the novel to warrant this too.

by Anonymousreply 10702/23/2020

[quote]Mia Farrow is a very funny woman.

Yeah, she's a regular Henny Youngman.

by Anonymousreply 10802/23/2020

Great post, r105, that is why the recent version sucks, you never get a real sense of the past tragedy and how the kidnapping destroyed a family and those close to it - and end up with a weak motivation.

I like Crooked House, but it did not work very well somehow. I don’t know precisely why. I think they signaled the ending a bit so it was not very shocking after all. The best one in it was Gillian Anderson.

by Anonymousreply 10902/23/2020

I prefer the David Suchet Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express, but the Kenneth Branagh Production is breathtakingly beautiful. The cinematography after the train is snowbound is like some ethereal, Gothic/Scandinavian fairytale come to life.

by Anonymousreply 11002/23/2020

Over a recent rainy weekend I watched four of Suchet's Poirot adaptations:

- Cat Among the Pigeons: I liked this one a lot, even with the changes. The girls playing Julia and Jennifer were spot on, actually looked and behaved like how I imagined them from the novel. The whole javelin thing was a bit silly, but otherwise it was very well done with some well cast actors.

-Death on the Nile: this is one of my favourites of the novels and I love the 1978 movie, but this one felt really rushed. I think there is too much in the story to reduce it to the 90-odd minutes of television. Frances de la Tour and Zoe Telford as Salome and Rosalie Otterbourne were really good though.

- After the Funeral: still really enjoyable. I can totally see what R66 means about Lucy Punch though. That part in this version is quite different from the novel too. A fun one to re-watch when you know the resolution.

- Hickory, Dickory, Dock: Disappointing really. Shame to get rid of all the foreign students who were staying at the hostel. And what's with that weird joke about faggots at the end? Poirot est-il homophobe? I liked the girl who played Celia though. She played a similarly weepy character in the BBC comedy "As Time Goes By". And Miss Lemon and her sister were great too.

by Anonymousreply 11103/09/2020

Miss Lemon is one of the best things about the early Poirots. Pauline Moran is terrific. Too bad Christie herself retired Miss Lemon, because they couldn't bring her back (although they did find a way to have her reappear in The Big Four, which was very rewritten).

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 11203/09/2020

Interesting fact about Miss Lemon; originally she was secretary to one of Christie's other detectives, Mr Parker Pyne, and appeared in a couple of his short stories. She appeared in a couple of Poirot short stories after that, and first appeared in novel form, working for him in 1955's Hickory Dickory Dock. I'm not sure that Christie ever retired her as such as she appeared all the way up until Elephants Can Remember, though she was retired from the TV series, along with Japp and Hastings (all three of them appeared in more TV adaptations than novels and short stories). I guess they were removed from the series because of the darker, more serious turn the show went in from 2004 onwards. They all reappeared in The Big Four in the final series, and Hastings also came back for Curtain.

by Anonymousreply 11303/09/2020

Witness for the Prosecution, 1957 version.

by Anonymousreply 11403/09/2020

The 1974 version of "Murder on the Orient Express".

Not just for the swoon-worthy costumes and production values (a novelty at the time), not just for the camp appeal of big-name actors trying to make the most of their small roles, and certainly not for Finney as Poirot, but because the script nailed the appeal of the story: It's really about Poirot engaging in a duel with an Avenging Angel, and laying down his sword when he realizes the cause is just.

Brannaugh didn't realize that was the heart of the story in the recent remake, since he played Poirot he just HAD to make it into a sort of victory for the Master Detective and his own ego. But the earlier film got it, that version allowed the antagonist some lovely subtle moments of foreshadowing, and a chilling sort of triumphal march at the end. It's one of those movies you can watch dozens of times over the years, maybe, hundreds of times.

by Anonymousreply 11503/09/2020

It's one of those movies you can watch dozens of times over the years, maybe, hundreds of times.

And I have.

But something that dawned on me over decades of viewing (as I stated above): Lumet's version is really about the far-reaching consequences of evil and the lives it destroys (unsurprising, considering Lumet's oeurvre). So much more moving and chilling than Branagh's tepid remake. It puts me in mind of the TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD currently on Broadway. The book and film are concerned with compassion, Sorkin's stage play, with justice. Though the play doesn't carry the same emotional punch as the film, I can appreciate it for its own merits.

by Anonymousreply 11603/09/2020

R24, I have to disagree. It wasn't a classic, but it was a very enjoyable whodunit. Loved all the veteran character actors. Seeing Stanley Holloway and Wilford Hyde-White in the same film after "My Fair Lady" was a treat. Of course you knew Fabian would be the first one knocked off, and that Shirley Eaton would be front and center after her "Goldfinger" success. But the real attraction....nice shirtless scenes with hairy Hugh O'Brian!

by Anonymousreply 11703/09/2020

R24, I have to disagree. It wasn't a classic, but it was a very enjoyable whodunit. Loved all the veteran character actors. Seeing Stanley Holloway and Wilford Hyde-White in the same film after "My Fair Lady" was a treat. Of course you knew Fabian would be the first one knocked off, and that Shirley Eaton would be front and center after her "Goldfinger" success. But the real attraction....nice shirtless scenes with hairy Hugh O'Brian!

by Anonymousreply 11803/09/2020

The recent BBC Adaptation of And Then There Were None was superb.

Does anyone enjoy any of the 4 TV movies Ustinov made? I believe they were Appointment With Death, Dead Man's Folly, Three Act Tragedy and Thirteen To Dinner (Lord Edgware Dies) with our very own Ms Faye Dunaway!

by Anonymousreply 11903/10/2020

Appointment with Death was done as a period film piece after the other three TV movies (with a very 80's soundtrack however, haha!) and the other three were contemporary. I've not seen Thirteen at Dinner so I can't say, but, I was able to enjoy Dead Man's Folly enough I guess, Murder in Three Acts was a bit painful to watch, and Appointment with Death is a bit flat. I wouldn't say any of those were favourites. I'd love them to do Appointment with Death properly.

by Anonymousreply 12003/10/2020

Appointment With Death was released in theaters, wasn't it? I could swear I saw it there. That's the one with Bacall and Carrie Fisher, isn't it?

by Anonymousreply 12103/10/2020

R121 yes you could be right!

by Anonymousreply 12203/10/2020

r51 I never realized how much Sylvia Miles looked like Laurence Olivier, until I saw the pic you posted.

I know we've all heard it, read it and it's been repeated for years, but here we go again: Agatha Christie herself said to Joan Hickson that "One day I should be pleased if you would play my Miss Marple." For crying out loud, could there be a better testimonial than the one out of the mouth of the creator of such a venerable character? We've all got our favorite, but none really "ring the changes" like Miss Hickson does.

I'm a fan of "A Murder Is Announced" and "Sleeping Murder" as well. The overall winner though is "Nemesis." There's tough competition for breathing room, considering how many acting parts there are, many of them played by wonderful actors with great bodies of work. Hickson's part is smaller than usual and understated, but she more than holds her own, and presides over all eventually. Hats off to you, Miss Hickson.

by Anonymousreply 12303/10/2020

I second the Joan Hickson version of Nemesis as a great adaptation. The scene where Professor Wanstead interviews Mrs Brent, played by Liz Fraser, on the disappearance of her daughter is worth the price alone (it's not in the novel either, showing you can add to novels without ruining them).

by Anonymousreply 12403/10/2020

I don't give a shit what Agatha Christie supposedly said. Hickson is a fucking bore. And it's not just her. The episodes are videotaped, which makes them look twee and cheap (as opposed to being filmed), and that awful music is ghastly.

In any event, anyone who likes that kind of slow, dull, English village twaddle can watch Joan Hickson to their heart's delight forever.

The rest of us like something a bit heartier and better acted.

by Anonymousreply 12503/10/2020

[quote]The episodes are videotaped, which makes them look twee and cheap (as opposed to being filmed).

Wrong. They were filmed in 16mm.

And the 30th Anniversary BBC remasters look [italic]very[/italic] nice.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 12603/11/2020

Marlene in "Witness for the Prosecution".

It's where I first saw one of those bucket chairs that convey one up a staircase. I have wanted one since I was about 10. Saving up now!

by Anonymousreply 12703/11/2020

R127, I always wanted one of those stair carriers since I saw William Windom's character's mother use it all the time on "The Farmer's Daughter".

by Anonymousreply 12803/11/2020

[quote]Wrong. They were filmed in 16mm.

I don't care if they were filmed in TODD-AO, they look incredibly cheap and tacky.

by Anonymousreply 12903/12/2020

You've got to have glorious technicolor, breathtaking Cinemascope and stereophonic sound...

by Anonymousreply 13003/12/2020

Yes!

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 13103/12/2020

Going back up a few dozen posts, yes, everybody's right that none of the film and tv versions of Miss Marple have got her quite right but I love Margaret Rutherford's take on the character. Not what Christie wrote but she's so much fun.

I also love her in that early 1950s version of The Importance of Being Earnest as Miss Prism where she is the perfect foil to Edith Evans' Lady Bracknell. That film isn't perfect (among other things, it's highly abridged) but it's still great and among it's greatest strengths is Evans' definitive performance.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 13203/13/2020

its, not it's, whatever, .

by Anonymousreply 13303/13/2020

Margaret Rutherford was such a hottie that she was all wrong for dowdy Jane.

by Anonymousreply 13403/13/2020

.....

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 13503/13/2020

Rutherford wasn't Christie's Marple but she was fabulous.

What's more important, right or fabulous?

by Anonymousreply 13603/13/2020

Rutherford wasn't Christie's Marple but she was fabulous.

What's more important, right or fabulous?

by Anonymousreply 13703/13/2020

While Christie didn't think Rutherford right for Miss Marple, she did respect her immensely and even dedicated The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side to her.

I recently watched the Rutherford Marples, and I just couldn't get into them. Murder, She Said at least generally followed the plot of 4.50 from Paddington, but as they go on they become so wildly different from the source material. They weren't for me, though I know many others love them.

by Anonymousreply 13803/13/2020

Anybody see ORDEAL OF INNOCENCE streaming on Prime? Slightly protracted, but otherwise quite good, with nice dollops of male eye candy.

by Anonymousreply 13903/13/2020

The Rutherford "Murder at the Gallop" was based on "After the Funeral," which was actually a Poirot book.

by Anonymousreply 14003/13/2020

^ Yep, and Murder Most Foul is very very loosely based on Mrs McGinty's Dead, another Poirot novel.

R139 is that the version with Bill Nighy and Anna Chancellor? I really like the novel and was frustrated that that one was so different from the book, but maybe if I went back and watched it pretending it was not Christie, just its own thing I might enjoy it more? I managed to do that with the recent ABC Murders and while I'll never rewatch that one, I could at least enjoy it as its own thing.

by Anonymousreply 14103/13/2020

Yes, r141. I'd never read the book, so had nothing to compare it to. The film has its moments.

by Anonymousreply 14203/13/2020

I've just rewatched Third Girl, which was an interesting experience. I don't remember the book very well, except that it wasn't one I liked so much. The adaptation I think probably did a good job in removing the whole "Frances is both stepmother and flatmate" thing. I remember when I first watched it thinking they would still do that as the actress playing Frances is very heavily made up. I enjoyed seeing them film the whole "You're too old!" scene. There are some really good and subtle character moments in it too (I noticed many of the characters turn their bodies slightly away from Poirot when speaking, favouring the other, British people he is in a group with, even when he is leading the conversation). It's also interesting that while most adaptations throw random extra murders in often, here they take out the second murder completely.

Having said all that, it is quite a weird watch too. It feels really anachronistic, rather like the hostel setting in Hickory Dickory Dock. The whole flatmate situation feels kind of off, being set in the 30s. I don't know, perhaps that was a common thing then too, but the whole concept of the Third Girl seems very 60s to me. Also, it's not really relevant at all, but I found it really weird how they kept talking about "Nanny Seagram". It would've sounded more natural to me if the family referred to her as simply "Nanny" and the others as "Miss Seagram".

As I say, I don't remember the book very well, but the adaptation felt so unfamiliar that I think they must've changed quite a bit. Zoe Wanamaker as Mrs Oliver was a real delight at least. I enjoyed her scene coming out of her coma a lot.

Also, just for nightmare purposes, here is the cover of the 1982 edition of Third Girl.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 14303/19/2020

just saw A Pale Horse, with Rufus "Delicious" Sewell.

by Anonymousreply 14403/19/2020

Was it any good? I've heard it was quite different from the novel.

by Anonymousreply 14503/19/2020

it is practically a different story. almost a ghost story at the end.

but i would watch Sewell tie and untie his shoelaces all day, so....

by Anonymousreply 14603/19/2020

Evil Under The Sun

by Anonymousreply 14703/20/2020

[quote]Wilford Hyde-White

Oh, dear.

by Anonymousreply 14803/20/2020

When it comes to Murder on the Orient Express, Finney’s version is my favorite - even if he was too hulking for Poirot. The production values are gorgeous, and apart from Finney, the rest of the cast is note-perfect. Bacall’s Mrs. Hubbard is probably the best thing she did in the second half of her career.

The Branagh version was marred by his vanity and the Suchet version had all that head-scratching Christian angst in it (again, felt like that was in service of Suchet and not Poirot).

Of the Ustinov adaptations, Death on the Nile worked best for me - Davis and Smith coming at each other like contestants on drag race - though I missed chubby, big-hearted Cornelia Robson, the most endearing ingenue Christie ever wrote to my mind ; Lansbury’s Salome Otterbourne; Lois Chiles’ limited range being put to perfect use as the stiff and entitled Linnet. Evil Under the Sun was lots of fun as well, but the production totally missed the point of Arlena. Diana Rigg is peerless when it comes to alpha bitch goddess, but so much of the payoff of the mystery is the role reversal of Arlena and Christine Redfern. Arlena really isn’t the she-devil the other characters paint her and that it is her and not Christine who is the pathetic “little woman” who just desperately wants to be loved and who has no pride where men are concerned - and you don’t really get that all from Rigg.

by Anonymousreply 14903/20/2020

You certainly get that from Jane Birkin's wonderful Christine, though, r149. And the payoff at the end is beautifully filmed.

by Anonymousreply 15003/20/2020

That I agree with, R150. Birkin is brilliant in Evil Under the Sun.

Also, completely agree with R124. Nothing in any of the recent Marple adaptations can touch what Liz Fraser does in her short scene in Hickson’s Nemesis. A definite case of an improvement on the novel, especially as I don’t believe Agatha Christie had it in her to write such a beautifully realized working class woman.

by Anonymousreply 15103/20/2020

"...it is her and not Christine who is the pathetic “little woman” who just desperately wants to be loved and who has no pride where men are concerned - and you don’t really get that all from Rigg. "

To be fair, it's much more fun to watch Rigg play a bitch-goddess, and a bitch-goddess who gets to play against Maggie Smith, than to see her revealed as a desperate and pathetic real woman. So I'll allow the filmmakers this change from the original material, it makes the film less complex, but more fun.

And I agree that "MotOE" was the best thing Bacall did in her later career. I love that movie, I've seen it again and again, and the more you watch Bacall the better she gets (she should have gotten Bergman's Oscar). She was a very limited actress but this role uses her best qualities - her charisma, her glamour, and the sharp steely edge hidden under the glamour.

by Anonymousreply 15203/20/2020

I thought in both the book and film Arlena was referred to as someone most men want but no one wants to keep. Poirot makes some mention of this being her tragedy.

by Anonymousreply 15303/20/2020

I thought in both the book and film Arlena was referred to as someone most men want but no one wants to keep. Poirot makes some mention of this being her tragedy.

by Anonymousreply 15403/20/2020

Agatha 1979 starring Vanessa Redgrave

An adaptation of a real life event.

by Anonymousreply 15503/20/2020

I am really enjoying reading other people's opinions here, especially when they're different to mine because it's so interesting hearing others explain why the love what they love so much. I must be one of the few who really doesn't enjoy that 1982 adaptation of Evil Under the Sun. It's too garish, too camp. I feel the campness in Death on the Nile (1978) was hit perfectly, but Evil Under the Sun is drenched in it, in a way that is too much for me. But I totally appreciate that that is exactly what others love about it.

R149 yes to your point about Arlena! That is such a great character moment in the book. Diana Rigg has heaps of fun with the part, and even though I don't love the film, watching her and Maggie Smith spar is fun, but the movie character was really cruel and nasty too, in a way book Arlena wasn't. We end up pitying this woman in the novel, who generally would be thought of simply as a "man stealing bitch". She's been manipulated the whole time.

Christie has explored the issue of others basically destroying a woman's reputation a couple of times, and I always enjoy it when she does. It happens in Sleeping Murder too - Helen is not the nymphomaniac everyone thinks she is, and it's really creepy when you find out who is responsible for that damage to her reputation and why.

by Anonymousreply 15603/20/2020

Speaking of good scenes in 1987's Nemesis, I also really like that moment towards the end during the showdown between Miss Marple and Clotilde.

They are talking about Verity's death and Miss Marple is saying: "She wanted a normal woman's life. She wanted reality. You returned her to fairyland. And now..."

"And now?"

"She's safe now from any unsuitable princes. Sleeping Beauty lies in the ruins, and flowers grow 'round her."

"Yes. Yes."

"No, Miss Bradbury-Scott! She's a rotted corpse and there is no one to kiss her awake!"

by Anonymousreply 15703/20/2020

Margaret Tyzack was phenomenal as Clotilde and that final scene with Hickson was among the best of the series.

Nemesis, Sleeping Murder and A Murder is Announced were the best and most disturbing Hickson Marples to me. Nemesis and Sleeping Murder because of the motives that hinge on the idea that “love is the most frightening word in the world” and a Murder is Announced (brilliant for lots of reasons) but because the murderer is a “nice” person who ends up making truly horrifying moral choices — to me scarily relatable and much more frightening than her killers that are blithely amoral egoists.

by Anonymousreply 15803/21/2020

[quote]I missed chubby, big-hearted Cornelia Robson, the most endearing ingenue Christie ever wrote to my mind

There's no one listed playing Cornelia in the new version, but also, neither Jennifer Saunders nor Dawn French have character listings. Could Dawn be playing chubby, big-hearted Cornelia?

by Anonymousreply 15903/21/2020

The Hickson "A Murder is Announced" is very good, but the Geraldine McEwen one is better. Zoe Wanamaker is outstanding as Letty, and it's fun to see Elaine Paige, Matthew Goode, Keeley Hawes, and Catherine Tate in major supporting roles .

by Anonymousreply 16003/21/2020

R158 yes the murderer in A Murder is Announced is so interesting because they would be a nice enough person otherwise (as an example, they are pretty much the only character in the book who has even the slightest sympathy for the Jewish refugee in her house), but have basically decided that life owes them for an unhappy past, and this, combined with a weak character makes them into a monster. You meet "life owes me" people all the time, so it is an identifiable character trait.

by Anonymousreply 16103/21/2020

R161, I would say that for me the only thing I preferred in the McEwen A Murder is Announced was Catherine Tate’s human and understandably embittered Mitzi - another example of an improvement on the source material. Just like Christie prejudices would have kept her from writing anything as nuanced as Mrs. Brent’s monologue in Nemesis, her Jewesses were invariably a half-step up from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

by Anonymousreply 16203/21/2020

R162, yeah I'm not a huge fan of the newer Marples myself, though I do think A Murder is Announced is somewhat better than many (it always takes me out of the story though during that scene where Mrs Swettenham starts talking about Edwards illegitimacy or whatever they changed that to, in the middle of a crowded store. It seems so unlikely a conversation like that would take place in those surroundings).

And oof, yes, I love me some Christie, but the anti-semitism is fairly regular and bizarre. It's so strange because you read her and I think personally you can see that she's generally empathetic to others and often argues through her plots against other people's prejudices (in the end it's never the suspicious foreigner who's guilty). I saw someone say something once I agree with a lot: it's like she was more progressive than her peers, but not progressive by our standards. In something like Hickory Dickory Dock you can see she's really trying, but is not always wholly successful. The anti-semitism can be so casual and just sitting there, that it shows how pernicious these opinions have been throughout history. Sometimes of course in novels it's in the mouths of characters, not the author of course.

Here are her own words in her own voice in her autobiography:

[Dr Jordan] had a fine head, and I thought, looking at him, what a splendid man he was. He had seemed always gentle and considerate. Then there was mention by someone, quite casually, of Jews. His face changed; changed in an extraordinary way that I had never noticed on anyone’s face before.

He said: “You do not understand. Our Jews are perhaps different from yours. They are a danger. They should be exterminated. Nothing else will really do but that.”

I stared at him unbelievingly. He meant it. It was the first time I had come across any hint of what was to come later from Germany. People who had travelled there, were, I suppose, already realising it at that time, but for ordinary people in 1932 and 1933, there was a complete lack of fore-knowledge.

On that day as we sat in Dr. Jordan’s sitting-room and he played the piano, I saw my first Nazi – and I discovered later that his wife was an even fiercer Nazi than he was. They had a duty to perform there: not only be Director of Antiquities or even to work for their country, but also to spy on their own German ambassador.

There are things in life that make one truly sad when one can make oneself believe them.

by Anonymousreply 16303/21/2020

Looking at the cast list for the new Death on the Nile, I see that Sophie Okonedo shall be playing Salome Otterbourne, which is probably the thing I'm most keen to see now (that, and French and Saunders). Strangely, and not really a comfort, is the fact that many of the other actors have character names that don't come from the book (Euphemia, Syd, Andrew Katchadourian - is he going to be the new version of Andrew Pennington?). Not sure what direction they're going to be taking this in. Maybe they will have Gal Gadot as Linnet Ridgeway, singing "Imagine" to the poor of Egypt from the bow of the SS Karnak, until they get so infuriated they storm the ship and murder the 1% in their sleep. Topical!

by Anonymousreply 16403/21/2020

She could always kick her legs up higher....and wider....then anyone else--Arlena

by Anonymousreply 16503/22/2020

Oh oh^^^^ that was Maggie Smiths character.

by Anonymousreply 16603/22/2020

[quote]You meet "life owes me" people all the time

That's kind of the case with the killer in "After the Funeral" as well. That character is almost, but not quite, sympathetic, as is the killer in "A Murder is Announced." Are there any other Christies where the killer engenders sympathy?

by Anonymousreply 16703/22/2020

Maybe Euphemia is Mrs. Allerton from the book (& the tv version). The character was cut in the 1978 movie.

I also wonder if Jennifer Saunders is playing Mrs. Van Schuyler with Dawn French as Cornelia Robson and no Bowers?

by Anonymousreply 16803/22/2020

R167 yes, After the Funeral is a great example. I did feel almost-sorry for them. Who else? Does Murder on the Orient Express count? There's probably a fine line between cases where the killer or killers seem sympathetic compared to those where the victim is just heinous (ie Appointment with Death or Hercule Poirot's Christmas).

Perhaps The Hollow?

by Anonymousreply 16903/22/2020

R168, perhaps, the fact they are the same age makes me wonder if they will be slightly invented characters but based on either Van Schuyer/Robson, or Van Schuyler/Bowers?

by Anonymousreply 17003/22/2020

"Murder at the Vicarage." The vicar himself thought it would be a good idea.

by Anonymousreply 17103/22/2020

I would say the murderer from The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side is one of Christie’s most sympathetic killers - despite not being “nice” at all.

by Anonymousreply 17203/22/2020

The killers in "They Do It With Mirrors" are treated relatively sympathetically in the 2 versions for TV.

"Elephants Can Remember" - more of a tragedy than cold-blooded murders.

The culprit in 'Murder On The Orient Express"...

by Anonymousreply 17303/22/2020

I was thinking that exact same thing about "Elephant Can Remember". Definitely more of a tragedy.

by Anonymousreply 17403/22/2020

Yes, The Hollow fits into that idea (of a somewhat sympathetic killer).

Five Little Pigs has a sympathetic person who paid the price for the killings, although she wasn't the actual killer. The actual killer was a horrible person.

by Anonymousreply 17503/23/2020

Just made my way through series 1 of David Suchet's Poirot. It's been so long since I've seen any of these earlier ones, and I don't remember the short stories as well as the novels, so it's been an interesting and enjoyable experience. It's a pretty consistent series over all, with some strong stories ("Murder in the Mews", "Triangle at Rhodes", "The Incredible Theft") and some lesser ones ("The Adventure of Johnny Waverly", "Four and Twenty Blackbirds") but fun overall. I think the novella is particularly suited to the 50 minute limit, with little need to pad the stories out. Though for the most part I didn't feel the padding here so much as I remember feeling in some of the later stories, with perhaps the exception of "The Third Floor Flat" which is a great little story, but with too long a chase scene at the end (I seem to recall this series loved a chase scene in the earlier series).

What's really delightful is the relationship between the regulars. While David Suchet gets most of the acclaim for his portrayal, and deservedly so; Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson and Pauline Moran are all really excellent and do wonderful things with their characters. Plus their chemistry together works from the beginning. I'd forgotten this as I haven't seen these ones since I was a kid in the 90s.

It's interesting watching these episodes now and to consider how differently they feel from the later ones (which I love too). Much more humour in these, but also in the way they are cast. Mostly made up of character actors who look like the normal everyday people you would expect to be surrounded by. Modern versions tend to be full of beautiful people, or people made up to have almost cartoony qualities. Sometimes this works against itself in the earlier series as some characters are referred to as beautiful when they're, frankly, quite plain, but in other cases it works much better, as in "The Incredible Theft". When you're surrounded by normal, everyday people, it is more understandable, when you see Mrs Vanderlyn appear at her bedroom door in negligee and with her hair down, why so many politicians have been charmed by her, and how she can get away with it, much more than if everyone in the house was equally good looking.

Although, speaking of good looking, a young Sean Pertwee was in "The King of Clubs" and I wanted him inside me. Then again, I want him inside me now he's an older man too.

by Anonymousreply 17603/27/2020

R176, I've watched quite a few of the early episodes, but I find them pretty weak compared to the later ones. There's too much humor and everything is taken too lightly. Christie, especially in the Poirot books and stories, is very dark. There's plenty of wit, but the underlying tone is serious and pessimistic. After all, people are murdered and, usually, someone is going to end up on the gallows.

It's not that the early series aren't fun in a way. I guess I mean that the later seasons seem truer to the books in tone.

Also, unless they've been remastered since I last checked, the early seasons are SD and rather poor quality at that compared to the great video quality and production values in the later series. I assume the budget for the latter was higher, besides their being HD.

by Anonymousreply 17703/28/2020

Yes, the first series looks quite grainy, sort of standard for the time, though my DVDs are older ones so maybe it's been improved since? I actually agree with you in that I always thought of the earlier ones as weaker too, but on rewatching I have enjoyed them a lot more. My favourite adaptations tend to be more of the later ones too, but I was pleasantly surprised. And some parts of the earlier series as I said I thought were done better than later series. It's fascinating to see it change over time. People tend to have a preference between either Series 1-8, or Series 9-13, but I can't help going back and forth.

Series 1 also has that fresh energy of "we're doing something brand new" to it, which helps, I think. Will continue watching and see how I go. I do remember some tedious chase scenes were included over a number of the short story adaptations, which may wear on me a bit, haha!

by Anonymousreply 17803/28/2020

I love Hercule Poirot's Christmas. I watch it every December. And I watch Halloween Party every October.

by Anonymousreply 17903/28/2020

[quote]Also, unless they've been remastered since I last checked, the early seasons are SD and rather poor quality at that compared to the great video quality and production values in the later series.

[quote]Yes, the first series looks quite grainy, sort of standard for the time, though my DVDs are older ones so maybe it's been improved since?

They were digitally restored and remastered a decade ago and look great. The below comparison is from the very first episode "The Adventure of the Clapham Cook".

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 18003/28/2020

[quote] Another good adaptation is Mirror Cracr’d,

That must be set in Arkansas, where there are so many Cracrs who all go to Cracr Barrel.

by Anonymousreply 18103/28/2020

R180, that looks much better! Yes, my DVDs look a lot more like the image on the left haha.

by Anonymousreply 18203/28/2020

One of the Marples has Claire Bloom as Marina, if I recall correctly, and the other one has Lindsay Duncan. I prefer the Lindsay Duncan one.

by Anonymousreply 18303/28/2020

I like them both, and as someone who doesn't really like the newer Marples so much, I will say that the Lindsay Duncan version is one of the best of them and I do enjoy it.

Has anyone seen Endless Night from 1971? That's a different type of Christie film and I enjoy showing it to friends who have a preconceived idea of what Christie is about. I think it's not bad, and there's this creepy scene in it where Michael comes across the ghost of Ellie on his way home. Endless Night is also one of the best of the Marple adaptations too, which I didn't expect as I tend to really loathe the episodes where they put Miss Marple into them when she wasn't in the novel. But it works here. Although she keeps turning up, she's not the focus, and it kinda makes sense anyway as the short story that was the basis for this novel, "The Case of the Caretaker", is actually a Miss Marple story.

by Anonymousreply 18403/29/2020

I remember one of the Poirot short story adaptations had a plot that was very similar to "Sparkling Cyanide" (aka "Remembered Death"). I think the short story was "Yellow Iris." The only version of "Sparkling Cyanide" I've seen was an American adaptation with Deborah Raffin, Anthony Andrews, Pamela Bellwood, and Nancy Marchand. It was pretty good. (Poirot is in Yellow Iris, but it's Colonel Race on his own in Sparkling Cyanide, though he wasn't in the TV version).

by Anonymousreply 18503/30/2020

They used to play that version of Sparkling Cyanide on television here in Australia during the 90s. I have a copy recorded on VHS somewhere. It's actually... not bad. I mean, it's everything we shouldn't like in a Christie adaptation: changed to America, updated to the 80s, full of a cast that look like they've stepped out of Dynasty (in fact one of them had)... but honestly, it kinda works in its own way. I'm not claiming it's the best adaptation and I am sure nostalgia is warping my mind slightly, but it is enjoyable. A lot of the reason is that Anthony Andrews and Deborah Raffin have really excellent chemistry. It's also fun to see Nancy Marchand and Harry Morgan do their thing, and it's actually pretty faithful, despite the updating. Sue Grafton helped with the screenplay, interestingly.

by Anonymousreply 18603/31/2020

I agree with you, r186. I was surprised how good that "Sparkling Cyanide" was - I was expecting a trashy tv adaptation, but it has some real style and a definite respect and affection for Agatha Christie.

by Anonymousreply 18704/01/2020

Watched the newer version of "A Murder is Announced" this evening. As others have said above, this is one of the better of the newer Marples, in fact I enjoyed it a lot more this evening than I have done before, though I still think the Joan Hickson version is wonderful too. One thing I really appreciated in the newer one is their changes around the murder of Miss Murgatroyd. In the book and the earlier adaptation it happens due to a chance overhearing of a conversation and the murderer taking opportunity of a lucky break in that conversation where Miss Hinchcliffe leaves Miss Murgatroyd alone. In the newer version, half the suspects do a reenactment and realise she must've seen something. Then there is a later scene where Mrs Swettenham begs Miss Murgatroyd to tell what she knows, which happens in public and overheard by a number of the villagers, including Mitzi who then takes the information back to Little Paddocks. This is more satisfying I feel, than the original chance situation.

by Anonymousreply 18804/01/2020

I also love Elaine Paige, really wonderful as Bunny. I had to watch a second time to hear her "give aways".

And of course, Zoe Wannamaker as Letty. Fabulous. Her genuine grief over Bunny's death is heartbreaking.

by Anonymousreply 18904/01/2020

^ Agreed. The "Letty/Lotty" thing is so well done, and I love hearing them now that I know the solution too. It works extra well as a first time reader is probably just going to think it's a printer's error, or not even notice it.

Bunny's death is so chilling for that reason, isn't it? She loved her so much. The lengths she went to to give her the best birthday she could before she killed her!

There's also a moment in the newer adaptation where she has a nightmare about Rudy's dead face and is sobbing "that poor boy!" I actually think that was meant to be genuine. She's so desperate to keep what she feels she's entitled to, but is horrified by what she is doing too. And yet she can't stop.

by Anonymousreply 19004/01/2020

Death on the Diamond Princess

by Anonymousreply 19104/01/2020

JJ Feild who played Simon in Death On The Nile (2004) has a lovely big, hairy cock! Can Armie in the new version compete?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 19204/02/2020

R192, you need to get your glasses adjusted. There is no world in which the cock on display in your picture would be described as “lovely and big.”

It resembles nothing so much as a Vienna sausage.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 19304/02/2020

Watched the 1990 adaptation of Peril at End House this evening, the first novel adaptation from the David Suchet series. Interestingly, it comes across just like the other short story episodes from this time, just that it's in two parts, which I think is the only time the novels are adapted like this. Perfectly decent adaptation that keeps pretty much everything in it (even the ghoulish child) from my admittedly hazy memories of the novel. The only exception I can think of is not including the creepy scene where Hastings is suffering from the flu and sees a tormented face at the window. Oh, and the side plot with Jim Lazarus trying to buy one of Nick's paintings (which is a good thing, as that has uncomfortable overtones). I'll be interested to see as I watch chronologically if they ever do another adaptation as close to the source material as this one.

The actress playing Nick looks pretty much exactly as I imagined, which is always fun. In my mind I tended to think of someone looking like Evangeline from "The House of Elliot", and she's very similar here.

Miss Lemon is different from the books - she's not in this book, of course - but in a fun way. I really like it when she turns up. I loved her disdain at the concept of a "woman's doctor". "'Woman' seems to be a general term for 'neurotic'". And the "Mademoiselle Felicité Lemon" scene is hilarious.

Commander Challenger is a smarmy git in this, but I do kind of want him inside me at the same time.

by Anonymousreply 19404/12/2020

"Peril at End House" was one of the first Christie books I ever read, back when I was a teenager. I remember being absolutely flabbergasted at the solution, which I never saw coming. I thought it would make a great movie (this was early 80s, after the first two or three high-gloss Christie adaptations).

So I was kind of disappointed when I finally saw the TV version. I really like Polly Walker, but for some reason she didn't really work for me as Nick. I don't know, maybe I need to watch it again. It's been some time since I've seen it.

by Anonymousreply 19504/12/2020

A few posters upthread discussed the murderers who were sympathetic characters.

Spoilers ahead.... .... .... .... ....

In addition to "The Hollow" and "After the Funeral" I also got the impression that Poirot felt sorry for the person plotting the murder in "Death on the Nile". In fact that character even asks him at one point not to feel bad.

by Anonymousreply 19604/12/2020

R195 Peril is quite good and I believe it may have been the first feature length the series attempted. What did you think was missing from the character?

by Anonymousreply 19704/12/2020

Yep, Peril is the first novel adaptation of the Suchet series, making up the first two episodes of series 2. It basically comes across more like a two-parter than a novel adaptation, if that makes sense? I think from now on all the novel adaptations are done in a 90-odd minute non stop film, rather than as two episodes.

by Anonymousreply 19804/12/2020

R198 what did you think of Murder In Mesopotamia?

by Anonymousreply 19904/12/2020

R199, wasn't the identity of the murderer a bit far-fetched?

Spoiler

...

...

...

...

...

I mean, how plausible is it that she'd marry this guy and not realize that her second husband was in fact the same man she'd been married to before? She'd have to be pretty stupid in order for such a thing to escape her notice.

by Anonymousreply 20004/12/2020

R200 yes I think that's what mars an otherwise great story, its just a bit too hard to swallow. Any other adaptation you love?

by Anonymousreply 20104/12/2020

R199, it was ok as an adaptation I guess, but one of the things I love about the novel is the nurse narrator, and with Hastings in the adaptation she gets sidelines to just another suspect. The characters are more interesting in the book I think (Mrs Leidner in particular needs to be played a certain way), plus the whole faces at the window aspect is creepier when in your imagination (they didn't light it properly in the adaptation, perhaps they could've not shown it at all, so the audience wonders if it is just part of Mrs Leidner's fantasies).

The identity of the murderer does stretch credulity, I agree. But I think the rest of the novel is really good so I don't worry too much about that.

What I find particularly interesting with this novel is that Mrs Leidner is so clearly meant to be the real life Katharine Woolley, to the point that it's a wonder she ever spoke to Agatha again, but most likely she was also one of those people who are so self-involved they wouldn't see it.

by Anonymousreply 20204/12/2020

Death on the Nile was recently on the Movies! channel, and thanks to this thread I recorded and I am enjoying the hell out of it right now. I'm only at the beginning, the voyage is just underway…

by Anonymousreply 20304/12/2020

R203 I love that movie! Are they dancing yet?

R202 I agree, I really like the narrator and whole I don't mind Hastings in the adaptation, I regret they didn't do more with the Nurse or Miss Johnson.

by Anonymousreply 20404/12/2020

R203 enjoy! That is an excellent film, I can still vividly remember the time my dad brought it home from the video store and falling in love with it.

by Anonymousreply 20504/12/2020

My favorite Poirot adaptations were probably "Five Little Pigs", "Sad Cypress" and, in spite of some glaring flaws, "Evil Under The Sun". "Sad Cypress" is one of my favorite Christie novels and I preferred the way the plot is uncovered in the courtroom in the book rather than the dramatic scene in the TV version with the murderer trying to kill Poirot.

"Five Little Pigs" was very well-made and probably one of the few adaptations where the addition of a gay subplot added layers of subtext and made the story richer.

The ones that left me most disappointed were the adaptations of two other favorites: "Cards on the Table" and "Appointment with Death". The latter especially was a ghastly mess and could have been so much better.

by Anonymousreply 20604/12/2020

I love the cast, Angie, Bette, Maggie, Peter. Would have loved to be on that set. Angie recalls how well behaved people were and how Bette got stuck in like a pro. I do still think Nick Clay is the hottest male lead of any adaptation, wish he was used in this one.

by Anonymousreply 20704/12/2020

R206 I love those too. What would you say were the flaws with the EUTS adaptation? I was sorely disappointed with the casting of Patrick, the new actor being not a patch on Nick Clay. Also, the location of the island wasn't cut off enough - looked like a strong swimmer could make it to the island, thereby ruining the locked element of the murder/suspect pool.

by Anonymousreply 20804/12/2020

R206 argh that Appointment with Death adaptation still fills me with disappointment/rage just thinking of it. What a waste of a brilliant novel. Whoever adapted it was on something for sure, and not something good. I also really find that Cards on the Table adaptation disappointing. The inclusion of a gay subplot in Five Little Pigs was brilliant as you say, and just stupid in Cards on the Table.

R207 last time I watched it I remember thinking it's only a little thing, but one of the signs of Bette Davis' commitment to her role was her letting Maggie Smith yank her around the way she did. At her age you could imagine her arm getting dislocated, but she clearly was happy for Smith to manhandle her like that as part of her character.

by Anonymousreply 20904/12/2020

R208, I'm not the poster you're replying to, so hope you don't mind me adding my 2 cents, but you may find it interesting that Evil Under the Sun (the Suchet version) was actually filmed on the island that Christie used as the setting in her book (with a few changes - I think she did make it a bit more cut off as you say). Re the locked element of it, it just occurred to me that there was a suggestion in the novel, I'm sure, that Arlena may have been killed by drug smugglers who came by boat, so I suppose it wasn't meant to be as airtight as we're used to maybe? At least when it comes to the murderer potentially coming by sea (the murder happened when the tide had covered the causeway so coming by foot was all that was impossible). Please correct me if I'm wrong, it's been awhile since I've read it.

by Anonymousreply 21004/12/2020

R210 not at all! Yes you're right, I knew they used the original location AC devised but I think having it in a foreign location would have added another layer. We also didn't need that nonsense with Poirot's weight added in.

With Cards On The Table the novel needed very few changes, I do not understand why they felt the need to make such stupid changes which detracted from the story.

I agree with comments about Appointment With Death, such a huge mess with one of the most cobvuluted murders and total changes to the motives and characters. Shameful. I bet AC would be mortified that viewers thought she actually wrote that tripe.

Sad Cypress was terrific, great pace, suspense, locations and cast, including a gorgeous Rupert Penry Jones.

by Anonymousreply 21104/12/2020

I know it may seem like a small thing, but one of the things that really irritated me with Cards on the Table was the switcheroo of Anne and Rhoda's characters. I really LIKED Rhoda in the novel, I hated what they did to her, especially as I seem to remember liking the actress they hired for her too.

A lot of the fun of that novel is having the four detectives working together, and it was such a shame they didn't try to get James Fox back for Colonel Race too, but even if they couldn't, I would've been happy if they had recast the part, as they have done with other parts over the years. As you say, the novel didn't really need much in the way of changes. That always seems more egregious to me. I get it when a story needs a bit of fixing to be adapted successfully, but when they are particularly strong novels it's just tinkering for no reason and they never seem to improve on anything.

Sad Cypress is brilliant too, I agree. Elisabeth Dermot Walsh is mesmerising, and Suchet's own favourite of all the actors he played against.

by Anonymousreply 21204/12/2020

R212, I also hated that they switched Anne and Rhoda in the adaptations. Rhoda was a breath of fresh air in the book whereas Anne was a lying, conniving noodle of a girl.

Elisabeth Dermot Walsh was exactly how I imagined Elinor Carlisle to be when I read the book. Elinor is a fascinating character to me because she reveals so little of herself to others and we only get to know her through her internal monologues in the book.

R208, I felt that the prologue scenes in EUTS gave a bit too much of the plot away. And like some of you have already noted, the island didn't seem remote enough. In spite of these (minor) flaws I still think it's a very good adaptation unlike the godawful version of a very good psychological study that "Appointment with Death" was. It could have been so good if the person adapting it had had any sense at all.

Funnily enough I can't stand Rupert Penry Jones and he seemed perfect as the bland Roderick Welman. The actor playing Peter Lord was much more my type. ;-)

by Anonymousreply 21304/12/2020

I also really like the actress who played Lady Edgware, I thought she was spot on in a strong adaptation, working nicely with Suchet.

by Anonymousreply 21404/12/2020

[quote] I also got the impression that Poirot felt sorry for the person plotting the murder in "Death on the Nile".

I agree. I believe he was well aware that after getting caught the murderer might take the easy way out, but Poirot did not intervene. That's a small kindness, and one he does not always show to murderers.

The changes to Cards on the Table are perplexing, to say the least.

For a change of pace...I love Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution. It's very old Hollywood and maybe not brilliant as a mystery, but it's so entertaining. Laughton, Power and Lanchester are delightful in it. And while Dietrich isn't quite as good as I wish she was, she still does a fine job.

by Anonymousreply 21504/12/2020

BTW, I've left Curtain unread for years, because I like the idea that I still have one more Christie to read. But I think I'm finally going to start it. I may post my thoughts here.

by Anonymousreply 21604/12/2020

I truly don't understand some of the tweaks they make to the plots when they film the adaptations. I understand that some changes may be necessary because what works in a book may not always be as effective in a filmed version, but some of the rewrites are so bizarre and so unnecessary that they look like untalented writers trying gimmicks for shock value.

For instance, that ridiculous bit about incest and the illegitimate child in "Murder Is Easy", which has a murderer creepy enough without needing all the unnecessary rewrites.

by Anonymousreply 21704/12/2020

R215 enjoy! Will look forward to your thoughts.

The biggest problem with Murder Is Easy was casting Honoria as too young, she should have been an older actress.

by Anonymousreply 21804/12/2020

Please do R216, I would be interested in hearing them for a start.

That adaptation of Murder is Easy was also really disappointing, and you are right - the murderer is creepy enough, they didn't need to go in the direction they did with it. And what a waste of Shirley Henderson who is a wonderful actress. The 1980s TV movie version with Olivia de Havilland ends up being much better, despite being updated to the 80s and all about computers and such.

I honestly feel many of these screenwriters just don't understand the source. It's almost hilarious how they clearly think they are writing something better when they are actually writing something ludicrous. Also, it's rather annoying when they constantly force all the murder mystery cliches into every story, as Christie didn't write them that way, and one of her tricks was to use the reader's expectations against them. Poirot may have been a bit showman, but Miss Marple I don't think ever, or hardly ever, gathered all the suspects in a room to point out the murderer. Her thing was to lay traps, probably because she knew she had no evidence otherwise. These are character traits that are important to the adaptations and to distinguishing detectives from each other I would say, rather than making everything fit into what is considered a standard murder mystery set up.

by Anonymousreply 21904/12/2020

R213, I'm with you there, would much rather go to bed with Paul McGann over RPJ any day ;)

by Anonymousreply 22004/12/2020

I wonder why they upgraded his apartment for the later films? Maybe the old set was destroyed?

by Anonymousreply 22104/12/2020

[quote]I truly don't understand some of the tweaks they make to the plots when they film the adaptations.

The chase scene / shootout at the end of "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd." WTF were they thinking there?

by Anonymousreply 22204/12/2020

I caught a rerun of "One, Two, Buckle My Shoe" a few months ago and, once again, I felt the opening scenes perhaps gave away too many clues. Furthermore it was also clear that the woman Poirot met outside the dentist's clinic was not the same person as the Miss Sainsbury Seale shown in the other scenes. I guess this sort of thing is easy to pull off in a book but hard to replicate ina visual medium.

by Anonymousreply 22304/12/2020

Did anyone here ever see the 1984 version of Ordeal by Innocence? This is a story I'm waiting for them to do properly (3 tries so far and they've never got it right). I saw this once on VHS sometime in the 90s as a kid and the quality was so bad we could barely see what was happening on the screen, haha. I suppose it's the closest to the novel, but this trailer makes it look really hokey. I remember it was still different in a number of ways; Tina dies and is attacked much earlier in the film (she was a mechanic I think and bludgeoned with a wrench), Donald Sutherland gets together with the Maureen Clegg character (who I remember flashed her boobs at him at one stage), and I seem to recall that they gave away who the murderer was much earlier in the film than they should've.

It's another one where they misunderstand the character of the mother too - I never thought Rachel was evil, she was a woman who was used to getting her own way, desperate to have children and love them and give them everything in order to get that love back, but she had no natural instincts and couldn't understand why she couldn't buy the affection of her adopted family.

Apparently both Donald Sutherland and Faye Dunaway were pretty much impossible to deal with on the set. I heard this a few years ago during some interview with the director.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 22404/12/2020

Did Fsye play her as evil? I think Jane Seymour did a decent job in the Marple version.

by Anonymousreply 22504/12/2020

I honestly can't remember from seeing the whole movie years ago, but the trailer makes it seem so. Perhaps I'm remembering incorrectly though or mixing it up with another version? Apologies if so.

by Anonymousreply 22604/12/2020

R209, I also found it funny the way Maggie Smith drags Bette Davis around, jostles her, shoves her, drags her…

Knowing Davis' reputation as a professional, it must've been a joy for her to work with other studio-trained professionals again, like David Niven and Angela Lansbury and Maggie Smith and Peter Ustinov. It's too bad she had problems with Olivia Hussey; while no great star, Hussey was a name brand for a while and both she and Davis served their purposes.

by Anonymousreply 22704/12/2020

One thing I think a lot of adaptations get wrong, in mysteries in general, is that they make the detective look like they are just stumbling along. In the books you always get a sense that the detectives know more than they are letting on. Think of Poirot, pretty early on in Styles, giving Hastings a list of important clues. Poirot may not know for sure what they mean, but he has at least one theory and everything he does is working to prove or disprove the theory. Or remember Marple thinking out loud, in Murder at the Vicarage, that she can explain almost everything and perhaps the last thing is just a coincidence.

But too often in the adaptations the sleuths seem to be reacting and not thinking. I'm thinking of the Suchet Death on the Nile, and the weird way the scene plays when Poirot finds the gun in the handbag. He seems surprised, almost shocked. In the book he was expecting to find it. I think there are many little things like that, and they don't make the detective seem particularly clever.

by Anonymousreply 22804/12/2020

Is there a good way to find where Agatha's stuff can be streamed? I have Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu. I've seen most of this stuff, but there are a few I've apparently missed.

by Anonymousreply 22904/12/2020

I got most of the Poirot episodes through a BritBox free trial on Amazon Prime, R229. You have 7 days to binge and/or to download them (if you have the right tools). An Acorn free trial gives you a few seasons of the Miss Marple episodes.

by Anonymousreply 23004/12/2020

Some of the Poirot eps are free on YouTube. Not sure if they are legit or liable to get deleted. Some of the Marples can be rented on YouTube.

by Anonymousreply 23104/12/2020

I think Hallowe’en Party, which is one of the best Poirots, is on YouTube.

by Anonymousreply 23204/14/2020

That IS a good adaptation. Was the first novel I read too, and has a special nostalgic place for me, even though I can't deny it is definitely a "later Christie" with all that that entails. But there definitely are a lot of good ideas in it too. I love that (and spoilers here for anyone reading this who hasn't read it yet) the victim being a liar is a consistent part of her character and is what gets her killed in the end. I feel like a lot of other stories would make people think she is a liar but that she was really telling the truth in this case. Knowing Joyce is a habitual liar and exaggerator and that her only other real friend in the village is Miranda is an important clue as to where to look for this story about seeing a murder in the past.

I also just enjoy that Christie isn't afraid to have unpleasant child characters in her novels too. Often depictions of children by authors seem to err on the side of not wanting to show much nastiness and prefer to show them as innocent and almost wise beyond their years (I love his work, but Stephen King does this a lot). I find Christie's children more believable as children. I believe I read an article once where her grandson said when he was a child and later a teenager she spent a lot of time observing him and his friends.

by Anonymousreply 23304/14/2020

R233 completely agree, the book was good but the adaptation actually filtered most of the good points and drew a creepy adaptation from them that felt fitting for a later Poirot.

The VOTN would indeed have enjoyed this thread, always having interesting input on Christie.

by Anonymousreply 23404/14/2020

Anything with David Suchet. It's too bad his Tv adaptations didn't have the production values and casts that the Ustinov/Finney versions did, but he's the definitive Poirot, IMO.

by Anonymousreply 23504/14/2020

R233, "Apt Pupil" (Stephen King) would be the exception, very unpleasant child main character.

by Anonymousreply 23604/14/2020

Yes, absolutely R236! That was the example in my head I was thinking of as I was typing. Creepy story, only read it once, thought it was great.

by Anonymousreply 23704/14/2020

^ I say 'example', but the word I was looking for was 'exception'.

by Anonymousreply 23804/14/2020

[quote]I also just enjoy that Christie isn't afraid to have unpleasant child characters in her novels too.

And the siblings of the murdered girl barely blinked an eye at her death! That whole family was off.

Yesterday I wanted some comfort tv and ended up rewatching Cards on the Table. I'd forgotten one of the positive changes from the book: Ariadne Oliver is more shrewd than in the books. It's subtle but it works for me. Makes her more interesting and likable, and gives the actress more to work with.

by Anonymousreply 23904/15/2020

Oh, I love Zoe Wanamaker. She was a fabulous Lettie in "A Murder is Announced," and even better as Mrs. Oliver. "Hallowe'en Party" has all that wonderful creepiness at the party, including the appearance of the "witch." Ian Hallard, who plays the son, is the hubby of Mark Gatiss. I think the two of them wrote the HP adaptation, in fact.

by Anonymousreply 24004/15/2020

The "witch" was also Miss Hinchcliffe in the Hickson A Murder is Announced. I love catching things like that.

by Anonymousreply 24104/15/2020

I just came across this interesting interview with Angela Lansbury, and at around 4:50 she starts talking about The Mirror Crack'd and she mentions it was to be the first of three Miss Marple movies starring her. I'd never heard this before! I wonder what others they were thinking of doing with Lansbury?

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 24204/16/2020

I definitely remember The Mirror Crack’d being announced as the first of a series, but when the film met with mixed reviews and so-so box office, that was that. I don’t recall them announcing what the second and third of the series were going to be, though.

by Anonymousreply 24304/16/2020

From IMDB:

[quote]Publicity for this movie announced a follow-up second Miss Jane Marple Dame Agatha Christie movie to be filmed afterwards, "Appointment with Murder", also to star Dame Angela Lansbury as Miss Jane Marple. This movie, an adaptation of "A Murder is Announced", never eventuated, but the similarly titled Dame Agatha Christie mystery Appointment with Death (1988) was made towards the end of the decade.

by Anonymousreply 24404/16/2020

I would bet anything that one of them would've been A Caribbean Mystery. That seems perfect for an all star cast and in that interview Lansbury says she wanted Miss Marple to move about and investigate more, having been confined to her cottage for most of The Mirror Crack'd, and that novel is one of Miss Marple's most investigator-y ones (I mean, she breaks her own show and hides under a window at one point to eavesdrop - the idea being if someone finds her she can claim her shoe broke and she fell over).

I believe this series was originally going to have Helen Hayes in it, and seeing as when she did her 80's adaptations she began with A Caribbean Mystery, I feel this probably was likely. And I just saw the post above which seems to show that A Murder is Announced would've been the other one. All good choices.

by Anonymousreply 24504/16/2020

[quote] believe this series was originally going to have Helen Hayes in it, and seeing as when she did her 80's adaptations she began with A Caribbean Mystery, I feel this probably was likely. And I just saw the post above which seems to show that A Murder is Announced would've been the other one. All good choices.

That was the Lansbury series of big-screen adaptations. It was never planned for Helen Hayes. Her TV Miss Marples didn’t happen till after the Lansbury ones petered out after Mirror Crack’d. Weirdly, Miss Marple did not appear to be a Brit when Helen Hayes played her. She certainly didn’t attempt an English accent.

by Anonymousreply 24604/16/2020

When Warner Bros originally came up with the idea of doing these Marple movies, they initially wanted Helen Hayes to do them, and announced in 1977 that Hayes would be appearing in movie adaptations of A Caribbean Mystery and The Mirror Crack'd. Then the rights passed to the makers of Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile in 1979, at which point they announced they would be making The Mirror Crack'd with Angela Lansbury, once she was finished with Sweeney Todd.

by Anonymousreply 24704/17/2020

Oddly, I tried to watch the 2016 BBC version of Witness for the Prosecution and turned it off after 45 minutes. HATED the adaptation and the way it was filmed.

I cheated and looked it up online to see what the changes were from the play and 57 movie version and it was all sounded depressing and dreary in a pretentiously arty way so I'm glad I stopped.

I'm going to rewatch the film with Laughton and Dietrich tomorrow. Tyrone Power is awful but he's awful in a fun hammy way so it's ok.

by Anonymousreply 24804/17/2020

"Witness for the Prosecution" is one of the few Christie stories I don't like so much; I think because it has such a nasty ending. Which is odd for me to say, I admit, as I don't mind twist endings and a bit of nastiness in general, but something about that story I just don't like as much as others. Can't really explain it properly. I did watch the miniseries and I felt miserable afterwards.

Re: Helen Hayes, her accent is so bizarre in the adaptations of hers I have seen. Also her A Caribbean Mystery is really not very good, it comes across more like a poor episode of Murder She Wrote. I found Murder with Mirrors marginally better - at least I enjoyed the interplay between Hayes' Marple and Rumpole of the Bailey. A young Tim Roth is in it too. And a barely living Bette Davis.

by Anonymousreply 24904/17/2020

What was Christie's obsession with nursery rhymes about? It may have been cute and funny the first couple of times, but after a while, the titles sound juvenile and unimaginative.

by Anonymousreply 25004/17/2020

I guess Lansbury was believable enough as Miss Marple to comfortably slip into the shoes of Jessica Fletcher not long after...

by Anonymousreply 25104/17/2020

[quote]"Witness for the Prosecution" is one of the few Christie stories I don't like so much; I think because it has such a nasty ending.

Then you should definitely avoid the 2016 version. Squalor, thy name is Phelps.

by Anonymousreply 25204/17/2020

[quote]Is there a good way to find where Agatha's stuff can be streamed?

Hoopla currently has the McEwan and the McKenzie Marples, Partners in Crime, Seasons 7-13 of Poirot, and several stand-alones (like the 2015 And Then There Were None).

by Anonymousreply 25304/17/2020

R252 unfortunately, I've seen it already. Wanted a shower afterwards. My absolute least favourite of the Phelps adaptations.

by Anonymousreply 25404/17/2020

Is WFTP the Christie story with the bleakest ending? She often tended to throw in a romantic sub-plot to tidy things up at the end in her other works whereas WFTP, being a short story, has quite a stark, grim climax.

by Anonymousreply 25504/18/2020

It's one of them. Also Endless Night is pretty grim at the end, and the short story "Accident" is also a nasty little one (but I like that one a lot more).

by Anonymousreply 25604/18/2020

I caught a rerun of "Cards on the Table" last week and so much of the rewrite is stupid and even somewhat offensive. Poirot's reasoning behind deducing that a certain character is gay is flimsy and ludicrous. Just because a man doesn't make a pass at his attractive secretary doesn't mean he has to be gay. And Poirot's bombastic "Non, elle est magnifique" declaration sounds obnoxious and pig-headed.

I can't believe the writers felt that these changes to the plot were necessary or even sensible. Idiots.

by Anonymousreply 25704/18/2020

R38, r39, r40: Are there adaptations not shown in the United States? I don't recall "Five Little Pigs" or "The Moving Finger."

by Anonymousreply 25804/18/2020

I'm not sure, I'm Australian and we've had pretty much everything here. In particular, Five Little Pigs was made in 2003 as part of the ninth season of Poirot and The Moving Finger has been made twice; once with Joan Hickson in 1985, and the other time with Geraldine McEwan in 2006.

by Anonymousreply 25904/18/2020

The musical adaptation of The Mousetrap, OH! MY PIE!

by Anonymousreply 26004/18/2020

Gosford Park.

by Anonymousreply 26104/18/2020

R255, I suppose "Philomel Cottage" is another one, depending on your point of view. The reader will either feel relief at the end or feel discomfort, depending on how they interpret the ending. Christie was oftentimes more vague in her short stories, leaving things up to the reader's interpretation; especially in the non-Poirot/Marple ones. "Swan Song" is another that has a bleak ending.

I always found the end of the Mr Quin story "Harlequin's Lane" to be disturbing too.

by Anonymousreply 26204/18/2020

R258, Five Little Pigs and The Moving Finger both definitely aired here, on Masterpiece Mystery. That's where I saw them. I think toward the very end of the Julia McKenzie Marples, there were one or two that didn't air here in the US.

by Anonymousreply 26304/18/2020

I was bored this evening and found the Helen Hayes version of A Caribbean Mystery on YouTube, so I re-watched it. My first impressions were confirmed; it's quite a dull, movie-of-the-week type production. Hayes' accent is rather hilarious, and all over the place. No one can pronounce Rafiel the same way, and they completely do away with the whole thing around Major Palgrave's false eye, and the fact he was an old bore. Miss Marple seems to be having a flirtation with him. None of the characters are really portrayed as they were in the novel. It's also full of those funny 80's tableaux where all the suspects stand still while the camera pans over them. Everyone is standing so far away from the Major when he decides to show Miss Marple his photo that it's a wonder anyone knew what he was talking about, especially the murderer. Broadway's Pamela Myers plays the Evelyn Hillingdon character.

Any positives? Well the actor playing Tim Kendall is the best looking of all the actors chosen to play him over the years (that's him in the screenshot below). Other than that, it's a bit of a slog. It doesn't even come across like the following Hayes adaptation, Murder with Mirrors. I wouldn't be surprised if they were done by different production companies. I really can't recommend this one.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 26404/20/2020

^ Not Pamela Myers, Beth Howland... it's past midnight and I got confused, haha.

by Anonymousreply 26504/20/2020

There is no sceeenshot below, r264

by Anonymousreply 26604/20/2020

That should have been, "That's him at the link."

by Anonymousreply 26704/20/2020

After watching A Caribbean Mystery last night I figured I'd follow up with the Helen Hayes version of Murder with Mirrors today; I thought it couldn't be as bad as Caribbean and I wanted to check. I was right, it is definitely an improvement. I mean, it's still an 80's movie of the week type of thing, kind of staid, but it at least has some known names in it - including Tim Roth, Frances de la Tour, Anton Rodgers, Leo McKern and of course Bette Davis. Who it is rather sad watching as she is so clearly unwell.

It's not one of my favourite stories. To me, it's one of the weaker Marples, most of which are really good to excellent. But if you have to watch one of the Hayes adaptations, I think this has to be the one. Perhaps something about it being set in England helps too? These adaptations remind me a bit of the Peter Ustinov ones from the 80s where the best of them was Dead Man's Folly, also set in England. Then again, who knows? I did say earlier that the better adaptation of Sparkling Cyanide was the one set in the US, so...

A fact I heard on All About Agatha about this adaptation is that the rights to the novel were only sold because Mathew Prichard wanted to buy some art, haha. Apparently his mother wasn't very happy about that. But it also explains why it's one of the last of the Marple novels to have been adapted when Joan Hickson took over the role.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 26804/20/2020

I just listened to the most recent episode of All About Agatha, where they discussed A Pocket Full of Rye. Always enjoy listening to their opinions, whether I agree or disagree (as Sophie Hannah said, it's fun to play along as a third person). They said about the adaptations of this one that they were fine, nothing special, but I have often thought that the more recent A Pocket Full of Rye is one of the very best of the newer Marple series (as someone on record as generally hating them). Julia McKenzie does play Miss Marple as a softer character, but I just like her as an actress generally, and I thought this one was very faithful and done very well. I love that they kept the scene at the end where Miss Marple receives Gladys' letter too late and McKenzie plays it so well. The only thing I remember them changing really was the removal of the fanatically religious aunt and making Elaine hate her father where in the novel Inspector Neele notes she is the only one expressing genuine grief. So nothing too major.

It's so interesting that they liked the book but thought it was just fine, because I read it recently and found it really sparkled - I just had a really enjoyable time reading it. Inspector Neele is one of Christie's better police characters for sure, I really liked him. And I think the opening chapter is great; really black comedy where Rex Fortescue is dying while his secretaries all flap around, unable to understand the new NHS and how it works when you have an emergency. Touches like that throughout the novel made it really come alive to me.

I don't know if others agree, or if it's just me. I had such a different response to it all than they did on All About Agatha. By the way, where were those two when I was a kid? We're the same age roughly, and you have handsome, gay Kemper whose two loves as a young kid were Agatha Christie and greek mythology, and gorgeous Catherine with her love of Agatha Christie, travel, geography and maps. The three of us would've been great friends, haha! The more global the world gets the more you realise how there really are people out there similar to you who you never meet, and often you're stuck in a place feeling distant from the others around you but it doesn't mean no one out there is like you.

by Anonymousreply 26905/09/2020

Just finished watching series 2 of Poirot. I felt it was very cohesive and strong overall, like series 1 there's greater and lesser stories, but everyone seems to be pretty confident and comfortable in their roles by now. The highlights for me include "The Veiled Lady", "The Cornish Mystery", "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim" and "Double Sin". The lesser stories ("The Lost Mine", "The Adventure of the Cheap Flat", "The Kidnapped Prime Minister") are quite slight in their written versions so it makes sense, but are at least produced well, and at least something like "The Lost Mine" allows the show to explore Chinatown in the 30s for a different setting.

Incidentally, at the moment I'm also watching an old 80's spy series "Game, Set and Match" and Hugh Fraser has a part in that too as a really slimy government official. He was very convincing in that role and made me realise how underrated he is, as he is also completely convincing as sweet and naïve Hastings too. It made me appreciate him even more, how well he plays vastly different characters. I believe he narrates a large portion of the audiobooks too and is highly regarded there as well.

by Anonymousreply 27005/10/2020

As much as I have damned All About Agatha with faint praise, I bet you're right and they would be fun to hang out with.

Fraser has a beautiful speaking voice and his audiobooks are a cozy treat, even though I don't love his interpretation of Poirot. Suchet has also narrated some of the audiobooks and his facility for different voices is impressive.

This reminds me that I got the audio of Curtain but haven't got around to listening to it. Maybe next week.

by Anonymousreply 27105/10/2020

R271, have you read Curtain before and will now be trying out the audiobook, or will this be your first experience with Curtain at all? I know a lot of people have held off on that one for as long as possible, would be interesting to hear your thoughts if it was your first time after you listen to it.

I'm not really an audiobooks person; I only listened to The Handmaid's Tale on audio and I knew I could read it faster so it felt too slow. But I think I'd like to try out one of Fraser's Christie audiobooks sometimes still.

by Anonymousreply 27205/10/2020

I have been putting off Curtain, R272. I think I posted about that in this thread, or maybe it was one of the other Christie threads. She seems to come up fairly regularly!

I suppose Christie fandom is somewhat of a generational thing. (Read: elderghey) Christie was at her height in my grandparent's time, and still writing in my parent's heyday. The house I grew up in had many of her paperbacks that had been read by previous generations of my family. Since they were easy to read, I read them all too. I suspect people younger than me tend to be more familiar with the film and TV adaptations.

I have come to really like audio books because I can enjoy them while out for a walk or while doing rote things like housework. Sometimes a good narrator can really enhance a book. I listened to the entire Nightside series, even though they're not that great, partly because the narrator was so perfect for the role.

by Anonymousreply 27305/11/2020

You know, I think it may be more universal than that. I'm only in my 30s and I notice a lot of the Christie book reviewers on YouTube are in their 20s, so I think, hopefully, that she is transcending generations. Not many of the Golden Age detective novelists have lasted as well, have they? I do want to try some Dorothy L. Sayers sometime.

The narrator would absolutely be vital, I can imagine. It's like podcasts, if you have a terrible voice or delivery I can't really listen even if the topic is one I'm fascinated by.

by Anonymousreply 27405/11/2020

[quote]Christie book reviewers on YouTube

Are there any you recommend?

by Anonymousreply 27505/11/2020

Ja, absolutely. There's a great channel called "Bookslikewhoa" and the girl there, Mara, is a great reviewer. She's done pretty much every Poirot and all the Marples too ("Project Poirot", "Mission Marple") and occasionally talks about the standalones as well. She did those projects looking through the lens of the changing times, mores, all that stuff. Her channel as a whole is a very wide reading of different types of books, but if you just type in the channel name and a Poirot or Marple book you are interested in hearing about, you will find one.

I'll add the link to her Agatha Christie playlist here, hopefully it works. It's in reverse order, so starts with her book collection; scroll down to find all her specific reviews.

She's also just a really lovely person.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 27605/11/2020

Thanks! Will check it out.

by Anonymousreply 27705/13/2020

I started listening to Curtain. I'm about halfway through. I'll save spoilers for a later post and just say that so far it's an odd book. Or to be more precise, not at all what I expect from a Poirot story and I'm not sure it really works. Hopefully it pays off in the second half.

Fraser is the narrator and does a great job as per. He never gets showy with the different voices but he does make the characters distinct and gives Poirot a subtly different spin here, a bit tired and hoarse.

by Anonymousreply 27805/14/2020

I'm watching The A.B.C. Murders on CBC Gem right now. It's hard to warm to John Malkovitch as Poirot. Eamon Farron, an Australian actor, is good as Cust.

by Anonymousreply 27905/15/2020

R279, why do they keep remaking these stories with different actors when David Suchet is the definitive Poirot? I would have guessed that the interwar period was irresistible to filmmakers because - especially in the Poirot world - it was so glamorous-looking, but then they go and mess up the costumes and fail to use period music, so what was the point?

Maybe, instead, they should experiment a bit, as they do with Shakespeare. Maybe they could try remaking a Poirot story by setting it in the 21st century. Murder on the Orient Express could as easily take place on a cruise ship (not in 2020, obviously!) as on a train, and the story itself is timeless. Death on the Nile already takes place on a cruise ship of sorts; why not set it on one of those river cruises in Europe? At least we wouldn't have to wince at other actors' egocentric interpretations of the classic character or at the ridiculous anachronisms resulting from lazy research, overambitious costume design or "woke" sensibilities.

by Anonymousreply 28005/16/2020

I like the David Suchet Poirot episodes where Captain Hastings is his sidekick because Hugh Fraser is hilarious.

Fraser also does a great job narrating all the Poirot stories.

by Anonymousreply 28105/16/2020

I love the mischievous look he gets on his face when Poirot ropes Miss Lemon into being the medium in Peril at End House, he's so eager to go along with it, probably thinking: "thank God it's not me this time!" Which is funny, because in the book it's Hastings who is forced to play the medium.

by Anonymousreply 28205/16/2020

murder on o express, with peter Ustinov or albert finney

NOT THAT ONE ON PBS WHO DOES IT SO ICKY QUEENY

by Anonymousreply 28305/16/2020

Pauline Moran is great as Miss Lemon in the Suchet adaptation. I also like the set for Poirot's flat.

by Anonymousreply 28405/17/2020

R281, I think yours is a majority opinion, but I find those episodes in the earlier seasons too lighthearted, mostly because of Hastings and Miss Lemon. Christie is often witty, but her books are dark - the Poirot stories especially. The later seasons capture this mood much better.

by Anonymousreply 28505/17/2020

The episodes with Japp and no Hastings were a major bummer. I always felt cheated when Hugh Fraser did not appear in the credits.

I disliked the later seasons because of how they fucked with the plots. Sure, it needs to adapted to 90 minutes, cut away. But why on earth some fucking TV writer thinks he can improve on Agatha Christie's plotting by inventing all new murderers is beyond me. Case in point is Appointment With Death, which was one of my favourite Poirots. The writers involved with that need to be horsewhipped.

I also hated the styling. Way too much red lipstick on the women. It was actually considered really slutty in those days and only worn on very formal events.

by Anonymousreply 28605/17/2020

R286, I don't like the plot-fiddling either, but I'm more bothered by the change in tone from the books to the TV show. I agree about Appointment with Death. Anyway, different things bother different people. I'm just happy we have all the seasons available (with the early ones re-mastered) to enjoy, whatever one's taste.

Christie herself refers to the universality of lipstick-wearing in a couple of her novels. I think it's in "And Then There Were None" (1939) where a character newly returned from South Africa complains about England - the crowded griminess of the train stations, the dull gray weather, and "all the women scarlet-lipped". I think it was ubiquitous by the mid-30s.

by Anonymousreply 28705/17/2020

I tried watching Appointment With Death but it kept cutting away to Tim Curry as Indiana Jones. Nope.

by Anonymousreply 28805/17/2020

And that whole thing with a nun who was also into white slavery? What on earth was that all about?

by Anonymousreply 28905/17/2020

I can't believe that I'm the first person to mention the amazing Margaret Rutherford Christie films from the 1960s. I watch those 4 films all the time. They are by far the best Agatha Christie adaptions to date.

by Anonymousreply 29005/17/2020

I can't remember now. Did Poirot's brother Achille ever make an appearance in the Suchet adaptations?

by Anonymousreply 29105/17/2020

The direction in many of the David Suchet versions is so amateurish and clunky. In almost every other episode the culprit either snarls "You miserable foreigner" at Poirot or attempts to make a run for it in a room full of cops.

Agree with the poster who suggested that the cretins who felt "Appointment with Death" needed a rewrite should be whipped and never allowed anywhere near a script ever again.

by Anonymousreply 29205/17/2020

R290, you're the first person to mention the Margaret Rutherford films, except maybe for posters at r6, r44, r72, etc...

by Anonymousreply 29305/18/2020

I think you're describing more of a script issue, R292. Though I agree that the direction is often heavy-handed and the pace slow and the jokes underlined.

The attempts to punch up the humor are sometimes a little cringey, especially the seemingly endless bidet jokes in Hickory Dickory Dock.

So anyway I finished Curtain and I'm trying to get my thoughts in order. I really did not like it but perhaps I'm being unfair. Gonna watch the TV adaptation this week.

by Anonymousreply 29405/18/2020

[quote] The attempts to punch up the humor are sometimes a little cringey, especially the seemingly endless bidet jokes in Hickory Dickory Dock.

Another reason to prefer the later seasons! They hardly have any humor at all, let alone the cringey kind.

I'm kidding sort of, but it's true that I don't like added humor to serious books.

by Anonymousreply 29505/18/2020

Ooh Hickory, Dickory, Dock is the worst for that. There's that whole jokey thing going on where Poirot, Japp and Miss Lemon are cooking meals for each other and the other two never like what the third has cooked and at the end Japp cooks some gross-looking faggots, peas and potato or something, and the scene finishes with Poirot telling Japp he can't eat it because he has an "la phobie de faggot" or something.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

by Anonymousreply 29605/18/2020

Has anyone here seen any of the French adaptations of Christie's work, done under the title "Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie", or "Agatha Christie's Criminal Games" in English? I watched my first one last night, it was Meurtre au champagne, an adaptation of Sparkling Cyanide. So, if you dislike the adaptations going off piste, I think you won't like this series so much. From what I understand they are generally very, very loosely based on the novels. I once read an interesting article that I can't find now, about why the French enjoy playing around with Christie's plots they way they do; how watching their adaptations gives an insight into their culture.

The episode I watched actually did hit all the general plot points of the novel, and all the suspects could be easily mapped to the ones in the book. The tone is incredibly bright and comic, and honestly a lot of what happens seems ridiculous, but I guess purposefully so. And then in a weird way, they change some parts to seem more likely than in the novel (ie the whole issue around the bag being picked up and put back on the table makes more realistic sense in this version). Like the early 2000s adaptation they try and make the Ruth Lessing character a lot more sympathetic. It's been ages since I've read the novel, but I always thought I remembered that she was more like her name; ruthless.

A lot of people seem to love these, perhaps it's because they're so over-the-top and confident about the tone they are setting that they don't annoy as much as something that purports to be more seriously a Christie that goes off the rails? I'm not sure.

SBS have the entire series that is set in the 1950s available to watch for free. I don't see myself rushing to binge watch them all, but I'll probably check in every now and then with particular stories to see what they do with it. It's not really my style, but I didn't find myself annoyed at the same time, the way I do with the newer Marple series when that goes batty.

by Anonymousreply 29705/25/2020

Huge Albert Finney fan so no contest — and such a great cast.

by Anonymousreply 29805/25/2020

The idea of DL fave Lauren Bacall as a great Shakespearean actress is kinda comical, though.

by Anonymousreply 29905/26/2020

Been on a bit of a Christie watching binge these past few days. Re-watched the 1978 Death on the Nile and enjoyed it as always. It's been awhile since I watched this, so even the reconstruction of the crime told over and over didn't bother me so much. It really is a great film.

Then I watched The Murder at the Vicarage with Geraldine McEwan. I really think I identify with something Kemper and Catherine were saying on All About Agatha: that everytime they start watching one of these they think: "Ok, I can do this, this one will be good" before they are disappointed. I actually felt really happy to be watching it, it's not as bad as many of them and I was ok with the tone, then about half way through it just got so silly that I got bored. Especially all that stuff with the Dr Stone and Miss Cram characters who are something different here. And I really don't care about Miss Marple's affair with a married man from the first world war, that was just distracting. And speaking of distracting, I just could stop wondering the whole time what was wrong with Janet McTeer's nose!

Then I got around to watching the recent version of The Pale Horse. I just wasn't that into it. I try to watch these newer ones as though they aren't Christie's (which is probably fair, considering how far they stray from the source), and while that worked somewhat with The ABC Murders, here it didn't. I mean, it was shot beautifully, and I love British folk horror in things in general, but it was just more Sarah Phelps doing what she does, ie, everyone is scum, the world they live in is revolting, etc. Plus the plot is less satisfying, because she let's a lot of it slide in favour of atmosphere. If people enjoy her adaptations, they must be so bewildered when they open the books.

And finally, I sat down to watch another of the French ones, this time Vanilos Pension, which is an adaptation of Hickory, Dickory, Dock. Here's the thing: this series strays just as far from the source, if not more, than the Sarah Phelps ones do, and they are also really ridiculous in so many ways, but I just enjoyed watching this one more, despite the silliness. I have no idea why I could handle this one better than other adaptations.

by Anonymousreply 30006/25/2020

I forgot there was a new version of Pale Horse. Since I've strongly disliked Phelps's last three outings I may give it a miss.

On the other hand, it's one of the few Christie books I haven't read and having no expectations might be a plus. I rather enjoyed the Julia McKenzie version, even though it was kind of ridiculous and I think McKenzie is all wrong for Marple.

[quote]really ridiculous in so many ways, but I just enjoyed watching this one more, despite the silliness.

That's pretty much how I feel about the McEwan shows. The breeziness mostly works for me, even though they laid it on too thick sometimes.

No, I still don't want to talk about Curtain. Too depressing.

by Anonymousreply 30106/25/2020

I found Julia McKenzie awful as Miss Marple. She always seemed to have a look of fake concern on her face.

Then again I've always loathed McKenzie. Can't stand her acting, find her shrill and awful in comedy and shudder when she starts to sing.

by Anonymousreply 30206/25/2020

R301, the best adaptation of The Pale Horse for me was the 1996 TV movie. It's the closest to the book, slightly tightened up in places, and works well. I enjoy the book too, though I haven't read it for an age. It is one of those ones I forget about and then I have read and thought: "Oh, I'm liking this!"

I'll slowly work my way through the newer Marples again, just to see how I feel and if things have changed at all, but my memories are that most of them are so wacky that they make me fall asleep, haha. I don't think the tone would bother me at all if they followed the stories properly. But some of them are quite good - I'm just never sure if they're good independently, or just by comparison to the others. I would rank them from memory thus:

The good: A Murder is Announced, The Moving Finger, Towards Zero, A Pocket Full of Rye, The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side, A Caribbean Mystery, Greenshaw's Folly, Endless Night.

The fair: The Body in the Library, The Murder at the Vicarage, By the Pricking of My Thumbs, Ordeal By Innocence, They Do it With Mirrors, The Blue Geranium.

The terrible: 4.50 from Paddington, Sleeping Murder, The Sittaford Mystery, At Bertram's Hotel, Nemesis, Murder is Easy, Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, The Pale Horse, The Secret of Chimneys.

by Anonymousreply 30306/25/2020

I liked The Sleeping Murder

by Anonymousreply 30406/25/2020

Sleeping Murder is probably my favourite Christie all up, and maybe I'm too harsh on the adaptations because they never live up to it, but I found that whole Funnybones plot really ridiculous. It started well with the opening being like the book, but then went really off the rails to my mind.

by Anonymousreply 30506/25/2020

That Funnybones stuff was ghastly. I'm struggling to think of anything good about that adaptation. They made Gwenda unlikable, they replaced Giles with a bigger nonentity who was also unlikable, all those middle aged actors trying to be youthful in the tedious flashbacks.. I liked the actress who played the cook, there's that.

by Anonymousreply 30606/26/2020

[quote]Rutherford's Marples are silly froth (with a fun theme tune!)

One of our local bars used to play it as the "overture" for their weekend drag shows.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 30706/26/2020

Completely agree with you, R306. It really is due for a good adaptation, that story. They needed to focus more on the house as a character, rather than that stupid vaudevillian stuff. Not to mention the themes of how a person's character can be destroyed after they've died and the fear of hereditary madness. It's quite gothic, that story.

The cook was Una Stubbs in that version, from memory. I like her too.

by Anonymousreply 30806/26/2020

Evil Under The Sun, esp. the scenes between Diana Rigg and Maggie Smith!

by Anonymousreply 30906/26/2020

Cherchez le fruit!

by Anonymousreply 31007/11/2020

My friends and I watched the Julia McKenzie version of A Pocket Full of Rye the other night. Definitely one of the better of the Marple series, and it was delightful seeing McKenzie and also Prunella Scales. It was also, from memory, probably closer to the source material than the Joan Hickson one, surprisingly. The denouement with Miss Marple and the Inspector talking it out, followed by Miss Marple's urgency that Pat find happiness, and then the final scene (which I loved) of Miss Marple receiving Gladys' letter too late (yet containing the evidence the police need) is all from the book and I enjoyed it. Also just enjoyed Helen Baxendale as always, and her version of Mary Dove is much more similar to the book as well. I also like the actress playing Jennifer, with her striking eyes and how well she played that character and got across how incredibly lonely and miserable she was underneath it all.

I was struck at the same time by how cartoony it all was too, which is not the tone I enjoy the most, but oh well. Also, it was just my idea, but there were moments where I felt things probably weren't very authentic to the 50's. Like, I was born in the 80's so I don't know this for sure, but the afternoon tea laid out looked way too fancy for what I imagine a daily ritual would've been in the 50's, even in a wealthy family. Even with a prodigal son returning, it looked more like someone had nipped out to the patisserie than Mrs Crump had whipped it up.

But, I mean, none of that is important, it just struck me and took me out of it a bit, I guess. I do think Kevyn Eliot tended to write fairly decent to excellent adaptations, even if he's obsessed with putting random sex scenes into the stories for no reason - ie, not advancing the plot at all.

All up I'd give it a thumbs up!

by Anonymousreply 31107/13/2020

^Got my y's mixed up; Kevin Elyot, I meant.

by Anonymousreply 31207/13/2020

I still like Murder on the Orient Express with Norman Bates the best.

I've been watching the McEwan/McKenzie Marple series on Hulu and wow, most of them really suck. Every other episode seems to have lesbian plot lines and many of them weren't even Marple stories, they just stuck her in them. Let's not even discuss changing characters, plots, and murderers.

I do like seeing Joanna Lumley, Downton and Midwives cast members in them though.

by Anonymousreply 31307/13/2020

Joanna Lumley is really enjoyable, I agree. She's nothing like I imagine Dolly Bantry, but she's so fun to watch. I've often thought out of every one who appeared in that series, she probably best exemplified what tone the production was going for.

But yes, most of them really do suck. Even the better ones often still fall short. Christie's novels, by and large, are very much plot driven with a lot of interlocking pieces; it baffles me that those involved would tamper with them in such ridiculous ways and think they were making a better product. You wonder with some of them why they didn't just make up their own detective to put in their completely new story.

by Anonymousreply 31407/13/2020

It's not the best adaptation and it's just a TV movie, but my favourite is Thirteen at Dinner with Peter Ustinov as Hercule and Faye Dunaway in a dual role.

Faye gets to play comedy and she's delicious in one of the roles as a ditzy blonde bombshell. Bill Nighy's in the cast as is future Poirot David Suchet as Inspector Japp.

I think 1974 Murder on the Orient Express is the best adaptation, but Thirteen at Dinner is my favourite.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 31507/13/2020

I've never seen Thirteen at Dinner, I don't think. I'll have to try and find it. I've seen the other two Ustinov TV movies, Dead Man's Folly (not bad) and Murder in Three Acts (not good), so it would be interesting to compare. I suppose Faye Dunaway couldn't do as bad of a job playing Carlotta Adams as Fiona Allen did in the Poirot episode (I still crack up when I remember the response to her from All About Agatha: "Wha-what was that actress DOING?!")

by Anonymousreply 31607/13/2020

Funny, I also recently watched Pocket Full of Rye. I'm not a fan of McKenzie as Marple, but it's because I think she's miscast and not because I think she's a bad actress. That last scene was memorable and I really appreciated how she conveyed not just Marple's triumph but her anger and sorrow for poor Gladys. It was an exquisite bit of acting.

I'm going to start reading The Pale Horse soon. J, b?

by Anonymousreply 31707/14/2020

The Branagh version had a cast that rather spoiled the concept put forth by Lumet's version of MOTOE. It needs great actors but also real stars and their attendant wattage to carry off the smaller parts. The actors are equal when it comes to [SPOILER] the deed itself so it needs big personalities to make each person shine.

That said, the reenactment in Branagh's version, with the mournful Patrick Doyle music, brought tears to my eyes as everyone was filmed so beautifully while doing something so despicable.

by Anonymousreply 31807/14/2020

Only Hickson will do. Each one is remarkable, and I'm sorry there aren't many more.

I believe one of the reasons I don't like the McEwan and MacKenzie episodes is the denouement always seems to be rushed. So much talking, and relating of plot, character, time sequences et al. rather than seeing it acted out at a slower pace. Accusations, explanations, the reveal of red herrings come at a breakneck speed, slow down and let me savor the stories considering the time I've invested in them. I don't want the Cliff's Notes version of the story. It's like they have somewhere else to go and want to wrap things us so they can roll the credits. Did the director just discover what a whip-pan is? These books are meant to be savored, and the adaptations do them no justice. It's like an audiobook reading, much of the charm is gone, and I feel cheated.

Another reason for my displeasure is both actresses voices. SO arch, SO condescending, SO I-told-you-so. I'm surprised the actresses aren't boxing character's ears, considering all the thinly-veiled contempt and tsk-tsk'ing attitude they have towards them. In murder mysteries we want the crime solver to actually get to the bottom of things. Watching MacKenzie and McEwan, I wish they'd walk off somewhere and never return, I dislike them THAT intensely.

by Anonymousreply 31907/14/2020

[quote]SO arch, SO condescending, SO I-told-you-so.

Most unattractive.

by Anonymousreply 32007/14/2020

I can't wait for the eventual "And Then There Were None: 'Glee' Edition."

by Anonymousreply 32107/14/2020

During a bit of a stressful time recently, I've found myself diving in to the French series, Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie to take my mind off things, and am finding them really quite diverting. As said above, they are silly, weird and really go off-piste (their version of A Caribbean Mystery is set in a French hospital, par exemple), but I've actually started to find the relationship between the three leads to be endearing, and worth tuning in for. I don't even really care that they change the plots, or really about the actual mystery even, I just like watching the antics of Laurence, Avril and Marlene. I've now also watched "Murder Party" (A Murder is Announced), "L'affaire Protheroe" (The Murder at the Vicarage), and the aforementioned "Albert Major parlait trop" (A Caribbean Mystery).

by Anonymousreply 32207/28/2020

I just started watching the Poirot series. I bought David Suchet as Poirot right from the start, no questions asked. He IS Poirot.

But man, his show is a drag - at least the first three seasons. I just started season 4 which so far is much better. There are two things that rub me the wrong way, maybe three:

Hastings is portrayed even dumber than in the books. He is so radically bland - I want him to be the victim of the next murder.

The setting in Poirot's home office feels too "US detective show". They are sitting there and just waiting for the next crime of the week. Few exceptions. But mostly it's the case of the week, another day in the office.

The visual settings are too much 1930s. For a show playing in the 1930s, you would expect much more exterior and interior of the time before the 1930s. Are they trying to make me believe that even the poorest lived in brand new houses? This also creates the problem that five 1930s houses reappear every third episode. Either as a modern mansion, a hotel or even an airport.

Suchet makes it all worthwhile though. He is perfect.

by Anonymousreply 32308/03/2020

agreed r323, that stupid habit of making the sidekick stupid is something I guess Hollywood just has to get over sometimes.

by Anonymousreply 32408/03/2020

There's a YouTube channel ("Karl Marx") that is posting full episodes, no or minimal commercials. It's the Suchet Poirot. It's like cozy ASMR to me. Here are some that I recommend:

Halowe'en Party (Ariadne episode)

Cat Among the Pigeons

Lord Edgware Dies

The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge (Hastings episode)

If you guys watch these, please report back & let everybody know what you think.

by Anonymousreply 32508/04/2020

I really enjoy both the Hallowe'en Party and Cat Among the Pigeons episodes, and I can see what you mean about almost being like ASMR. They are two episodes that did a great job by and large of adapting the novels, keeping the best of those novels and working around the less good parts. Cat Among the Pigeons focuses almost entirely on the boarding school aspect of the novel which is the stronger part, and doesn't focus on the thriller aspect so much except as backstory, which works really well. Hallowe'en Party was my first Christie I ever read, so I have a real soft spot for it, but as a later Christie it has some problems and the adaptation works around this well, keeping the best of that novel (the concept and the atmosphere). I think what is great about these two is that they didn't say: "hey, here's some problems with the novels, let's jettison them for something else", instead they worked with what they had, actually ADAPTING for television and the times, rather than rewriting.

I'm still waiting for a really good adaptation of Lord Edgware Dies. So much of that rides on the right actress to play Carlotta Adams, which I haven't seen yet.

I can't remember The Mystery of Hunter's Lodge, will have to dig it out!

by Anonymousreply 32608/04/2020

I always thought a young Tracy Ullman would have been a great Carlotta Adams.

by Anonymousreply 32708/05/2020

^ Me too!

by Anonymousreply 32808/05/2020

R325 I have watched them daily. Many have subtitles, too

by Anonymousreply 32908/05/2020

[quote]Embarrassed op

As well you should be.

by Anonymousreply 33008/05/2020

Evil Under the Sun (1982)

by Anonymousreply 33108/05/2020

[quote] The Branagh version was marred by his vanity and the Suchet version had all that head-scratching Christian angst in it (again, felt like that was in service of Suchet and not Poirot).

I like Suchet, but I also get the feeling that he injects his personal faith (Christianity) into the Poirot character. Luckily, even though the Poirot character is logical & scientific, it's believable that Poirot would have been raised to go to Christian church (Catholic, maybe).

by Anonymousreply 33208/08/2020

Some of the Marple adaptations were woeful

by Anonymousreply 33308/08/2020

I only watch the Poirot / Suchet episodes. Those are my favorite. I like Hastings and Miss Lemon as well. Even though I don't like Art Deco that much, I like Poirot's apartment (exterior and interior).

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 33408/08/2020

I wish more of the adaptations would be set in the years she wrote in. Apart from Poirot, the majority are set in the 1950s which always makes me think it's because there's so much 50s costuming etc around that it's cheaper to do. But the books span from ww1 up to the 70s (one of the short stories even being set in Victorian or maybe Edwardian times) and it would be interesting seeing Christie across all those periods of history.

by Anonymousreply 33508/08/2020

The problem though is that Miss Marple and Poirot didn't really age. Miss Marple was already a senior citizen in her first story (in the 1920s ?) and was still in the 70s.

by Anonymousreply 33608/08/2020

I like the Suchet "Evil under the Sun" but wondered where was the hot guy you all liked. Now, I realize that the hot guy was in the Ustinov version. Nicholas Clay played Patrick Redfern in the Ustinov version. Michael Higgs (photo posted) played Redfern in the Suchet version. Higgs was featured in loose shorts and he looked terrible. Wardrobe did him no favors. His face looks OK in this photo, but he looked not sexy in the movie.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 33708/15/2020

Absolutely R337 it was a real shame they didn't cast someone gorgeous, as the character should be. Also Higgs has as much charisma as a wet fart in white pants.

by Anonymousreply 33808/15/2020

Thankfully, R338, they didn't put Higgs in a Speedo, like they did with Nicholas Clay. That would have been tragique.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 33908/15/2020

No idea why they went with such a charmless bore for that role.

by Anonymousreply 34008/16/2020

The Clocks was another bore

by Anonymousreply 34108/16/2020

I watched the recent version of The Pale Horse.

Why do I do these things to myself?

I guess because I recently read the book and enjoyed it. Which is precisely the wrong reason to watch a Phelps adaptation.

by Anonymousreply 34209/07/2020

I agree R342. That adaptation bored the hell out of me. Her dark take on these stories might be applicable for the first two she did ("And Then There Were None" and "Witness for the Prosecution", the latter of which I still didn't enjoy) but doesn't really work for the rest of them.

by Anonymousreply 34309/07/2020

[quote]I like Suchet, but I also get the feeling that he injects his personal faith (Christianity) into the Poirot character. Luckily, even though the Poirot character is logical & scientific, it's believable that Poirot would have been raised to go to Christian church (Catholic, maybe).

But is it believable he would've been a PRIEST? That's what they did to him in the Malkovich "ABC Murders."

by Anonymousreply 34409/07/2020

R344, I haven't seen the Malkovich "ABC Murders" series. Off the top of my head, Suchet's Poirot (and maybe Agatha Christie's Poirot) always struck me as homosexual with low libido. I'm surprised Poirot being possibly homosexual has not been discussed here on DL. Somehow, priest (Catholic?) doesn't seem farfetched. Again, I haven't seen the series.

by Anonymousreply 34509/07/2020

I started to watch Suchet's Poirot just a couple weeks ago. I posted upthread and complained about the show being boring and the 30s Art Deco to be over done. Well, I'm glad I kept watching. There is a remarkable shift, almost a retooling of the show after season 7 and I really start to enjoy seasons 8 and 9. It helps that Captain Hastings is largely omitted. The show changed its photography, direction, writing describes deeper character, and Poirot is a lot more serious. This has become a much better show. It probably helped that they have 2 hours for novels, and that they don't have to stretch short stories to full episodes anymore. Suchet is still a great Poirot.

by Anonymousreply 34609/07/2020

I love the four 70s movies--there';s lots wrong with each of them, but they also each have something really special to them. The Lumet "Murder on the Orient Express" has the best thing from any Christie film adaptation, which is the amazingly edited sequence of the Daisy Ashford kidnapping and its immediate aftermath--its one of the most effective and upsetting things I have ever seen in a studio movie from the 70s, and it's got that great scary music. One of the things that always gets me is that there are enormous headlines for when Daisy is kidnapped and the police are searching for the kidnappers, but the final headline announcing that daisy's murdered body has been found is a small headline towards the middle of a front page--as if no one really cared about her at all in the wider world other than her parents and nanny. I love all the music, but I agree Finney isn't right for Poirot. the fact that the film is so tightly enclosed in the train also works against 9though they made ridiculous attempts to open up the space in the recent remake).

"Death on the Nile" has the best score of all, that magnificent Nino Rota music that conveys not only the paddlewheel of the steamer churning but also a sense of evil that the rest of the film badly needs. I agree it's the best at mixing campy humor with the story, and the location photography is magnificent. Mia Farrow actually tries hard at her part but she's not well cast--part of the problem is that the beautiful Lois Chiles was a terrible actress. The best among the cast was Angela Lansbury. Ustinov wiull always be Hercule Poirot to me, although I agree David Suchet was better.

"Evil Under the Sun" is campy and fun, and its got that great Cole Porter score, and there are terrific performances from Sylvia Miles and Jane Birkin. Nicholas Clay's ass is fantastic, although the real genius was whoever designed that too small bathing suit for him to wear that keeps revealing parts of his asscheeks (I don't think that swimsuit is very period accurate, though). It is just too campy, and that's its biggest problem. It also has one of Christie's most convoluted murder schemes that requires complex timing, but that's Christie's fault.

"The Mirror Crack'd" for better or worse, will always be remembered for the hilariously bitchy dialogue between Elizabeth Taylor and Kim Novak at the reception for Marina Rudd and for how unintentionally ridiculous the plump Taylor looks when they have a flashback to her USO show. It's a pity because Angela Lansbury is fantastic as Miss Marple--though she's not as close to Christie's intentions for the character as Joan Hickson and Julua McKenzie were, she's not as far out as Margaret Rutherford or Helen Hayes (or as unappealing as Geraldine McEwan), and she's much more interesting than Hickson or McKenzie. This film, like MOTOE, also opens with a great little film-within-a-film called "Murder at Midnight" that Pauline Kael much admired.

The Margaret Rutherford films are worth watching just because she's so much fun, but she is of course nothing at all like Christie imagined her. They're their own thing, but Rutherford is one of the funniest actors of all time, and the famous music really perks things up (the best variant of it is for "Murder Ahoy"--I could listen to that and see the opening credit sequence where Miss Marple tries on and purchases the nautical outfit in the boutique a million times and never get sick of it).

The recent re-make of MOTOE with Branagh was pretty bad. there are only a few good thins in it: Michelle Pfeiffer's performance, and the camerawork in the sequence near the beginning where the characters are boarding the train in Istanbul.

So much for the movies--now to the TV shows. (cont.)

by Anonymousreply 34709/07/2020

(cont.) I love David Suchet as Poirot (he is undoubtedly the best at portraying the role and is definitive, although as I said above Poirot will always be in my mind's eye Peter Ustinov just becuse he was hte first Poirot I ever saw), but I don't think all the episodes are equally good. In the early seasons they overdid it a bit with the Art Deco locations and sets--they were sometimes so breathtaking I could hardly focus on the mystery. My three favorites among the episodes all eschew the Art Deco locations, which might be part of why I like them so much.

"Five Little Pigs" has a great central setting in that house by the water on a hot summer's day when the murder occurred, and that change from the usual indoors settings of Poirot's mysteries is really refreshing; it also helps that the group of people assembled (base don the Bloomsbury Group!) is so interesting, and that it's one of Christie's very best mystery plots.

"The Hollow" also is based on a great mystery plot, and the director does a superb job with the whole idea of the tableau effect at the murder scene. He keeps re-showing it from different angles and photographs it beautifully each time, and so he really achieves the effect Christie was trying for in the novel.

"Hallowe'en Party" is not one of the best Christie novels, but it is one of the very best Poirot TV adaptations. The direction is excellent so that you get a sense of how confusing it is when the children split up to play hide and seek in the large house, and the director also does a fine job conveying the evil behind murdering a child. And Zoe Wanamaker is terrific as Ariadne Oliver.

Wanamaker is also excellent in "A Murder is Announced," which is the best of all the TV Marple episodes. Christie said it was her best Marple novel, and I agree. The murder plot is excessively complex, but it's so fun to untangle it that it works brilliantly.

So far I agree with what everyone has said about the different TV Miss Marples: Joan Hickson was the most like how Christie envisioned the character, but is a little boring (and the episodes with her in it have ridiculously anachronistic hair and clothing). Helen Hayes was completely wrong. McEwan is just never enjoyable to me in anything (you always see her working so hard in every part she ever played), and while McKenzie isn't bad, she's not very interesting, either. To my mind there has yet to be a definitive Miss Marple the way Suchet was a definitive Poirot. You n eed someone who can hold back enough to be unobtrusive when she needs to be but who can also be quite charming and smart, too.

by Anonymousreply 34809/07/2020

I have watched these adaptations out of order. Ustinov was the first Poirot I saw on screen; however, I prefer Suchet.

Another vote for "After the Funeral." I already mentioned "Hallowe'en Party" and "Cat among the Pigeons" upthread. (Yes, I know others have mentioned these episodes as well.)

American here. There are some really well-played English, imperious, haughty, extremely rude, RICH men in these Suchet episodes. Really unlikable characters. Not used to seeing something quite like that in American TV shows and movies.

It sounds like Suchet & Zoe Wanamaker have a friendly, real-life relationship.

by Anonymousreply 34909/07/2020

One of the weird things about the McEwan Miss marple movies is that they were trying to make miss Marple funny, just like in the Margaret Rutherford films. It worked with the Rutherford films because Dame Margaret was absolutely hilarious in everything she ever did; but McEwan just isn't a funny person.

One thing that's really interesting is to compare the central opening murder in "Murder She said" and the two TV versions of "4:50 from Paddington." It is filmed so spectacularly and intelligently in the McEwan version that there's really no comparison with the way the murder is filmed in the Hickson version (although i have to say they did a surprisingly good job of it in the Rutherford version). But the rest of the McEwan version is so inferior to the Hickson version.

by Anonymousreply 35009/13/2020

I just watched the McEwan version of 4.50 from Paddington last week. I decided to watch her first season, because I haven't for years and it's before the plots deviated too much from the stories, so I thought I may enjoy it, but the tone is so weird, especially in Paddington, where McEwan as Marple keeps pausing and clicking her fingers by her head in an "I got it!" type way. The acting in that episode was really low too. The guy playing Alfred? Tone. It. Down. Please! There was no fun in it. And why was Noël Coward there?

I actually don't mind the opening to the Hickson version; I think that was the best at portraying how horrible it would be to see someone murdered and feel so helpless.

by Anonymousreply 35109/13/2020

So September 15 this year was Agatha's 130th birthday, and the International Agatha Christie Festival has gone online, due to obvious reasons. The YouTube channel is releasing a lot of videos, including a number of interviews by Kemper and Catherine from All About Agatha, who have been mentioned a few times. Thought people might be interested if they haven't seen these two in action before. They both are gorgeous people who know heaps about Agatha and get to do this; I think it's wonderful, and do just slightly wish I could join in, haha.

Anyway, here is their interview with Laura Thompson who did a biography of Christie. I'm only half an hour into it now, but it is delightful. They also do interviews with Sophie Hannah (author of the Poirot continuation novels) and Mathew Prichard (Agatha's grandson). In addition, Mara from bookslikewhoa who's been mentioned elsewhere also has a video on there. So for all you Christie fans, have at it!

(Also wondering, do I say the crude thing? Is it appropriate? I mean, it is a gay forum and everything. Oh hell. I want to fuck Kemper. I said it!)

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 352Last Tuesday at 11:35 PM

You've officially taken self-promotion too far, Kemper. Settle down.

Oh, and your interview of Jamie Bernthal was terrible. Maybe you learned something from that.

by Anonymousreply 353Last Wednesday at 2:04 AM

Ehh, I really like 'em. They're delightful. And Kemper has gorgeous dimples. And I'm just sad that as someone the same age as him we didn't grow up around each other. Cute gay guy into Agatha? Fantastic.

by Anonymousreply 354Last Wednesday at 3:02 AM

Do you guys know of a website or can you recommend a book that discusses Christie books with good insight? I don't mean threads on Goodreads, more something from a professional book critic or journalist with real information. I am hoping for information on how she approached particular stories, books or even characters, what did she do to research for a certain book, but then also what did critics think of specific books? It would be nice to find something that discusses each and every book of hers, not just her writing in general. Can you recommend anything good?

by Anonymousreply 355Last Thursday at 6:52 AM

I haven't read them, but her Secret Notebooks (as compiled by John Curran) might be something you would be interested in?

by Anonymousreply 356Last Thursday at 6:56 AM

R355 Many years ago, I read the book "A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie" by Robert Barnard. He was a well-known mystery writer himself and I found his critiques interesting (even if I didn't always agree with them). Regardless, the book is definitely worth checking out. It is long out of print, however, so you will probably have to locate a second-hand copy.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 357Last Thursday at 8:26 AM

Thanks, r356 and r357! Both sound very interesting, will try to get both.

by Anonymousreply 358Last Thursday at 10:12 AM

I am liking Mrs. McGinty's Dead w/Suchet as Poirot. Not as good as Halloween and Cat among the Pigeons, though.

by Anonymousreply 359Last Friday at 2:22 PM

Did Miss Marple's and Poirot's worlds ever mingle in Christie's stories?

by Anonymousreply 360Last Saturday at 9:08 AM

No, R360, I don't think so.

by Anonymousreply 361Last Saturday at 10:26 AM

R360, no, they didn't. Christie herself spoke of this in her Autobiography:

"People never stop writing to me nowadays to suggest that Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot should meet. But why should they meet? I'm sure they would not like meeting at all. Hercule Poirot, a complete egoist, would not like being taught his business or having suggestions made to him by an elderly spinster lady. Hercule Poirot - a professional sleuth - would not be at home at all in Miss Marple's world. They are both stars and stars in their own right. I shall not let them meet, unless I feel a very sudden and unexpected urge to do so."

Their worlds do touch, however. The most notable incidence of this I can think of is in The Pale Horse, where characters from Cards on the Table and The Moving Finger both spend time together. Also a character in The Mystery on the Blue Train actually comes from St Mary Mead.

by Anonymousreply 362Last Saturday at 1:48 PM

Just watched Poirot / Suchet "Murder on the Orient Express." At first, I hated that movie b/c I thought the end was stupid & unsatisfying. Now, I see it differently. It's the first Poirot movie where Poirot struggles with his beliefs & his rigidity. The French guy character who owns the train company is also hilarious & cute.

by Anonymousreply 363Last Saturday at 10:08 PM

I'm alright with that version too, R363. I think because we already have the 1970s movie, I didn't mind a slight change in focus, and I actually like the whole 'struggling with his beliefs' thing Poirot does. Also, I feel kinda like it was made with the idea in mind that everyone watching it already knows the solution. Did you notice when people would tell their story, Poirot was just looking at the like: "Suuuuuuuure."

I also liked that we saw how messed up the characters were in the aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of Daisy Armstrong, how much it still affected them. No clinking glasses and winking at each other here!

by Anonymousreply 364Yesterday at 12:37 AM

The Agatha Christie Extended Universe hinges on Ariadne Oliver and Mrs. Lancaster.

by Anonymousreply 365Yesterday at 4:06 AM

[quote] Also, I feel kinda like it was made with the idea in mind that everyone watching it already knows the solution. Did you notice when people would tell their story, Poirot was just looking at the like: "Suuuuuuuure."

R364, I'm kind of dense when I watch movies. In Orient Express, no, I did not know the solution until the end.

Suchet looked really heavy in Orient Express. I wonder if it was padding.

Also, even though the train was supposed to be luxurious, I felt sorry for the character traveling like that. I rode a train in Italy (overnight) and it was actually somewhat spacious, but it was still kind of miserable-feeling the next day (not good sleep).

by Anonymousreply 366a day ago
Loading
Need more help? Click Here.

Yes indeed, we too use "cookies." Don't you just LOVE clicking on these things on every single site you visit? I know we do! You can thank the EU parliament for making everyone in the world click on these pointless things while changing absolutely nothing. If you are interested you can take a look at our privacy/terms or if you just want to see the damn site without all this bureaucratic nonsense, click ACCEPT and we'll set a dreaded cookie to make it go away. Otherwise, you'll just have to find some other site for your pointless bitchery needs.

×

Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!