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Agatha Christie; her books versus their adaptations?

Christie fans, are there any adaptations that are better than the original story?

by Anonymousreply 32January 30, 2023 6:23 PM


The 1974 Sidney Lumet version of Murder on the Orient Express. It manages to incorporate humorous bits and outlandish glamour into a story about revenge and vigilantism following a child’s murder. The intro alone is terrifying. Full of old-school Hollywood movie star performances and deft European acting that dovetail perfectly. The music is splendid.

The story is close but not identical to the book, which I also quite enjoyed, though not as much, and the film remains one of my all-time favorites.

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by Anonymousreply 1January 28, 2023 4:10 PM

The only one that comes even close is Evil Under the Sun. The stellar cast, Cole Porter score, and the exotic locale turn the fairly faithful adaptation of the story into a witty, stylish film.

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by Anonymousreply 2January 28, 2023 4:11 PM

No, OP. Don't be ridiculous.

The mystery novels and the "adaptations" are separate works, and in no case, not one, is the adaptation for screen or television or gay slash fiction "better" than the books or short stories or novellas. They are different.

With that said, the adaptations help inform or enrich the mysteries, as in I am gratified that when I read a Marple story it is Joan Hickson I see, because she made sense of the character, at least in Marple's dotage. The original, "younger" Marple was less wise and more snoopy in a conventional way, at times.

Don't confuse your genres. Is Verdi's "Falstaff" better or worse than Shakespeare's "Henry IV-I"?

by Anonymousreply 3January 28, 2023 4:27 PM

You're comparing Shakespeare to Christie.

Tell me you're an American without telling me you're an American.

by Anonymousreply 4January 28, 2023 4:29 PM

Check out the 2015 BBC And Then There Were None. It retains the period setting, but updates the story by treating it as a contemporary psychological thriller and horror movie. Great cast too, with Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Toby Stephens, and Aidan Turner among others.

by Anonymousreply 5January 28, 2023 5:09 PM

Under The Sun (the movie) delivers some great male ass that the book never could have conveyed.

by Anonymousreply 6January 28, 2023 5:19 PM

Albert Finney's blustering Poirot really hurts the '74 Orient Express.

by Anonymousreply 7January 28, 2023 6:00 PM

Suchet is the definitive Poirot.

Can anyone explain why Branagh is rehashing the most frequently filmed books? So boring.

by Anonymousreply 8January 28, 2023 6:04 PM

Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution was undoubtedly better than the short story it was based on due to Wilder inserting his cynical black humor and elements of film noir.

by Anonymousreply 9January 28, 2023 6:04 PM

[quote] Albert Finney's blustering Poirot really hurts the '74 Orient Express.

Finney is the most perfect Poirot. David Suchet right up there with him.

by Anonymousreply 10January 28, 2023 6:08 PM

At Betram's Hotel 1987. Virtually perfect production for a fairly lackluster novel.

by Anonymousreply 11January 28, 2023 6:16 PM

Looks like R3's indignant post about books versus films is being proved wrong.

by Anonymousreply 12January 28, 2023 6:21 PM

Suchet has too much the twinkle in the eye, mon ami.

by Anonymousreply 13January 28, 2023 6:21 PM

At Bertram’s Hotel is saddled with the ridiculous premise that the posh hotel exists to provide cover for a series of train robberies.

by Anonymousreply 14January 28, 2023 6:23 PM

There were 2 versions of Evil under the Sun: Ustinov and Suchet. The Ustinov version is the one with Nicholas Clay as Patrick Redfern. The Suchet version had the lackluster Michael Higgs as P. Redfern.

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by Anonymousreply 15January 28, 2023 6:28 PM

I agree with R1 The 1974 Murder on the Orient Express is perfect.

Directed by Sidney Lumet

Music by DL Fav Richard Rodney Bennett

Screenplay adapted by gay Paul Dehn

Starring STARS: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Jena-Pierre Cassel, Sean Connery, Sir John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Rachel Roberts, Richard Widmark, and sexy Michael York

by Anonymousreply 16January 28, 2023 6:31 PM

We had faces then.

And personalities.

by Anonymousreply 17January 28, 2023 7:19 PM

Re: R8's question: Branagh is taking the easy route of going with known titles, similar to Hollywood's constant return to superhero franchises. I, for one, think he'd to better to film the more obscure novels and be less subject to comparisons...

by Anonymousreply 18January 28, 2023 8:11 PM

R9, Wilder's film of Witness for the Prosecution was not based on the short story but rather Christie's stage adaptation.

While WIlder changed a lot of the dialog, the story (including Vole's other lover and the surprise ending) was pretty much what Christie did in the stage version.

by Anonymousreply 19January 28, 2023 8:20 PM

A movie star entrance...

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by Anonymousreply 20January 28, 2023 8:31 PM

R19. I think Witness for the Prosecution is the best Alfred Hitchcock movie Billy Wilder ever made (I also assume it’s Hitchcock, confusing it with the inferior The Paradine Case—Witness has Wilder’s wit and brio, much of which is in the script—I’ve never read the play). I think it is one of Dietrich’s best performances—surely she was more deserving of an Oscar nomination than Lana Turner in Peyton Place. Tyrone Power feels a bit miscast—he’d really lost his looks by then, but maybe that works to make it remotely conceivable that Mrs. Emily French might believe he could be interested in her. Everyone else is marvelous from Laughton’s repartee with Lancaster (whom I suspect people thought would get the supporting actress Oscar for her wry, but nicely restrained work—instead they lazily gave it that stupid blob fish Umeki, just because they voted for Red Buttons, who did deserve his). Una O’Connor was a delight and even DL fave Rita Lee makes a brief appearance.

by Anonymousreply 21January 28, 2023 8:31 PM

Datalounge really should erect (oh, that word!) a memorial to one of film's all-time greatest butts.

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by Anonymousreply 22January 28, 2023 8:32 PM

[quote]surely she was more deserving of an Oscar nomination than Lana Turner in Peyton Place.

They couldn't nominate her and keep the plot twist a secret, r21.

by Anonymousreply 23January 28, 2023 8:34 PM

I love David Suchet‘s Twitter account.

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by Anonymousreply 24January 28, 2023 8:35 PM

R21, William Holden was the first choice

by Anonymousreply 25January 28, 2023 8:35 PM

I don't remember Dame Diana's...

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by Anonymousreply 26January 28, 2023 8:38 PM

I'm rewatching the TV versions of Marple (all three ladies) and Poirot. It's fun to spy actors who later became more famous in other roles, or who were in the twilight of their careers. Today I watched the McKenzie "A Pocket Full of Rye," featuring Rupert Graves, Matthew Macfadyen, Helen Baxendale, Wendy Richard (Miss Brahms!) and Ralf Little ("Death in Paradise.")

by Anonymousreply 27January 28, 2023 10:16 PM

The Hickson Nemesis improves on the novel which is so preoccupied with its elegiac depiction of “Miss Marple - the elderly woman” that the mystery and other characters end up receding and feeling somewhat hazy. Joan Hickson’s breathtaking psychological show down with the murderer at the end and the short scene where Nora Brent’s mother’s bright “manageress” chattiness shatters into raw gin-gulping heartbreak as she talks about the daughter who she knows has been murdered but whose disappearance has been shrugged off because she was “fast” and working class are perhaps the best of the whole series.

by Anonymousreply 28January 28, 2023 10:43 PM

^ "Would you like an orange squash?"

by Anonymousreply 29January 28, 2023 11:29 PM

IMHO Christie's books are unfairly classified as "cozy" mysteries, they're actually extremely cynical and dark. The mysteries may all take place in elegant settings among polite people, but when you get to know the characters they are ALL one step away from murder. She doesn't just have a nanny murder a toddler, in one book the murderer is an actual child!

I really think she's an underappreciated writer. Not just the Founding Mother of a whole genre, and one of the very best and most original writers within it, but a damn good writer by any standard.

by Anonymousreply 30January 28, 2023 11:31 PM

Branagh is now making a third Poirot film called A Haunting In Venice, based on Christie's 1969 story Hallowe'en Party.

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by Anonymousreply 31January 30, 2023 6:21 PM

First link was bad. Trying again.

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by Anonymousreply 32January 30, 2023 6:23 PM
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