Famous detective Hercule Poirot is called upon to solve
a murder that occurs on the train he is traveling on.
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Written by Paul Dehn
Starring Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam,
Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel,
Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Rachel Roberts, Richard Widmark,
Michael York, Colin Blakely, George Coulouris, Denis Quilley
Based on the novel by Agatha Christie
Oscar Wins - Best Supporting Actress (Ingrid Bergman)
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Albert Finney), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design,
Best Original Score (Richard Rodney Bennett)
Murder on the Orient Express is one of the most celebrated whodunit stories ever written, and the first film adaptation of that story is absolute gold. The film retains the mystery, the intrigue, the charm, the tone, and most importantly the interesting characters of Agatha Christie's classic detective novel. Director Sidney Lumet makes the story his own using a brilliant cast of iconic thespians like Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, and Ingrid Bergman and a screenplay that keeps the audience informed of the facts of the case while never once spoon-feeding the story to us.
The character of Hercule Poirot has been synonymous with the detective genre ever since Christie introduced him in 1920. Albert Finney delivers a fine performance as the iconic detective, playing him as an eccentric but oddly charming genius with the keen ability to see the little details others would often miss. When a man is murdered on the Orient Express during his travels, he takes it upon himself to solve the case, soon identifying a multi-layered conspiracy involving a kidnapping scheme and a revenge plot. The journey to the truth keeps you guessing until the very end, when the shocking reveal arrives and bewilders you no matter how many times you've seen it.
The cast brings such passion to their roles, even the minor ones. The original Murder on the Orient Express was very much an actors' film, relying on the strength of its ensemble just as much as its lead. With Kenneth Branagh's remake hitting theaters this weekend, I hope this method is retained for a new generation. The 1974 version worked because it cared about every character's story equally. Here's hoping the new one does the same.