Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
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- 128 min.
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Sidney Lumet's 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, or rather it's third act, should rightfully be considered the high bar of Agatha Christie adaptations, or indeed, of any reveal of how a crime was committed. While the pieces are well laid out before that point, following the novel faithfully in all but a few trivial details, it's the manic and yet precise way Albert Finney's Poirot, despite his horrendous French, solves it in one master scene that makes the film work as well as it does. I don't think all the characters are introduced as well as I would like in the first act, but the steady procedural pace highlights the important clues very neatly, and the confrontations between Poirot and the suspects are electric. Despite a new adaptation having just hit movie screens, it has not been made redundant. Rather, Branagh's 2017 version seems to go out of its way not to repeat it, and two could be seen as complementary rather than rivals.
This definitely needs to be included in some official top-lists!
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