Top positive review
14 people found this helpful
Classic title, stellar cast
on 9 April 2009
In this timeless classic, our Belgian detective (in his usual timely manner) finds himself on the Orient Express just as a murder takes place. A snow drift forces the train to stop, giving Poirot time to interview each of the passengers and investigate what turns out to be a most intricate case. As the detective unravels the clues left by the unknown assassin; the statements of the suspects; the murder's connection with the notorious Armstrong case from years earlier, we get the distinct impression that things are not as simple as they seem... and now we have ourselves a show.
I find Albert Finney's Poirot is not as purely cultivated as that of David Suchet, who has had years to perfect his role as the Belgian detective... but frankly, this is a matter of taste. Finney is not at all bad, even if I don't personally fancy his particular interpretation. The accent is a bit poor, but his body language, even his loudness does not bother me; it is a different way of doing it, but not at all out of place.
The rest of the cast, however, deserve a paragraph of their own. It is a list of juggernauts - Lauren Bacall is sharp, cold and talkative; Jacqueline Bisset shy and beautiful; Michael York the perfect gentleman; Sean Connery his usual authoritative and cultivated self; Vanessa Redgrave a golden bird lighting up the room whenever she enters; Ingrid Bergman a visual talent très magnifique. The list goes on, and that Bergman was the only one to take home an Oscar after this is a mystery to me - it could just as easily have been a nomination for Connery, Bacall and especially the director: Sidney Lumet. Frankly, the director did an excellent job keeping all this talent in check; you would want to unleash them all, giving each of them more time on the screen just as a matter of course... but that might have been a case of getting too much of a good thing - taking the limelight away from the mystery and its main protagonist: Hercule Poirot.
This item offers good value for money. It is a single DVD in a normal box, no extra wrappings, booklets or discs. You don't want that in a thing such as this. This film is a classic, and you don't really want hour upon hour of interviews with people you have hardly heard of, telling you about the intricacies of classic film-making and how the cast members insisted upon getting fresh pineapples in their trailers every morning... face it: all you want is the film itself on DVD - no sugar added. This item gives you that pleasure for less than a fiver - a good deal, my little grey cells think.