Time: 128 mins.
Won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Bergman). Nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Score, Actor (Finney), Costume Design and Cinematography.
SYNOPSIS: In 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.
BOTTOM LINE: Good adaptations are hard to find. Agatha Christie fans need look no further. An all-star cast, headed by the impeccable Albert Finney as the infamous Poirot, brings this intelligent and intriguing murder mystery vibrantly to life. The film begins with the shocking kidnapping and murder of a young American girl, daughter of wealthy and connected parents. How her brutal death is connected to an equally vicious one on the Orient Express is the heart of the story and a joy to watch unfold. The unexpected presence of the great detective Hercule Poirot on the train causes nerves to rattle, but is not enough to stop the dastardly deed. Since the first class compartment is cut off from the rest of the train, it's clear from the beginning that the murderer is among the twelve privileged personages travelling alongside Poirot.
The only mystery is how and why someone wanted a wealthy, but otherwise uninteresting American business man dead. Finney's stunning performance is the glue that holds this piece together, giving the film charm, class, and wit. The first rate supporting cast doesn't hurt either. They each get their moment to shine, creating memorable characters despite the fact that they have to share most of the screen time. With Bergman, Bacall, Connery, Redgrave and Gielgud trying to get out of murder, you know you're in for a treat. The outcome isn't all that surprising, but the road to discovery is wonderfully played out. A literary treat that's just as enjoyable on the screen as on the page.