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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    After adding to the thread on 'Day of the Jackal' I was reminded of a film that I feel is in a similar class. Like DOTJ its source is a piece of popular fiction the kind that rarely gets top flight directors - well in this case like DOTJ Agatha Christie has for only the third time in all the movie adaptations of her work had a great director - Sydney Lumet (Rene Claire and Billy Wilder being the others). This movie makes all the other 'all star' Christie adaptations look flaccid and overblown. The cast really IS top notch and more importantly effectively used - Connery, Widmark, Hiller, Redgrave, Perkins, York, Gielgud, Bisset, Bergman et al. Albert Finney is my favorite Poirot - not playing him for laughs or making him too charming.



    All in all this film is beautifully constructed and has I find some quite chilling sequences. Flashbacks are also used effectively and tension is maintained in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the railway carriages.



    The best Christie since 'Witness for the Prosecution' and streets ahead of the later adaptations.

  2. #2
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    Windthrop - I agree with you (but I know some on this site think that Finney was miscast - not me!)



    Here's some trivia:



    The film was shot during the last few days of the original Orient Express - the train has now been restored to its former glory and one look at the restored train shows how badly rundown the original had become (as evidenced in the movie.)



    Most of the action (Poirot's interrogation and summing up) were filmed in the LaLique Dining Car. When that car was restored in the mid-1980s one of the priceless LaLique glass panels was stolen and had to be recreated by latter-day artisans.



    Some of the scenes were shot in what is known as the "Service Car" - pretty posh for a utility car!



    The restored Orient Express travels a number of routes in Europe today, known as the Venice Simplon Orient Express, although the Simplon Tunnel is no longer on the route. Its most frequent route is London to Venice usually pulling 15 to 19 carriages including a bar car and 3 restaurant cars. A far cry from the 4 or 5 cars shown in the movie.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: UK batman's Avatar
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    Travelling on the Orient Express must be fantastic.



    Bats.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    I am more of a Miss Marple fan (Margaret Rutherford and Joan Hickson) than a Poirot,but I did enjoy this shamelessly all star spectacular. I also love Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's sumptious Orient Waltz,as the train leaves the station.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NappieB
    Windthrop - I agree with you (but I know some on this site think that Finney was miscast - not me!)
    There no accounting for taste - you can either recognise great acting or not

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    yes I agree too, Finney was superb as Poiret...miscast??.....never....he played it perfectly. Did they really film inside real train carriages? I never knew that, I would have thought to get a 10 to 20 strong film crew plus camera and lighting and all those cast members in a real train carriage would have been a pretty tight squeeze!! sureley it would have been easier to build a set with removable walls etc! and film in a nice cosy studio! I mean Kubrick built a whole huge interior of a snow bound hotel , why not a small interior set of a snow bound train?

  7. #7
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    Batman - yes, the restored Orient Express is a dream! The pic you posted is of dining car number three (I forget the name...each dining car has a name). Number three was my favorite dining car all decked out extensively in spectacular fruitwood marquetry! (The others are number two - finished in a sort of Oriental Laquer, and number one, the LaLique car.) I believe the pic must have been taken before my trip in late 2005, because it seems the upholstery has been upgraded even further now.



    Christoph404 - I'm sure some scenes were filmed in some sort of studio setting - I'm no expert, but the actual interior of the train was used a great deal... for at least 80% of the train scenes I would estimate! The departure point (supposedly Istanbul station) had to be mocked up and a nearby shunters' yard used because of difficulties filming in the real station.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Perhaps not as exotic,but I have been reliably informed that an evening meal of the Pullman on the North Yorks. Moor Railway is excellent. I understand that this year the service is extending to Whitby. As I say,perhaps not as exotic as the Orient Express,but a ride through the North Yorkshire Moors more than compensates. I am not sure whether it does a "Murder on the Pickering/Grosmont Line" themed evening,with Oscar Blaketon from Heartbeat,conducting the investigations. A good idea though.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  9. #9
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    You might get a bite on the tube on the other hand that may not be what you had expected

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    Brand-new interview with Richard Rodney Bennett this week just gone, regarding his score for 'Orient Express'.



    Radio 4 programme entitled "Train Tracks" broadcast Tuesday 25th August @ 1.30 pm. May still be available for re-play on the BBC Radio i-player/podcast.

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