Agatha by Michael Apted |Dustin Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton | 883316236673 | DVD | Barnes & Noble
Agatha

Agatha

3.0 2
Director: Michael Apted

Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton

     
 

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What happened when best-selling mystery novelist Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days back in 1926? The British Agatha "answers" that question. Vanessa Redgrave is cast as Ms. Christie, who vanished from her home not long after her husband (Timothy Dalton) informed her that he was leaving her. Nearly two weeks later, after being the subject of a nationwide

Overview

What happened when best-selling mystery novelist Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days back in 1926? The British Agatha "answers" that question. Vanessa Redgrave is cast as Ms. Christie, who vanished from her home not long after her husband (Timothy Dalton) informed her that he was leaving her. Nearly two weeks later, after being the subject of a nationwide search, Christie showed up none the worse for wear at a health spa in Yorkshire, insisting that she could remember nothing of her experiences during her disappearance. According to scriptwriters Kathleen Tynan and Arthur Hopcraft, Christie was located before her return by American reporter Wally Stanton (an uncomfortable-looking Dustin Hoffman), after enjoying a brief romantic fling with the authoress. The journalist decided to keep his discovery a secret. Another plot wrinkle concerns Christie's plan for revenge against her errant husband -- a scheme with all the earmarks of a Miss Marple or Poirot whodunit. Agatha represented former TV director Michael Apted's matriculation to A-pictures with major stars; he fared better with his subsequent endeavor, Coal Miner's Daughter (1980).

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
There's so much that's right with Agatha that it's a shame its flaws are equally substantial. The biggest flaw, and the one that does the most damage, is simply that it tries to be two films -- a speculative mystery and a quirky romance -- instead of one. Had it stuck to the former, creating a real Agatha Christie-like puzzle full of intricate pieces, it might have been a memorable picture, for the mystery portion of the film is very engaging. Unfortunately, the writers opted to muddle up the proceedings through the introduction of a supposed attraction between Agatha and Stanton, which throws the film off-track and out of kilter. It doesn't help matters that there's a lack of chemistry between Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman, or that Hoffman, while undeniably interesting and engaging, is a bit too mannered. By contrast, Redgrave is simply sublime, turning in a performance that's always a joy to watch and manages to mix naturalism with a certain heightened reality to very good effect. Michael Apted's direction is smooth, if not quite up to the task of melding the film's disparate moods into a cohesive whole, and the film has a glorious look -- sumptuous costumes, lovely sets, atmospheric cinematography. If all Agatha's assets can't quite overcome the problems with the script, they still are worthy of admiration.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/03/2010
UPC:
0883316236673
Original Release:
1979
Rating:
PG
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:38:00
Sales rank:
30,023

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dustin Hoffman Wally Stanton
Vanessa Redgrave Agatha Christie
Timothy Dalton Capt. Archibald Christie
Helen Morse Evelyn Crawley
Celia Gregory Nancy Neele
Paul Brooke John Foster
Yvonne Gilan Mrs. Braithwaite
David Hargreaves Sgt. Jarvis
Peter Arne Hotel Manager
Pamela Austin Pierrots
Alan Badel Lord Brackenbury
Howard Blake Hotel Trio
Tony Britton William Collins
Anne Francis Jane
John Joyce Hotel Waiter
Robert Longden Pettelson
Donald Nithsdale Uncle Jones
Carolyn Pickles Charlotte Fisher
Hubert Rees Official at Literary Luncheon
Tim Seely Capt. Rankin
Liz Smith Flora
Irene Sutcliffe Dress Shop Manageress
Sandra Voe Therapist
Timothy West Kenward

Technical Credits
Michael Apted Director
Jarvis Astaire Producer
Jonathan Benson Asst. Director
Jim Clark Editor
Simon Holland Art Director
Arthur Hopcraft Screenwriter
Gavrik Losey Producer
Johnny Mandel Score Composer
Shirley Russell Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
Vittorio Storaro Cinematographer
Agatha Christie Source Author
Kathleen Tynan Screenwriter
Christian Wangler Sound/Sound Designer

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Agatha 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best mystery movies ever! This is a clever little film that had no recognition when it was in the theaters. I was very happy to see it out on DVD.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would not recommend this ridiculous movie to anyone.