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Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

4.3 15
Director: Sidney Lumet

Cast: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman


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Like many of Agatha Christie's mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express is predicated on an actual event, in this case the Lindbergh kidnapping. In the movie, everyone on board the Orient Express seems to have concluded that hateful financier Ratchett (Richard Widmark) was behind the abduction and murder of the infant daughter of a famed aviatrix. Thus, when


Like many of Agatha Christie's mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express is predicated on an actual event, in this case the Lindbergh kidnapping. In the movie, everyone on board the Orient Express seems to have concluded that hateful financier Ratchett (Richard Widmark) was behind the abduction and murder of the infant daughter of a famed aviatrix. Thus, when Ratchett is himself found murdered, everyone is suspect. Normally, the police would handle the investigation, but the train has been stalled by a snowslide halfway between Istanbul and Paris. Thus, it's up to the insufferable but brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (an unrecognizable Albert Finney) to activate his "little grey cells" and determine who's guilty. Among the suspects are colorful characters played by Lauren Bacall, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, Wendy Hiller, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, and Ingrid Bergman, whose performance won her a third Academy Award. (In her acceptance speech, Bergman apologized for her win, insisting that Day for Night's Valentina Cortese deserved the prize.) The first and best in a long line of contemporary Christie adaptations, the film scores on atmosphere, period detail, and richness of characterization.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Amy Robinson
A stylish whodunit in a class that fondly recalls old Hollywood, this treatment of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express by director Sidney Lumet is a zesty star-fest, jam-packed with big-screen images and memorable star turns. The knockout ensemble cast includes Albert Finney (as master detective Hercule Poirot), Lauren Bacall, John Gielgud, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, and Ingrid Bergman in an Oscar-winning performance. The tale takes places on a luxurious, snowbound transcontinental passenger train, as Poirot searches for a killer among the passengers. By virtue of its relatively simple plot and underlying morality play, Christie's source novel survives the transfer to film better than many of her more labyrinthine efforts. Finney, too, shines as Poirot, bringing to life to the fussy mannerisms that make the character so easily caricatured. The opening flashback sequences are striking and hauntingly effective, and the entire production is lavish and self-assured. Entertaining and appealingly old-fashioned, Murder on the Orient Express is a gripping tale of murder and retribution that reaffirms one's faith in the inescapable mechanisms of justice.
All Movie Guide
This lavish adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express is uncharacteristic territory for director Sidney Lumet. The creator of socially conscious message movies (12 Angry Men, Fail-Safe), intense emotional dramas (The Pawnbroker), dark satires (Dog Day Afternoon, Network), and morally complex crime movies (Serpico), Lumet usually marks his films with a gritty, realistic edge. Rich and visually ornate, Murder is opulent in both style and pacing. The leisurely direction appears well-suited to most members of the large, talented cast. Albert Finney was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor in the lead role and Ingrid Bergman won her third Oscar as a Swedish missionary (though Lumet initially wanted her for Wendy Hiller's role as the Russian princess). The elegant cinematography and costume design were also nominated for Academy Awards. The success of Murder paved the way for a number of other Christie adaptations.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
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Special Features

Closed Caption; ; Agatha Christie: A Portrait; 4-Part Series: Making Murder On The Orient Express; All Aboard!; The Ride; The Passengers; The End of the Line; Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Albert Finney Hercule Poirot
Lauren Bacall Mrs. Hubbard
Ingrid Bergman Greta
Sean Connery Col. Arbuthnot
Martin Balsam Bianchi
Vanessa Redgrave Mary Debenham
Jacqueline Bisset Countess Andrenyi
Richard Widmark Ratchett
Colin Blakely Hardman
Jean-Pierre Cassel Pierre
George Coulouris Dr. Constantine
Vernon Dobtcheff Concierge
John Gielgud Beddoes
Wendy Hiller Princess Dragomiroff
Jeremy Lloyd A.D.C.
John Moffatt Chief Attendant
Anthony Perkins McQueen
Denis Quilley Foscarelli
Rachel Roberts Hildegarde
George Silver Chef
Michael York Count Andrenyi

Technical Credits
Sidney Lumet Director
Richard Rodney Bennett Score Composer
John Brabourne Producer
Anne V. Coates Editor
Richard Goodwin Producer
Simon Holland Production Designer
Jack Stephens Art Director
Geoffrey Unsworth Cinematographer
Tony Walton Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer
Paul Dehn Screenwriter
Peter Handford Sound/Sound Designer
Marcus Dods Musical Direction/Supervision
Bill Rowe Sound/Sound Designer
Ted Sturgis Asst. Director
Agatha Christie Source Author

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Murder On The Orient Express
1. Chapter 1 [:20]
1. The Armstrong Kidnapping [2:29]
2. Monsieur Hercule Poirot [3:21]
3. Departure Of The Orient Express [3:32]
4. Dining With Total Strangers [3:08]
5. Prelude To Murder [3:55]
6. Too Many Clues [5:48]
7. Questions In The Pullman Coach [1:14]
8. Mrs. Hubbard Plays A Part [6:24]
9. Is The Countess Lying? [6:06]
10. Evasion From Princess Dragonmiroff [7:02]
11. Colonel Arbuthnott's Reluctant Answer [6:36]
12. The Dagger [:48]
13. Gamble Of The Last Interrogation [7:41]
14. A More Complex Solution [1:43]
15. The Time Of The Murder [2:54]
16. Signor Bianchi Must Choose [4:50]
17. End Credits [2:08]


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Murder on the Orient Express 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
luxurious setting and costumes....transport to a different time and place and sit back ...watch what intense and faithful love can accomplish...have seen the movie over a dozen times and STILL shed a tear at the end...oh my goodness!!! incredible story line ( you have to be of a certain age to know of the Lindy baby murder) I just loved the feel of the movie, it's like sipping a fine wine vs a cheap bottle of apple annie....I love the justice of it all, yes, it's a vigilante movie and yes there is murder but it is done with style and wonder ful colors! I STILL shed a tear at the end and I also breath a sigh of relief with all of the characters in the movie....oh my, put your feet up and fall into this little gem....bon voyage!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With a dream cast like this how could you go wrong? The director deftly moves this movie along while making you forget the cramped quarters that he has to deal with. The costumes alone would be worth watching the movie. But the wonderful cast makes this an all time classic. Agatha fans will not be disapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Agatha Christie, and this was a wonderful who-done-it! There were so many famous hollywood stars wrapped up in one movie. Everyone played their role to the hilt! There was a lot going on in the "Orient Express".
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the best murder-on-a-train mysteries to come out of Hollywood. A who's-who of film talent and an elegantly stylish production make this a must for mystery fans, and is one of the best Agatha Christie film adaptations by far. Finney may not be everyone's choice to play Poirot, but he is delightful and formidable at the same time. Stellar roster of international star talent! Not a dud in the bunch. And you'll only know who done it if you've read the novel, I guarantee.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First rate entertainment from the great director Sidney Lumet. From the fascinating opening sequence that chronicles the Lindbergh kidnapping to the grand finale, this is a unique 'detective' film featuring the famous Hercule Poirot and the Orient Express train. The production is flawless, and the performances are pitch perfect. This mystery is more about the journey than the destination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a Hercule Poirot fan and the Murder on the Orient Express book got me introduced to him. The film is mostly honest to the book although the book is better. I could have done without the whole beginning with the kidnapping as the book does not go into detail on this any more than it needed to. It gives too much away to the audience. It was better when, like the book, the reader found this out much later. That's the secret of a good Christie novel--she doesn't give you that last piece until the very end. Who other than Christie would have come up with a plot where EVERYONE did it "even though they seemed unrelated" and showed how EACH person fit in? Sheer genius. Albert Finney is very good as Poirot. I am still waiting for David Suchet to do this movie as he is the ultimate Poirot to me. Sorry to whoever compared this movie to Clue--what are you thinking? Clue is an OK spoof first off and not as well done. "Murder by Death" is a better spoof.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the most long, boring movie I have ever seen. I bought it because they acted like is was like Clue (the best movie in the world!). However, it does not even come close to Clue. Don't waste your time with this movie.