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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Agatha Christie's Poirot Collection
(Murder On The Orient Express / Death On The Nile / Evil Under The Sun)


Starring: Peter Ustinov and Albert Finney
Distributor: StudioCanal
RRP: £34.99
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 20 January 2014

Based on one of Agatha Christie’s all time favourite crime heroes, Oscar Nominee Albert Finney and two-time Oscar winner Peter Ustinov take on the role of the nation’s much loved Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. The collection brings to life three of Agatha Christie’s best-known novels, with Albert Finney marking the beginning of Poirot’s on screen journey along with Ingrid Bergman who gives an Oscar winning performance in Murder on the Orient Express. Death on the Nile sees Peter Ustinov step into Finney’s shoes to great acclaim. Four years later, Ustinov reprises the role alongside some of Britain’s best-loved actresses Jane Birkin, Dame Maggie Smith and Diana Rigg in Evil Under the Sun...

The Agatha Christie's Poirot Collection contains three of the detective's most critically acclaimed movie adaptations from the '70s / early '80s.

Murder on the Orient Express (1974) is an elegant, all star production introducing Albert Finney as the first screen Hercule Poirot. A no-good American tycoon lies dead with twelve dagger wounds, but which of the passengers is the guilty party? This classic includes an Oscar winning performance from Ingrid Bergman.

This movie is packed to the rafters with some of the finest character actors of the time, including Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York and Anthony Perkins. The writers also have a little fun with Perkins's character (who was most famous for playing the part of Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho) as Poirot asks him if he lives with his mother and then goes on to explore the character's mother issues.

Death on the Nile (1978) won an Oscar for Anthony Powell’s costume design and introduced Peter Ustinov in his first portrayal as the Belgian detective Poirot. Aboard a luxury Nile steamer a mystery assassin takes the life of an heiress.

Once again, this movie features some impressive performances from some very famous actors, including Simon MacCorkindale, Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, George Kennedy, Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury and David Niven.

Evil Under the Sun (1982) is the story of one man’s efforts to fathom the mysterious death at a resort hotel in the Mediterranean.

The impressive cast includes James Mason, Maggie Smith, Roddy McDowall and Diana Rigg.

I haven't seen these movies in years (probably since the late '80s and I was surprised to discover how well they've managed to stand the test of time... and how much humour is also injected into them, especially in Murder on the Orient Express. There's also a little racism that creeps into these films - two of which see characters describing Poirot as "obviously a Frog" and in Evil Under the Sun when one character says: "It's not right and it's not fair" another character says: "Sounds like a black man's left leg."

Sadly there are no extras at all on this collection, but that doesn't really detract from what is a lovingly restored collection of movies that all murder mystery fans should add to their Blu-ray collection.


Darren Rea

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