Murder On The Orient Express (2017?)


Poirot is no longer a weekly series, an occasional 2-hour special or a couple of films from the 70s. Oh no, now it’s a film with Jonny Depp in it.

That’s a pretty star-studded cast for ol’ Poirot.


Uh-oh, now I’m wondering if Depp’s character in Kevin Smith’s latest movie turds is going to be his template for Poirot…



So was the original movie, of course. Bergman, Bacall, Finney, Connery. Gielgud, Redgrave, Perkins. It’s a remarkably silly movie, considering.


Will Depp’s Poirot have a penis for a nose?


Yeah but I’m not a million years old, and therefore those people aren’t stars to me!

(I actually watched Death On The Nile when it was on TV the other day. That was a star studded cast, and some of them weren’t at their full peak of star-dome yet, e.g. Maggie Smith or Angela Lansbury!)

ps: @Telefrog, Depp isn’t Poirot, he’s the guy that gets murdered in the first few chapters. Am I allowed to say that? Is it a spoiler? By a suspicious coincidence I’m currently listening to the audiobook of Murder On The Orient Express, so I don’t know even who the murderer is.


I think it’s pretty safe to assume that in a movie called Murder on the Orient Express someone is going to get murdered.


But he’s going to have a penis-nose, yes? Pleeeeeease?




For those who thought otherwise, Depp is not playing Poirot in this. And the cast looks fantastic.


Remaking a murder mystery is dumb. Everybody that is really interested already knows who the murderer is.


Ok, ok. So I was totally down with this trailer until the musical cue at the end. What the hell. That’s terrible.


Not necessarily. I doubt many people watch an Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes movie or play adaptation for the mystery. They watch it to see the production’s particular spin on the story and the acting. Like Shakespeare adaptions, it’s less about a straightforward reading of text as it is finding new or interesting ways to present it to the audience. Even updating the directorial style is sometimes worthy.

Case in point, I think the most famous version of this story would be the 1974 Sidney Lumet movie. It’s got a ton of great actors and it’s a spot-on adaptation, but modern audiences won’t watch it because it is old and boring to anyone that didn’t grow up on a steady diet of Hollywood past. While I wouldn’t expect Michael Bay explosions or CG wizardry here, it’s obvious from the trailer that the editing and shot composition is distinctly more appealing to modern sensibilities.

Now, I have my doubts that an Agatha Christie period piece will appeal to anyone but us old folks regardless, but that’s another thing entirely.


That’s an interesting thought. When I read Sherlock Holmes and all of the Agatha Christie books in the 80s, I was struck by how well it had aged. They took cabs, people rang people’s houses. You had the same technology when the books were written, essentially, as when I read them in the 80s. I was surprised that they could be interpreted as contemporary novels. I didn’t know when I read them that they were written so long ago. So for example, when someone took a cab, I thought they were taking the modern London taxi. But then later when I watch the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes, it turns out it was a horse carriage, but that was also referred to as a cab back then apparently (apologies if I’m mixing up terms, but the point is, the term hadn’t changed when the technology changed). When people called the phone, they called it, but it was only after watching on TV that I learned that phones used to look different back then. But that stuff isn’t mentioned in the books, so they seemed modern. And I think Agatha Christie’s novels actually are more modern than Canon Doyle’s. But they both seemed contemporary to me on paper a lot of times.

The difference is, I’ve never seen a visual representation of Christie’s novels before. I always meant to check out various BBC series, but never have. So my only reference for all the novels is from the novels.

But yeah, interesting thought about us old folks. Because even though things seemed contemporary back when I read the novels during the 80s, I doubt if that’s the case anymore. The lack of cell phones will be immediately obvious I bet.


Looks good, it’s not how I picture Poirot, that’s David Suchet’s version, but just the amount of well known actors on the movie should guarantee a good experience.


Oh that coy tagline. “Everyone is a suspect” And everyone is guilty!

Both “Orient Express” and (as another Christie example) “And Then There Were None” are nice showcases for actors and hence can be a lot of fun even if you already know the ending.

One thing that hasn’t aged well about a lot of Christie plots is that some of them fall apart if everyone has a cellphone. Partly because of the communications angle but also because it’s an accurate timepiece - a whole bunch of Christie plots have potentially inaccurate clocks as clues, or red herrings.

… Come to think about it, solving “Orient Express” would take about five minutes if Poirot had had access to Google.


If they remade it like you suspect, yeah that would be dumb. I doubt that they follow the exact plot of the original Agatha Christie novel. It will be similar in pace and style but I really do not expect the murderer to be the same as in the book. In fact, the “suspects” listed in the trailer are not all the same people as the ones in the book.


Sure, many of you know her novels, but how many of you know about Agatha Christie?

Here’s a biography.
Narrated and hosted by David Suchet.
It includes the time she went missing, which is in itself a fascinating story.


It really is. . .


I disagree that it’s boring (I mean, sure, it doesn’t have whizz bang action scenes, but not all movies have to), but I do agree it’s a tough sell for modern audiences. Mainly because as I said above, it comes across as very silly, and also we’ve been spoiled on that sort of narrative by Clue. It’s just impossible to take it seriously.

It’s ITV, not BBC.

For real? Have you never seen an old movie?


I have, but I didn’t know when I read the novels that the books weren’t written in more contemporary times.