February 15, 2010

Movies for Grown-Ups: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

(Like many Netflix customers, I too can get quite lax with the timely watching and returning of my movies, which of course defeats the entire purpose of having a flat-rate rental plan in the first place. To combat that, I am now writing standardized mini-reviews of each and every movie I end up watching through Netflix, both instantly and on DVD. Don't forget, all previous 'Justify My Netflix' reviews can be found on CCLaP's main movie page.)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Today's movie: Murder on the Orient Express, 1974 (Amazon | IMDB | Netflix | Wikipedia)

Why I added it to my queue: Because I've recently gotten interested in watching the series of "all-star" Agatha Christie big-budget film adaptations made back in the 1970s and early '80s, of which this is the first; plus I have these strange memories as a small child of seeing something like thirty seconds of this in the theatre when walking by its screening room and being completely creeped out, which of course has made me want to see the entire thing ever since.

The reality: Fantastic! And I mean, sheesh, you can't really ask for a better adaptation of a classic mystery novel than this -- it features a huge budget, spectacular '70s anamorphic cinematography, a literal recreation of the old Victorian-Era Orient Express train (including the tracking-down and refixing of its actual real-life engine car), an almost holy reverence for the original text, and a wet-dream cast that includes Anthony Perkins, John Gielgud, Richard Widmark, Jacqueline Bisset, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Sean Connery, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman (who won an Oscar for her role), and Albert Finney (also nominated for an Oscar) as notorious Belgian fussypants Hercule Poirot. What's not to like?!

Strangest piece of trivia: Widmark claimed in later interviews that the only reason he signed on was for the chance to meet and hang out with the rest of the dream-team cast.

Worth your time? Yes

Filed by Jason Pettus at 7:43 AM, February 15, 2010. Filed under: Movies | Reviews |