When they re-made Murder on the Orient Express a couple of years back, I made it a point to NOT go see it. The Albert Finney version made in 1974 is a favorite of mine and you all know full well that I don’t generally like Hollywood to re-make my favorites.
But it’s been on tv lately, so I succumbed last week. It wasn’t a good beginning as far as I was concerned and by the time it got to the discovery of Ratchett’s body (which was very weirdly and disorientingly shot from above), I was done. Then a couple of nights ago, I thought “what the heck” and clicked it on. By luck of the draw, it was right in the spot where I had turned it off before so I didn’t have to watch the first 25 minutes again. I made myself watch it until the end.
For the most part I like Kenneth Branagh but his Poirot was dark and moody, something I didn’t expect. The characters weren’t all the same and the two movies varied widely on how the interviews were done and the murder solved. Not to mention a couple of wildly grandstanding moments like when Branagh is standing on TOP of the stalled train “thinking”. This MOE just isn’t a good a film as the 1974.
The wide variations between the two films made me really stop and wonder. Do I really know which of the two movies is closest to the book? I have to admit that no, I do not. I read Murder on the Orient Express in high school, which is when I read all the other Agatha Christie novels. High school was a LONG time ago so I’ll have to say, except for the stunning “they all killed him” denouement at the end, I really don’t remember most of the book.
You know where this is going, right? I’ve requested the book from the library to find out. I’m hoping the 1974 version is closer to the book, but even if it isn’t, I’m pretty sure it will still be my favorite!
When was the last time you had to look something up to refresh your memory? Any movie remakes that you actually LIKE?