Sunday, July 11, 2010

The 100 Best Movies: #79

79. Murder On the Orient Express (1974)

This movie is based on one my most favorite books. Seriously, I think it is in my Top 10 list of Novels. Agatha Christie was one of the best writers in her genre and her greatest character has to be the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. So it was natural that her most successful work would be turned into a film. The author herself was slightly disappointed with the film treatment her novel got, but that was because of the changes they made to suit the all-star cast the producers obtained. Even though the film is slightly different from the novel, director Sidney Lumet does a brilliant job of giving the audience the same chilling and mysterious feeling the novel has. The look of the film (with gorgeous production and costume design by Broadway legend Tony Walton) is so enchanting that it takes you into the world of the Orient Express and its mystique. The lighting and photography (by Geoffrey Unsworth, who had done similar work in Bob Fosse's Cabaret) is especially thrilling in the climax. The cast is perfect in each role from Albert Finney (as Christie's stalwart detective) to Lauren Bacall (as the prima donna actress) to Ingrid Bergman (in an Oscar-winning role as a religious nursemaid). Each performance is an important piece of Christie's intriguing puzzle. It is a great adaptation of one of the best novels of the 20th century.

Next Post: #78

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