Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Movie Review

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay)

Starring: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassell, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave

Plot: In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.

Tagline – The greatest cast of suspicious characters ever involved in murder.

Runtime: 2 Hour 8 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow, but Well Acted

Story: Murder on the Orient Express starts as the great inspector Hercule Poirot (Finney) hitches a ride on the famous Orient Express from Turkey back to London, only on his journey a passenger is murdered one night.

Hercule is pushed into investigating the case, which sees him talk to everybody on board as each one has a secret including the victim that might well have been involved in a famous crime that the murdered is believed to have been captured.

Thoughts on Murder on the Orient Express

Characters – Hercule Poirot is the world famous inspector that is known for solving nearly every case that comes his way, he can pick up on clues like nobody else and after his train journey to London he is given his latest case. He goes through the whole train’s passengers to figure out who committed the murder taking in each and every detail before solving the case. When it comes to the rest of the characters, we have a string of different suspects, with their own stories, they come from different backgrounds, with each being questioned by Poirot.

PerformancesAlbert Finney in the leading role is strong, he is much more watchable than the 2018 version of the character, keeping the character a lot more realistic. When we dive into the supporting cast, we have a star cast, who all get a scene or two with Finney, where they get to bring the characters to life.

StoryThe story here follows a world famous inspector that gets thrown into his latest case after his train journey sees a murder, this case will become one of his most complicated ones of his career. This is based on a classic novel, one of the best, but it is one that always seems to struggle to be transferred to film, it does have plenty of twists and turns along the way, but sadly the ending is one of the weakest of all the mysteries you will see. The ending does seem to take away any of the mystery about what we are watching, leaving us feeling very flat with the outcome.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is a murder that leads to the mystery about who committed it and why, one that Poirot must solve.

SettingsThe film keeps everything on board the train, it leads to the murder happening and with nowhere for the murder to run to, when the investigation starts.

Scene of the Movie – Finney is a good watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The ending always feels flat.

Final Thoughts This might well be a classic novel, it just doesn’t transfer to film very well at all, even with an amazing cast.

Overall: Just falls apart at the end.