The ’80s were Christie’s most prosperous decade for adaptations until the 2000s, with Peter Ustinov‘s Poirot, Joan Hickson‘s Marple, Francesca Annis and James Warwick as Tommy and Tuppence, and assorted other film and TV adaptations. While Christie had been disappointed with the vast majority of adaptations in her lifetime, the 80s would see her work treated far more reverently, and thus lead to David Suchet‘s purist revival in the 90s. Yet, however obliquely, most of these would not have been possible without this pair of TV movies from the start of the decade.

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Welcome back, folks, as we review Peter Ustinov‘s final two performances as Hercule Poirot. After two big-budget, all-star, location-based extraordinaires, Ustinov had returned to play the character in two, much lesser TV films. But while only one of the four movies – Evil Under the Sun – was really good, Ustinov’s performance is unquestionably delightful, particularly as he was allowed free reign of the character on the small screen. Today, we’ll look at his last two outings: the first a TV movie, and the second his return to the silver screen.

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Film Review: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

with Albert Finney (Hercule Poirot), Lauren Bacall (Mrs. Hubbard), Martin Balsam (M. Bianchi), Ingrid Bergman (Greta), Jacqueline Bisset (Countess Andrenyi), Jean-Pierre Cassel (Pierre), Sean Connery (Colonel Arbuthnot), John Gielgud (Beddoes), Wendy Hiller (Princess Dragomiroff), Anthony Perkins (McQueen), Vanessa Redgrave (Mary Debenham), Rachel Roberts (Hildegarde Schmidt), Richard Widmark (Ratchett), Michael York (Count Andrenyi), Colin Blakely (Cyrus P. Hardman), Denis Quilley (Foscarelli)

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