By OLINE H. COGDILL
I am not sure how I feel about this.
Murder on the Orient Express is one of my favorite movies.
The 1974 film directed by Sidney Lumet and based on Agatha Christie’s novel is one I never tire of.
That film starred Albert Finney as detective Hercule Poirot investigating an American tycoon’s murder aboard the train. The all-star cast of suspects included Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Colin Blakely, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, and Michael York.
It is, in my opinion, pretty darn perfect. And the final champagne scene is the kicker.
According to Variety, Murder on the Orient Express was a commercial success with $35 million in U.S. grosses. It was also nominated for six Academy Awards, with Bergman—portraying a Swedish missionary—winning her third Oscar, her first in the supporting category.
Christie’s 1934 novel also was adapted for a 2001 TV version. It aired on CBS and starred Alfred Molina and Leslie Caron.
So do we really need another version of Murder on the Orient Express?
Even if Kenneth Branagh, pictured above, is involved?
Branagh, one of our best actors, is set to star as Hercule Poirot and also will direct Fox’s reboot of Murder on the Orient Express. Branagh’s directing credits include Henry V, Thor, and Cinderella, not to mention the myriad turns at acting.
But, to repeat myself, do we really need another Murder on the Orient Express?
Surely there are other projects, even other Christie novels that can be filmed as Branagh projects.
I’m not saying the Branagh reboot wouldn’t be good—I just want new ideas not retread ones.
Apparently, the Christie estate is excited with this new version.
In a story that ran in Variety, James Prichard, chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd. and Christie’s great grandson, said, “The extraordinary thing about my great grandmother’s stories is just how timeless they are and how perfectly they lend themselves to the cinematic experience. Eighty years after the publication of the novel, Fox and its creative team will bring Murder on the Orient Express, a classic Christie tale, to new audiences across the world. We are genuinely excited about this partnership and with 33 Poirot stories to be told, we look forward to this being the first of many collaborations.”