Genre: Dramatic crime mystery
Plot: Emily Boynton, step-mother to the three Boynton children and mother to Ginevra, blackmails the family lawyer, Jefferson Cope, into destroying a second will of her late husband which would have freed the children from her dominating influence. She takes herself and the children on holiday to Europe and the Holy Land, where she is murdered. Hercule Poirot investigates.
Key Characters: Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov), Lady Westholme (Lauren Bacall), Emily Boynton (Piper Laurie), Nadine Boynton (Carrie Fisher).
Review: we rated as between 3 out of 5.
Most of the attendees found the movie enjoyable. It was noted that the facial expressions were striking, which was possibly due to the stage experience by many of the actors. With the camera focussing in on the faces on some occasions, this was not always found to be a positive. Mostly we found Ustinov’s performance was good, although not all agreed. We discussed how Poirot’s moustache portrayed by different actors we had seen in the role – Ustinov’s was perhaps underplayed, with Kenneth Branagh’s well overplayed; David Suchet’s was somewhere in between. The talent of some of the actors was displayed, with it taking some time to recognise the actor asseen in other movies. One example was Carrie Fisher playing Nadine Boynton.
Further: Our March movie will be the 1970 version of The Railway Children, based on the novel by E.Nesbit. We aim to start watching the movie promptly at 1:00pm so that we have time to discuss the movie.
With all the movies we watch, we look at them as literature – literature in a different medium, the medium of film. This helps to focus the discussion, covering ideas around genre, characters, plot, but also adding the aspects that relate to film, such as cinemascope, music and atmosphere.