Miscellaneous Rumbles

Murder On The Orient Express

2

Anyone planning on seeing this?

– Enis Penvy

Yes, although I'll probably wait until it's available on DVD through Netflix. Early reviews here (eastern PA) are pretty much "OK" -- not great.

3

The cast is outta site. Will it live up to the hype?

4

Will it live up to the original is the question.

5

YES!!!!!!

Not the greatest reviews, but I loved the book and I think the 1974 film version is one of the greatest films ever made.

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is the most iconic of all mysteries. It is undoubtedly the most famous and everybody who reads or sees it knows why. (I won't tell.)

I am a big movie fan and often discuss the greatest performances by actors in history. I do go with the usual suspects -- Brando in ON THE WATERFRONT, DeNiro in RAGING BULL -- but I also always mention Albert Finney in ORIENT EXPRESS. I have seen that film a dozen times and still marvel at what he does in that film. The final reel of that film he delivers twenty minutes of straight dialogue (and he does so in front of a cast of Hollywood legends). It is still astounding to watch. One of the greatest performance is cinema history.

I remember being shocked as heck when I found out that Albert Finney was a British guy who looked like this:

6

Buttered popcorn and frozen Coke. I'm in.

7

Spiritwalker - You should see Albert Finney in Scrooge that came out in 1970. It's one of my favorites around the Christmas season. He plays the best decrepit miserable Ebeneezer Scrooge I have ever seen.

I also plan on seeing Murder On the Orient Express but my favorite portrayal of Hercule Poirot by far is by the late Peter Ustinov. I loved "Death On the Nile" and thought "Evil Under the Sun" was exceptional. That cast included Maggie Smith, James Mason, Roddy McDowall, and Diana Rigg.

8

Another vote for the inestimable Mr Ustinov! His "little grey cells" performances were exactly how I pictured the character.

9

I always though David Suchet was one of the best actually i'll probably check this one out though.

10

Another vote for the inestimable Mr Ustinov! His "little grey cells" performances were exactly how I pictured the character.

– Kevin Frye

Just watched him in We're No Angels with Bogart. Terrific flick with lots of quick wit throughout. One of his best for me.

11

Spiritwalker - You should see Albert Finney in Scrooge that came out in 1970. It's one of my favorites around the Christmas season. He plays the best decrepit miserable Ebeneezer Scrooge I have ever seen.

I also plan on seeing Murder On the Orient Express but my favorite portrayal of Hercule Poirot by far is by the late Peter Ustinov. I loved "Death On the Nile" and thought "Evil Under the Sun" was exceptional. That cast included Maggie Smith, James Mason, Roddy McDowall, and Diana Rigg.

– NJDevil
  1. Thanks for the tip. If I come across Albert Finney as Scrooge I will definitely watch. Funny, I really have not seen him in many films. Maybe three or four at most. I suppose he was under-utilized by Hollywood. I look at Finney's filmography and he really does not have an impressive one.

  2. Peter Ustinov is the better Hercule Poirot? You are nuts. Let me say this first: I rate Ustinov as one of the greatest actors in history. His scenes with Charles Laughton in SPARTACUS should be studied by every actor on Earth. Even in silly movies like LOGAN'S RUN, Ustinov is excellent. But, boy, was he so wrong with his portrayal of Poirot. I get no sense of a shrewd, deep thinking man that Poirot must be. Ustinov plays him like the jolly old uncle who you have fun with on holidays. Poirot is actually a dangerous man -- almost like a hired assassin (he gets killers) - yet, none of that comes through with Ustinov. I did see that Shuset guy once as Poirot and I found his take on the character fine...and a million times better than Ustinov's. But it is still Finney who does wonders with that character. Stunning performance. Shame he never did it again.

Yes!

No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12

It's David Suchet for me all the way.

13

It's David Suchet for me all the way.

– Afire

Man, that's like saying Steve Martin's Inspector Clouseau over Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau.

Have you ever seen Albert Finney's Poirot?

14

I have. You might try more than one episode of the TV show.

15

YES!!!!!!

Not the greatest reviews, but I loved the book and I think the 1974 film version is one of the greatest films ever made.

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is the most iconic of all mysteries. It is undoubtedly the most famous and everybody who reads or sees it knows why. (I won't tell.)

I am a big movie fan and often discuss the greatest performances by actors in history. I do go with the usual suspects -- Brando in ON THE WATERFRONT, DeNiro in RAGING BULL -- but I also always mention Albert Finney in ORIENT EXPRESS. I have seen that film a dozen times and still marvel at what he does in that film. The final reel of that film he delivers twenty minutes of straight dialogue (and he does so in front of a cast of Hollywood legends). It is still astounding to watch. One of the greatest performance is cinema history.

I remember being shocked as heck when I found out that Albert Finney was a British guy who looked like this:

– Spiritwalker

Spiritwalker on this we agree. The cast on that version was superb. From Albert Finney on down. The first thing I thought when I heard it was being remade was, "Why?" Why is Hollywood remaking pictures that do not need to be remade. That movie will be just as timeless in fifty years. Most sequels will not.

16
"Why?" Why is Hollywood remaking pictures that do not need to be remade.

Good question. I have always said if Hollywood wants to do remakes, then they should remake bad movies. Give it a go and improve on them. What is the point of remaking ORIENT EXPRSS, a movie that, as you said, is timeless?

TAKING OF PELHAM 123, FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, PLANET OF THE APES, POSEIDON ADVENTURE, ROBOCOP, ARTHUR, ROBOCOP, SWEPT AWAY, STRAW DOGS....great films, and yet they were all recently remade for some reason. What reason would I want to watch a remake when I can watch the great original? Remake crap like THE SWARM. That movie stunk, but the idea for a good film was there.

17

What reason would I want to watch a remake when I can watch the great original?

Because there are millions of people who have no interest in watching old movies. So, you take a tried and true story that's known to make a good movie, load it with current box office draws, and hope that some of those millions of people who haven't seen the original and don't care to will buy tickets.

It may be lazy, but I don't think it's hard to understand the thinking behind it.

18

See Albert Finney in Tom Jones. One of the best "dinner" scenes ever.

19

What reason would I want to watch a remake when I can watch the great original?

Because there are millions of people who have no interest in watching old movies. So, you take a tried and true story that's known to make a good movie, load it with current box office draws, and hope that some of those millions of people who haven't seen the original and don't care to will buy tickets.

It may be lazy, but I don't think it's hard to understand the thinking behind it.

– Afire

Actually, I think that it is more of a dearth of new, fresh ideas as well as a desire from actors to make a vanity picture. Rarely do the new ones come close to the originals.

Now if they wanted to remake a movie that was pretty decent, I would nominate Clear and Present Danger and suggest that they make it closer to the book because the movie strayed so far in spots.

20

Remaking movies? How many Batman, vampire, chop and slash movies do we need? Hollywood bigwigs seem to be afraid to try something new, and instead stick to tried and true methods (like the casting couch).

21

See Albert Finney in Tom Jones. One of the best "dinner" scenes ever.

– lx

YES!!! It was a WONDERFUL movie and (I think) the first role for which Mr. Finney was nominated for Best Actor.

If you haven't seen it -- SEE IT.

22

Yes, remakes -- the dearth of fresh ideas and a reliance on "playing it safe" leads to rehashing the past.

Thankfully, I grew up watching those '70s films when the idea was to be bold and different and new. Sure, those maverick directors of the '70s loved the past, but they used it as a foundation for what they wanted to create. Everyone knows THE GODFATHER really is essentially just a Jimmy Cagney gangster film, STAR WARS is a Flash Gordon serial, JAWS is a 1930s Universal monster movie... Those '70s directors took the past and put their own stamp on it to create their art. They didn't remake the past like talentless Hollywood does today.

23

On the subject of Albert Finney's acting, folks, do yourself a favor and watch one of his most poignant roles, opposite the delightful Audrey Hepburn in the '67 flick, Two For The Road. Extraordinarily good acting by these two and most of the scenes have just the two in them. To carry this off you need good writing to be sure, but even that still requires the screen's best to bring it to life and this entire movie is a terrific success in that regard.

As for remaking old movies being a good idea or not, for me the answer is, it depends. First, it depends on the age. If the original was in black & white, then that's probably half the argument in favor of a remake. Second can be technical effects. The perfect example is King Kong. Black & white and by later standards, very sub-standard effects. Perfect candidate for a remake.

Remaking movies considered iconic and still recognized as such decades after their initial run is not only a poor decision but shows lack of imagination and is just plain moronic.

Now let's skip forward into the 'modern' era - color across the board and actors still familiar to today's younger generations, either because the movie is still well known or the actor/actress had a long career and attained notoriety. Remaking MOTOE is in this category and a poor choice.

Here are a few other movies that spring to mind that shouldn't be remade because regardless of the choices of actors & actresses available today, regardless how good, couldn't live up to the originals on their best day. I'd like to see a few more candidates nominated that you feel falls into this category. Within these parameters are the musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelley....don't even try!!!! and movies whose particular actors made the movie successful and who have never had a later equivalent: ie, WC Fields.

From the earlier days here's a few of my choices. The last one is from later but comes to mind.

It Happened One Night Gone With the Wind The Philadelphia Story Citizen Kane Casa Blanca Yankee Doodle Dandy The Ten Commandments Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid

24

I always though David Suchet was one of the best actually i'll probably check this one out though.

– Toxophilite

Whenever I think of Hercule Poirot, I immediately think of none other than David Suchet. Can't imagine anyone topping that.

25

Just saw Murder. The 1974 classic is irreplaceable and untouchable. This one stands on its own beside it.

Critics haven't liked this one; there's a reason I don't get my opinions from critics.

This doesn't try to be the 1974 movie. It's the same basic story, but Brannagh finds his own way through the material both as director and as Poirot. It's its own movie, and finds its own moral center. This Poirot is more interesting to me.

(I'm not critical about who's the "best" Poirot, so I guess I approach this more as a general movie fan than as a rabid Poirotophile.)

The movie is gorgeous and well-acted (though without the virtuoso solo performances and star turns that marked 1974's). Michelle Pfeiffer is superb, others are fine without standing out. Johnny Depp's is probably the weakest performance, but it doesn't matter.

The audience I watched with was engaged, entertained, and quietly thoughtful at the end - which meant they entered into the spirit of the thing.

To me, it's not so much a remake as another take on the story.

I think it's as good in its way as the 1974 classic. Maybe not the best movie ever made (ain't gettin' into that) - but three thumbs up from here.


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