Poirot Movies (David Suchet): Part 1

Peril At End House: The first Poirot/Suchet movie keeps the order of events and the identity of the murderer. It also retains the aura and theme. It isn't the best out of the first set but worth watching.

Mysterious Affair at Styles: This is one of the few movies that actually makes more sense than the book. Mysterious Affair was Christie's first book, and it is rather difficult to follow. In general, although Christie produces lots of red herrings, her novels' denouements are always crystal-clear. If you have difficulty following the clues in this book, check out the movie: it helps. The movie is faithful to the original plot, and the meeting between Hastings and Poirot is sweetly done.

The ABC Murders: The best of the first set, really excellent. It demonstrates a great appreciation for the book--everything is spot on. The music is excellent!

Death in the Clouds: Okay, but surprisingly boring. Well, its setting revolves about tennis, so what do you expect? Doesn't play havoc with the book at least.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: Pretty good, but then it has the amazing Eccleston and the equally amazing Peter Blythe. It also has one of Christie's better double-identity tricks; even if you figure out the double-identity, you can't be sure what it is being used for immediately.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas: Okay, but something of a disappointment for me. This is one of my favorite books, and although the murderer's identity is kept, a missing character changes the overall aura of the piece.

Hickory Dickory Dock: One of the few movies I think is more interesting than the book. It does an excellent job retaining the aura of student life explored in the book plus it uses Miss Lemon absolutely correctly. Colin Firth's brother, Jonathan, stars. Yeah, that's right, the brother who WASN'T Darcy. Still, he's managed to have a fairly successful career, and there's something to be said for NOT being the typed-cast brother. For Life fans, Damian Lewis also stars and does a great job.

Murder on the Links: Well-done if a little dull. Retains both the plot and aura of the original.

Dumb Witness: Well-done if a little dull. The dog is cute.

This concludes what I think of as the first set although I believe the above movies are sold in two sets. However, there is a four-year difference between Dumb Witness and the next movie, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. Reviews of the later movies will follow.

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