Branagh’s “Murder on the Orient Express” Much Weaker Than Lumet’s

Don’t even bother with this one. Go directly to Sidney Lumet’s excellent adaptation of Christie’s classic starring Albert Finney (unrecognizable as himself playing Poirot), Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Rachel Roberts, Richard Widmark, and Michael York. Branagh’s version is mediocre on all key counts: script, performances, direction. Only atmosphere is somewhat comparable.

For a more realistic take on this one, check out David Suchet’s Poirot from the¬†Poirot tv series boxset. Branagh tries to copy the Suchet moralistic dilemma, but comes up short, incidentally.

*Worth hoping and waiting for, still, is Branagh’s Macbeth , shot in an English church live a few years back, which has yet to come to DVD.

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