Written by David Renwick, Clive Exton, Russell Murray, and Michael Baker, based on the stories of Agatha Christie
Directed by Edward Bennett, Richard Spence, and Andrew Grieve
Starring: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Pauline Moran, Philip Jackson
- Biographies of Agatha Christie and David Suchet
- Cast Filmographies
- Poirot Character Profile
- Captain Hastings Character Profile
Rating: NR, suitable for 13+
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format
My Advice: Buy them.
Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, is back and better than ever. These two discs collect six of Christie’s best Poirot mysteries, all starring that dapper little detective and his famous “little grey cells.” This set includes six tales: “The Cornish Mystery,” “Double Sin,” “The Adventure of the Cheap Flat,” “The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim,” “The Veiled Lady,” and “The Lost Mine.”
The plots are as wonderful as you expect: tightly plotted, amusing, and fascinating. Watching Poirot in action is always a hoot, but especially in “The Veiled Lady,” where he wonders what would have happened had he decided to use his mental powers for evil and become a thief. Never does a viewer have to wonder where Poirot gets his insights, as Christie knew better than leave holes in her plots. We see all the evidence that Poirot does; he just knows what it means.
The acting in Agatha Christie’s Poirot is uniformly excellent. David Suchet as Poirot and Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings are of course marvelous, but so are the assorted secondary characters who appear, are murdered or suspected, and then fade away in the denouement. We get to see a bit more of the wonderful Pauline Moran as the enigmatic and dryly amusing Miss Lemon, and that’s always a good thing, as is the inclusion of Philip Jackson as the outclassed but game Chief Inspector Japp.
The audio and video are both quite good on these discs. The audio is crystal clear, and none of the dialogue is lost. Even the characters with exaggerated accents are understandable. The video looks good, especially given that these were filmed for television. The wonderful Art Deco settings are shown off admirably by the cinematography and lighting choices, as are the characters themselves in their murderous glee or innocent confusion. Poirot, of course, is always on top of things, and it shows.
The special features list is solid. The biography of Agatha Christie is interesting, as is learning more about the star, David Suchet. The character profiles are also quite impressive; there are extensive looks at both Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings, the Watson to Poirot’s Sherlock Holmes. There is also a handy list of Christie’s Poirot mysteries, since you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with her work and the little Belgian himself.
All in all, if you’re a mystery fan of any stripe, you’ll want to have this set in your DVD collection. Fun, interesting, and charming, Poirot mysteries are great for those days when you can’t bear one more silly modern movie or brainless teen flick. Each mystery is a bit less than an hour, so you could watch a couple in a row, or save them to savor individually when you need to unwind.
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