Agatha Christie: Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Film Reviews

db43d6c7a20c1608c859b3753294cdf4Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

It is no wonder that Agatha Christie chose the Orient Express, once the most luxurious train in the world, as the setting for one of her fictitious crime scenes. From Paris to Istanbul, a journey of some 1,920 miles, will take passengers around 1883 (the date of its first launch) through exquisite landscapes in the total comfort of their seats and beds. “Murder on the Orient Express” was also inspired by the real incident which happened in 1929 when the train was forced to a standstill for five days due to heavy snow. “Murder on the Orient Express” (1974), directed by Sidney Lumet (“Twelve Angry Men” (1957)), could be said to be the first truly successful adaptation of a Christie’s novel, and the last film viewed by Agatha Christie herself, who approved it. Boasting an unbelievably starry cast, including such names as Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Anthony Perkins and Vanessa Redgrave, this adaptation is both true to the novel and very-well acted, deserving high praise.

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5 Forthcoming Book-to-Film Adaptations that Can Go Very Wrong

81GcOE3jVsL 1. “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt 

Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch” is the number one international best-seller which won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014. The story of a boy who lost his mother in a tragic event and who then clings to the only object that reminds him of her – the picture of a goldfinch is really the masterpiece (as was also called so by some critics), and Tartt was even compared to Dickens. The story is very emotionally-powerful and detailed, even though the second part is weaker than the first. What of the movie, then? The film is scheduled for 2019; will be directed by John Crowley (“Brooklyn” (2015)); and will star Ansel Elgort (“Baby Driver” (2017)) as the main character Theo. Why the film could prove to be a total disaster? There are many reasons. Though Elgort will probably look good as Theo, it will be next to impossible to capture the magic of the book. In the book, Theo battles internally with grief and trauma which are barely perceivable, and no film would really match the masterly of capturing the internal dilemmas of the main character in the book, not even considering all the philosophical references implicit in the book’s narrative structure. It does not also help that the book is around 860 pages long and spans many years. More so, the film could really tarnish the captivating narrative of the book for good. Why even try? 

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“Sleepy Hollow” Review

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Sleepy Hollow (1999)

‘A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere’ (Washington Irving, ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’). 

‘Sleepy Hollow’ is Tim Burton’s seventh major film based on a short story by Washington Irving ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’. The film is about Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), a young police inspector who, equipped with his progressive scientific expertise, arrives to a small village, Sleepy Hollow, filled with superstition and paranoia. There, Ichabod encounters old wealthy family, Van Tassels, who, like the rest of the village, is in fear of the Headless Horseman, who terrifies and commits gruesome murders in the village. Upon arrival, Ichabod promises to restore peace in the village and to discover the identity of the murderer. However, Ichabod is up for surprises as in order to complete his task he has to start questioning not only his scientific beliefs, but also matters of the heart, as he slowly falls for Van Tassel’s charming daughter, Katrina (Christina Ricci).

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“Dark Shadows” Review

Dark Shadows (2012)

Tim Burton’s new film ‘Dark Shadows’ is a condensed version of the US TV series ‘Dark Shadows’, aired between 1966 and 1971. The year is 1790, and the plot centres on Barnabos Collins (Johnny Depp), the master of Collinwood Manor, and a rich and powerful son of Joshua and Naomi Collins. Barnabos has the misfortune of crossing his ex-lover Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green), a witch, who turns her witchcraft skill against him, burying him alive, killing her new lover and cursing his whole family. However, in the 1970s, Barnabos is accidentally freed from his tomb only to find his present family in ruins. Barnabos then promises his family the return of their lost fortune.

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