Classic Film: Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie’s famous murder mystery, is the fourth film of Ogunquit Performing Arts 14th season of the Classic Film Series and will be shown¬ at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street in Ogunquit on Sunday January 11, 2015 at 2 pm. Admission is free and so is the popcorn.

Ogunquit Performing Arts is featuring Agatha Christie’s famous Murder on the Orient Express Sunday January 11, 2015, 2 pm, at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street in Ogunquit, a continuation of the 14th annual Classic Film Series.

Murder on the Orient Express, the 1974 British mystery film directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot and based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie will be shown by Ogunquit Performing Arts on Sunday January 11, 2015, 2 pm, at the Dunaway Center, 23 School Street in Ogunquit. Admission is free and there will be free popcorn, too.

Like many of Agatha Christie’s mysteries, Murder on the Orient Express is based on an actual event: The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. On his way to Istanbul Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is called back to London for a case, and finds transport via the opulent Orient Express train. An ornery American businessman, Samuel Ratchett, interrupts Poirot’s luxurious trip with a cryptic plea for help — he’s seeking penance, fearing he may be murdered. But Poirot isn’t interested in taking up his case. When the train is sidelined by a snowdrift and Ratchett is found dead, Poirot becomes embroiled in one of the most fiendish cases of his career. The suspects are numerous and colorful — an erudite Russian princess, an English colonel, a pushy American matron and a devout Swedish missionary among others. The evidence suggests a shadowy assassin may have boarded the train during a stop in order to commit the murder, but is there an unforgivable evil even closer at hand? Poirot soon realizes that Ratchett was really a gangster called Cassetti who five years earlier kidnapped and murdered three-year old heiress Daisy Armstrong, the baby daughter of a wealthy British Army colonel.

After meditating on the evidence, Poirot assembles Bouc and Dr. Constantine, along with the 13 suspects, in the restaurant car, and lays out two possible explanations of Ratchett’s murder. The first explanation is that a stranger—some gangster enemy of Ratchett—boarded the train at Vinkovci, the last stop, murdered Ratchett for reasons unknown, then escaped unnoticed and it is possible that the man has already left Yugoslavia. However, Dr. Constantine objects, saying that Poirot must surely be aware that this does not explain the circumstances of the case.

Poirot’s second explanation is much longer and rather more sensational: all of the suspects are guilty. Poirot’s suspicions were first aroused by the fact that all the passengers on the train were of so many different nationalities and social classes, and that only in the “melting pot” of the United States would a group of such different people form some connection with each other. But you will have to wait until the end of the film to find which of Poirot’s theories is correct.

According to OPA Co-chair Janel Lundgren, “Elegant escapist entertainment at its stylishly European best, this Agatha Christie whodunit boasts an incredible international cast of some of the more wonderfully eccentric characters ever created.” Ingrid Berman won an Oscar for her role as the slightly dim-witted, Bible-quoting, Swedish missionary. Albert Finney is the dapper detective, Hercule Poirot, for whom murder-solving is a precise, intellectual exercise who hopes to solve the mystery before the Yugoslav police arrive.

Part of the fun in viewing the film is seeing the all of the famous actors and actresses are who are passengers and the train’s employees . . . Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins. Vanessa Redgrave, and more! Murder on the Orient Express received six Academy Award nominations.

Don’t miss the showing of Murder on the Orient Express, the world-famous Agatha Christie murder mystery, at the Dunaway Center on Sunday January 11, 2015 at 2 pm. The film will be shown on a wall-size screen with introduction by OPA member, Ed Seppa.

Mark your calendars to reserve dates for the upcoming Classic Films:

Sunday February 8, 2015. 2 pm—Dead Poets’ Society

Sunday March 8, 2015. 2 pm—The Razor’s Edge

Sunday April 12, 2015. 2 pm—The Concert

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