Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


POIROT: CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS (2008). Director: James Kent. Shown on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS.

The brilliant David Suchet is back as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in this entertaining adaptation of Agatha Christie's excellent mystery Cat Among the Pigeons. In the novel Poirot doesn't show up until the story is practically over, but in this teleplay he turns out to be a friend of one of the major characters and is in for the whole show. The story takes place at a famous British school for girls, where a series of teachers are being brutally murdered. (A javelin is substituted for a gun in one instance.) Harriet Walter is the head of the venerable institution, Miss Bulstrode, and Susan Wooldridge is her able assistant, Miss Chadwick. One of the students comes from a country where there was a revolution and fears she may be a target of assassination, but it's the adults who seem to be dropping like flies all around her. Like most Christie adaptations, this isn't nearly as good as the book, but it does have its moments. Whereas the book had some shuddery sequences, this makes no attempt at creating an eerie atmosphere.

Verdict: Who let the cat out? ***.

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