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

Thursday, July 30, 2009


POIROT: MRS MCGINTY'S DEAD (2008). Director: Ashley Pearce. Masterpiece Mystery/PBS.

David Suchet is again marvelous in the role of Agatha Christie's Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, in this fair-to-middling adaptation of one of Christie's best novels. Poirot investigates when a policeman friend confides in him that he doesn't think a man about to be hanged is guilty of the murder he was convicted of, even though the evidence against him seems overwhelming. The case ties in with famous murderesses of the past, and centers on several couples living in the small town where Mrs. McGinty was murdered. Sort of helping Poirot in his efforts is Ariadne Oliver, a mystery writer who was meant to be a parody of Christie herself, only her fictional detective is a Finn. Oliver is played by Zoe Wanamaker, who is kind of gross, at least in this part. Paul Rhys acquits himself nicely as one of the suspects, Robin Upward. This is much more faithful to the novel than the British film Murder Most Foul, but it still can't compare to the book.

Verdict: Mediocre adaptation. **.

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