Useless (but fun) facts about Murder on the orient express
All right now! As you may know… The latest film adaptation of the acclaimed crime novella by Agatha Christie is headed to the film theaters this weekend and Kenneth Branagh is partly responsible for it.
Branagh is the director of the movie, and also has the lead role- that of the famed detective Hercule Poirot. But what about the rest of the cast? Well, Branagh manage to gather the best of the best on both sides of the pond and that includes 2 Academy award winners (Judy Dench and Penelope Cruz) and 4 Academy Award nominees (Kenneth Branagh included).
If you recall, there is an older and better known film adaptation of the same novel, and it dates back to 1974. Sidney Lumet was the director in that version, while the cast consisted of Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York and Indrid Bergman who won her third and last Academy Award for her performance in Murder on the orient express.
Now in the 2017 film version… In 1930s Europe, famed detective Hercule Poirot boards the legendary Orient Express for a small break in between cases. While on board, he meets an interesting assortment of characters. One fellow passenger, Edward Ratchett, implores Mr. Poirot to assist him while on the train as he fears for his well-being, though Poirot respectfully declines. The next morning, Ratchett is found stabbed to death. With the train halted due to an avalanche derailing the engine, and with the evidence and suspects piling up, Poirot finds himself diving into a case that could be his biggest yet.
But what are the useless yet fun facts about Kenneth Branagh’s latest film imagining of the beloved Agatha Christie’s novel? Check them out bellow.
When the trailer for the film was first released, many Agatha Christie fans complained about Kenneth Branagh’s interpretation of Poirot’s iconic moustache being insulting to the source material. Coincidentally, when the novel Murder on the Orient Express was first adapted for the screen in 1974, Christie (who was still alive at the time) was rather displeased with how the moustache on Albert Finney’s Poirot turned out.
The original Orient Express route (from October 4, 1883) was from Paris to Giurgiu (Romania).
In real life there was one actual murder on The Orient Express. Maria Farcasanu was robbed and murdered by Karl Strasser, who pushed her out of the moving train, one year after Agatha Christie’s book was published. Also, in 1950, Simon Karpe disappeared from the train under suspicious circumstances involving espionage; some elements inspired Ian Fleming’s From Russia with Love.
After Albert Finney (in 1974), Peter Ustinov (1978), ‘Alfred Molina’ (in 2001), David Suchet (in 2010) and Mansai Nomura (in 2015), Kenneth Branagh is the sixth actor to embody famous Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot.
The photograph of Katherine, Poirot’s love, is actually an image of a younger Emma Thompson, who is Kenneth Branagh’s wife in real life.
The story was inspired partly by an incident in 1929 when the Orient Express was trapped in a blizzard in Çerkezköy, Turkey, where it was marooned for six days. Two years later Christie was involved in a similar scenario when she was travelling on the Orient Express and the train got stuck for a period of time due to heavy rainfall and flooding, which washed part of the track away.
The story was partly inspired by the Charles A. Lindbergh kidnapping case, in which Lindbergh’s 20-month old son was taken and held for a $50,000 ransom. The ransom was paid, but unfortunately Lindbergh’s son was never returned.
Murder on the Orient Express happened in today’s Croatia, near the town of Vinkovci.
Both Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe starred in Platoon (1986), thirty-one years prior to this film.