"Released at the same time as the DVD edition of "The ABC Murders," concerns a killing on an airplane during which Poirot himself is fast asleep. As in all Christie mysteries, the red herrings keep coming; but as in few Christie mysteries, not all that many characters have the opportunity to be near the victim at the right time. (Many mystery writers are fond of "the crowded murder scene" in which every character was able to reach the victim at just the right time.) And although you might feel cheated at the solution--and this one is a tad far fetched--you had so much fun up to that point that you don't really feel like carping. Suchet is as always completely "into" the role of the Master of the little gray cells; and if his smug self-satisfaction grates on us at times, it only goes to show how well he plays the role. I must add that Philip Jackson is his usual stolid self as the weary Chief Inspector Japp, Poirot's Scotland Yard companion in sleuthing. The 30's décor is fabulous, as it is in most of these episodes. Where DO they find those art deco settings? And as one reviewer has already commented, were do they find those women's hats? There is a gorgeous sequence in which the plane is passing over the White Cliffs of Dover; and this is just another example of the care put into these productions. It seems that Acorn Media will be putting the two-hour Poirots onto DVD and the one hour ones onto VHS in boxed sets. Either way, these are utterly enjoyable productions and "Death in the Clouds," while not quite as good as "The ABC Murders," should be rated among the better entries.And how good to see it without the frequent piggyback commercials!"
The STEWARDESS did it!! Or did she??
Stephen Pletko | London, Ontario, Canada | 07/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
I watched this movie without reading the 1935 Dame Agatha Christie novel that it is based on. I'm glad I did this! Why? Because it forced me to really watch the movie in order to try and deduce who the murderer was.
As a brief synopsis, the murder takes place on a plane in flight and involves an insect (wasp) as well as a poison dart. Also on the plane is (you guessed it) the great sleuth himself, Hercule Poirot (David Suchet). The actual murder takes place "not 10 metres [or about 30 feet] away from him." As a result, Poirot has to "restore his reputation" by solving the crime. He is aided in his investigation by Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson). Eventually another person that was on the plane is killed but it appears to be a suicide.
One thing both Poirot and Japp are sure of is that the murder on the plane is not your "normal" murder. Poirot has trouble "sinking his teeth" into this case.
Who are the passengers and workers on the plane? There are nine altogether besides Poirot and they are as follows:
1. Ex-actress Lady (Cicely) Horbury (Cathryn Harrison) 2. Socialite and money lender Madame Giselle (Eve Pearce) 3. Archaeologist Jean Dupont (Guy Manning) 4. Crime Novelist Daniel Clancy (Roger Heathcott) 5. Stewardess Jane Grey (Sarah Woodward) 6. Steward Michael (John Bleasedale) 7. Dentist Norman Gale (Shawn Scott) 8. Maid to Cicely (Jenny Downham) 9. Friend to Cicely, Venetia Kerr (Amanda Royle)
Of the eleven actors above, Suchet's performance stands out. I feel he does a stellar job in his performance as Poirot. His interactions with Japp are sometimes comical. Another performance to look for is that of Cathryn Harrison as the now seemingly wealthy Lady Horbury.
The cinematography of this movie is visually stunning. This movie takes place in Paris and we are shown close-ups of major landmarks. The costumes are authentic looking. As well, the background music adds to each scene.
The DVD (where the movie is in full screen format) has four extras. Of these, I found three interesting: biographies of Suchet and Christie as well as the one entitled "Poirot Trivia."
Finally, the only problem I had with this movie was with the final scene where Poirot deduces who the killer is. If you've been keeping track there are now seven suspects. But in this final scene there are only five shown! There is a sixth person in this scene but that person was not even on the plane when the murder was committed. One of the missing suspects is briefly assumed to be innocent (no explanation is given as to why). The other missing suspect is not even mentioned! Thus, I found this final deduction scene somewhat disappointing.
In conclusion, this is a fun movie, even if you have read the novel!!
(1992; made for TV; 100 min; British drama; 10 scenes; color)
One of the best mysteries ever filmed.
face-garak | 03/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great movie, made from a great book. I read the book first a while ago, then when it came out saw the dvd, my first and current impressions are that the movie was just as i had imagined when i read the book. If you like mystery novels or movies, buy this dvd, its well worth it, especially if you like Agatha Christies' work."
Nostalgic more than anything else, and a great mystery!
Lisa | Glastonbury, Connecticut | 07/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this with my mother on DVD ($12.99 at Sam's Club, believe it or not!) and we both enjoyed it immensely. Even my 11-year-old sister liked it (I'm 14). The scenery in this one is wonderful - Mom commented on the white cliffs of Dover. (What are those made out of, anyway? Salt? Limestone?) As usual, I read the book first and liked it a lot, but I loved the movie! As the plot centers around a murder that takes place on a plane not three feet over from a sleeping Hercule Poirot (who wishes to restore his reputation, especially when the alleged weapon is found near his seat), it takes one back to a time when air travel was mostly worry-free (except for the airsick, including Poirot) and terrorists and bomb threats were not even in the picture. My two favorite scenes are the classic drawing-room conclusion, as always, and a scene in the middle where Poirot performs a few little "experiments" aboard a plane, much to the chagrin of poor Chief Inspector Japp ("I've been to see the lawyer, Inspector - " "Chief Inspector.") ;-) Featuring David Suchet in a fine performance as the star detective, and also Cathryn Harrison as the high-society smoking gambler Lady Cicely Horbury, who, according to the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com), is the granddaughter of Rex Harrison. All in all, a great film adaptation, but also a great movie in its own right. A lot more funny moments in this one. :-)"
One of My favorite Books
face-garak | 06/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Death In The Clouds was always one of my favorite of Christie's books, and while I really enjoyed this, I thought it wasn't as good as adaptation as many of the others, such as ABC Murders. But don't get me wrong, I loved it, and the story is great! To me it just wasn't quite as good as some of the other adaptaions. Usually I don't prefer the books over the movies, they're both good. But for once, I prefer the book. Again, I still loved it and thought that Poirot and Japp did very good jobs in their rolls. My favorite scenes included Poirot's first talk with Japp, Japp cringing at Poirot's behavior on the plane, and Japp interacting with the French Inspector. Good stuff! And one of my favoite mystery plot-lines to boot! I actually give it 4.5 stars, but that's not an option on the rate-a-ma-jig device!"