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Poirot - Dumb Witness
Poirot - Dumb Witness
Actors: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Ann Morrish, Patrick Ryecart, Kate Buffery
Director: Edward Bennett
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2001     1hr 43min

Studio: Acorn Media Release Date: 08/07/2001 Rating: Nr


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Movie Details

Actors: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Ann Morrish, Patrick Ryecart, Kate Buffery
Director: Edward Bennett
Creators: Simon Kossoff, Andrew McClelland, Brian Eastman, Christopher Hall, Sarah Wilson, Agatha Christie, Douglas Watkinson
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 08/07/2001
Original Release Date: 10/31/1996
Theatrical Release Date: 10/31/1996
Release Year: 2001
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

What about Bob......
Dianne Foster | USA | 08/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Bob the Fox Terrier has a problem. His kindly mistress was a gentle old lady named Emily who lived in a beautiful house in the Lake District before her untimely end. Bob knows who killed her, but he has been warned by the not-so-kindly physician who attended Emily before her death that it's curtains for him if he doesn't come up with a new human attachment. Clever Bob finds a way to enlist the services of the famous Belgian dectective Hercule Poirot. Hastings is visiting the Lake District because he wishes to see his old school chum Charlie break the one-minute speed-boat record. Poirot does not share Hastings enthusiasm for mechanical things, and he certainly cannot see the humor in Charlie's nickname for Hastings..."Battle" as in the battle of..."You wouldn't underdstand" says Hastings, "It's English humor." Poirot has allowed himself to be talked into viewing the race because he has become a British subject who wants to see all parts of England including the beautiful Lake District. Anglophiles will vicariously enjoy Wordsworth's old stomping grounds, in fact, at times it's hard to concentrate on the story because the mountains and lakes and sunsets are so say nothing of the fine old prewar country architecture. One morning Poirot, sitting in the sun on the hotel terrace overlooking the nearby lake, breaks into poetry..well sort of.."Where are these daffodils Hastings??" he says as he glances over the top of a little book he holds in his hand. "...Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.." Hastings responds on cue.The DVD is beautiful, clear, crisp and well made. Even my husband who tends to doze off when I watch British dramas woke up at several points and said "What a beautiful picture" (He does this to make me think he's watching the film, but the advantage for me is that I can watch it over and over and he can't tell the difference.)And what about the end, after he helps Poirot identify his mistress' killer, Bob acquires the home every dog dreams of, surrounded by love, affection, and comfort including his afghan lined basket and plenty of good food. As Poirot is rowed away into the sunset he looks back wistfully and bids a fond farewell to his canine friend...the not-so-dumb witness."
Suchet shines as Poirot
Hazen B Markoe | St. Paul, MN United States | 08/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"An elderly lady collapses and dies after green smoke is seen pouring out of her body. Earlier that week, she almost tumbles to her death on the stairs. The only witness to that earlier attempt is a fox terrier named Bob. What follows is another delightful PBS and A & E Agatha Christie adaptation in which Hercule Poirot must solve another strange murder. As always, David Suchet is the definitive Poirot, combining humor and humanity in his performance. Hugh Fraser is solid as his befuddled sidekick, Capt. Hasting, and the dog in the title role has loads of cuteness to spare. A must for any Agatha Christie or murder mystery fan. Highly recommended."
Suchet upstaged==and by a dog!
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 08/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Dumb Witness"is the Acorn Media release that so many have been especially waiting for. Yes, it is the one in which a terrier upstages Suchet! A wealthy and elderly woman is annoying her younger relations by not handing over enough money while she is alive; and one of them arranges a tumble down the stairs to do her in. Failing at that, phosphorus poisoning is used next and it works, much to the delight of two wacky spinsters who claim to have contact with the Hereafter. Poirot knows that the dog, Bob, has witnessed the stairs incident, and he applauds the pooch whenever it repeats its "limited repertoire" (as Hastings puts its) by rolling a ball down the stairs and then catching it at the bottom. The canine's reaction to its reflection in the polished side of a speedboat gives Poirot the final clue he needs to identify the murderer. While the plot is somewhat less engrossing than that of most of the feature-length episodes, especially "The ABC Murders" and "Murder on the Links" and although the sisters are a cliché of British murder novels, it is still performed with the style and polish one expects in this excellent series. Bob, however, does steal the show--and this entry in the by now nearly complete Poirot series will please immensely both lovers of the Belgian sleuth and of dogs. As always, the DVD format allows short bonuses about Christie and her works."
A DOGgone Good Mystery!!!
Stephen Pletko | London, Ontario, Canada | 09/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)


I watched this movie without reading the 1937 Dame Agatha Christie novel that it was 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.

Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) accompanies Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) to Lake Windermere (England's largest lake located in the north-west part of England) for a holiday and to see Hastings' friend attempt to break a world speedboat-racing record. A wealthy socialite invites Poirot to her estate called "Little Green House" where this socialite has an accident (?) and then she is eventually murdered. The only witness to this murder is a Fox Terrier dog. At a séance, a trained medium accuses the dog of killing the socialite. Eventually another murder takes place.

The dog helps Poirot solve the murder of the socialite. (This proves that this dog is not so dumb after all!)

Who are the people (and other life-forms) associated with this estate? They are as follows:

1. Emily Arundell, wealthy socialite and the estate's owner (Ann Morrish)
2. Charles Arundell, nephew to Emily and speedboat-racer (Pat Ryecart)
3. Theresa Arundell, niece to Emily (Kate Buffery)
4. Dr. Jacob Tannis (Paul Herzberg)
5. Bella Tannis, another niece to Emily and Jacob's wife (Julia St. John)
6. Wilhemina "Mini" Lawson, Emily's aid (Norma West)
7. Dr. Grainger (John Newth)
8. Isabel Tripp, a trained medium (Pauline Jameson)
9. Julia Tripp, aid to her sister Isabel (Muriel Pavlow)
10. Robert "Bob" Arundell (`Snubby,' the Fox Terrier)

As usual, Suchet's performance stands out. He gives a stellar performance as the super sleuth. Also keep your eye on Snubby, the Fox Terrier.

The cinematography is visually stunning. All costumes are authentic looking. As well, the background music adds to each scene.

The DVD has the usual text extras. Newcomers to the series may find these interesting.

Finally, this is the best Poirot in this series I have seen. Why? Because it kept me guessing right to the end and left no "loose ends" in the final deduction scene.

In conclusion, this is a fun movie even if you have read the novel it's based on!!

(1996; made for TV; 100 min: full screen; 10 scenes; British drama; color)