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Very, very dark. I greatly prefer the 1957 version with Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lancaster, and Tyrone Power. Miss Dietrich alone makes that movie better. In this version, the cinematography, editing, acting are excellent, but the script changes from the earlier version are unpleasant.
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THE CRITICS CONSENSUS !
WHILE NOT A DIEHARD AGATHA CHRISTIE FAN (I HAVE NOT READ HER WORKS), I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL MOVIE ADAPTATIONS AND TV SHOWS OVER THE YEARS. I HAVE NOT (YET) SEEN THE 1957 MOVIE DIRECTED BY BILLY WILDER STARRING TYRONE POWERS AND MARLENE DIETRICH BUT RECENTLY VIEWED THE FOR TV MOVIE ADAPTATION WRITTEN BY SARAH PHELPS.
KUDOS SARAH -- THE ADAPTATIONS BLEND SEAMLESSLY AND ARE WELL INTEGRATED WITH THE ORIGINAL MURDER PLOT. I LIKE TO THINK THAT DAME AGATHA WOULD HAVE APPROVED! the most intriguing of her adaptations is her deVELOPment A SUBPLOT INVOLVING THE CHARACTER SOLICITOR JOHN MAYHEW (BRILLIANTLY PLAYED BY TOBY JONES). JOHN IS AN EARNEST, CONSCIENTIOUS, OLDER MAN, SOMEWHAT OF A ROMANTIC, WHOSE MARRIAGE HAS BEEN SEVERELY STRAINED BY THE DEATH OF THEIR SON IN WWI. AFTER THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF LEONARD VOLE'S MURDER TRial, JOHN FEELS THAT JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED, THAT THE GUILTY PARTY IS RIGHTFULLY PUNISHED FOR THE MURDER. HIS CAREER AND FORTUNES ASCEND TO NEW HEIGHTS, A WELCOME CHANGE TOWARD THE END OF A LONG CAREER.
EVERYTHING SEEMS QUITE SETTLED WHEN QUITE BY ACCIDENT, SEVERAL YEARS LATER, HE LEARNS THAT EVERYTHING ABOUT THE MURDER TRIAL AND ITS MAJOR PLAYERS IS TOTALLY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT HE BELIEVED TO BE TRUE AND THAT AN INNOCENT INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN WRONGFULLY CONVICTED AND EXECUTED. DAZED AND DISORIENTED AT A VERY DEEP LEVEL, HE GOES TO THE HOTEL WHERE HIS WIFE IS WAITING FOR HIM AND HE FINDS OUT WHY SHE NO LONGER LOVES HIM. HIS SUCCESS AND FAME SINCE THE CONCLUSION OF THE TRIAL NOW SEEMS DREADFULLY HOLLOW and meaningless AS THE BOTTOM DROPS OUT OF HIS WORLD. ALL OF THIS IS FAR TOO MUCH FOR HIM TO BEAR -- IT IS NOT A HAPPY ENDING.
You may be familiar with the story, but this adaptation is excellent. Great acting and direction. Studios who do mysteries should take note.
Great acting and beautiful photography.
Predictable by the 2/3rd part, but good
Grippingly unpleasant in an impressive way.
As a mystery and suspense and crime drama this movie sucks. The pace is slow and there isn't much mystery and suspense, not if you compare it with the paragons of the genre. The way this movie shines through, though, are the incredible acting and the incredibly frank and naked way it shows its characters as messy and imperfect human beings, suffering from pride, arrogance, humility, cruelty, callousness, duplicity, lust, inner pain and turmoil. Some of the scenes are so revealing and exposing that you literally feel deep unease and even disgust.
But in the end, all this human drama wasn't what I was looking for when I came to watch the movie. I was expecting a good Agatha Christie thriller but have ultimately found myself disappointed.