|Duration||1h 55m||Rating (UK)||12|
|Source of story||A book of the same name written in 1949 by Agatha Christie|
|Writers/Script||Julian Fellows, Gilles Paquet-Brenner, Tim Rose Price,|
|Starring||Max Irons, Stefanie Martini, Glenn Close, Honor Kneafsey, Christina Hendricks, Terence Stamp, Julian Sands, Gillian Anderson,|
Elevator Pitch: A bunch of toffs have their lives turned upside down when the owner of the house in which they all live, and father of some of them, is murdered. His granddaughter, Sophia, hires private detective Charles Hayward to find out who done it, and he is aided and abetted by Chief Superintendent Taverner of the Met, who had been a colleauge of his father’s. But as Charles digs into the case he finds that all of them have motives, particularly Sophia who, it turns out, is to inherit the old man’s wealth when a hidden will turns up.
Content: There is no nudity or sex (“if only” we might have said) and some drinking mainly in social situations. People smoke – it is the 1950s. The detective drives about in his classic car, and sometimes breaks down so he has to stay in the house. He argues a bit with the policeman. The inhabitants of the house are interviewed in their quite distinctive apartments. At one point they all collect for an interminable dinner. There is some focus on the youngest granddaughter who spends a lot of time observing the others.
A View: The critics were divided on this outing, as they often are. The ones in favour probably fans of Downton Abbey. There is no doubt that the house and its interior are great, but that is just not enough to raise this film from turgid to just boring. The Dinner – don’t get me started – it went on for ever, and had it been on stage the writer would have contrived to have people walk on and off at various times just to give the actors a rest, and to make it more interesting. So, even though the general public have thought it not too bad, just don’t bother with it, even for nothing.
Additional info: As some enthusiast has said on IMDb, the detective’s car is a Bristol 405, and as no-one has said, Lady Edith’s sports car is a Triumph TR 3A.