A return trip aboard “Murder on the Orient Express”
The Sidney Lumet movie “Murder on the Orient Express” was a huge hit back in 1974. This morning, with Seth Doane as conductor, we have a ticket to a remake:
Whether it’s the baby grand piano, white table-cloths and fine china, or the art-deco details, it’s clear this is no ordinary train. It’s the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, made up of historic 1920s carriage reminiscent of the legendary train dating back to the 1800s, which transported passengers between Paris and Istanbul in very high style.
“It is incredible,” said James Pritchard. If his name is not recognizable, his great-grandmother’s certainly is: Agatha Christie.
“I probably feel as close to my great-grandmother at this point as I ever have,” Pritchard said. “You can feel what she must’ve felt.
An avid traveler, Christie was a regular on the Orient Express, which she called “the train of her dreams.”
Author Agatha Christie. PA WIRE / AP
No wonder it was the setting for her most famous tale of murder.
Pritchard said, “I think when you walk along these carriages you can imagine the way of life. .You can kind of see how her imagination is developed. ”
Christie’s imagination and ability to paint pictures of her novels, 150+ short stories, and more than 20 plays.
Perhaps none is more beloved than “Murder on the Orient Express.” It has been told and re-told several times. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars in the latest film adaptation.
“She’s such a master at laying out, in this case, very, very fascinating, interesting group of characters,” Branagh said.
That made Branagh’s job of directing and casting the film all the more interesting.
He may be a towering figure in Hollywood, but he was dwarfed next to the hulking train he had built for his movie. “We want it very much to be away from friendly trains, you know, the world of Thomas the Tank Engine and all the rest of it,” Branagh said.