Friday, September 15, 2017

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A Special Announcement...

It's Agatha Christie's birthday!

The Queen of Crime was born on this date in 1890, 127 years ago! More than 41 years after her death, she is still the world's best-selling fiction author - but, more relevant to what we do here, she is also experiencing a cinematic comeback! For not one, but two films based on her works are coming to the screen this winter. One is the first ever adaptation of her infamous crime thriller Crooked House; the other is the fifth screen version of one of her most famous novels, Murder on the Orient Express:

Mom was right: prayer does work! I've been wishing and hoping for a resurgence of silver screen Agatha Christeries for ages. Sure, we've had the recent Poirot, Marple and Partners in Crime series to keep us company - in addition to the new miniseries of And Then There Were None and The Witness for the Prosecution - but the last time Christie was on the big screen* was 1989's Ten Little Indians, a re-working of her most famous novel that transferred the action from a British island to an African safari., we have two!

(*I'm speaking strictly American/British releases. I am well aware that India and France have had a number of theatrical adaptations in the past decade, but none of them seem to leave their respective continents.)

Let us celebrate properly. Throughout the month of October and into the first week of November, we're celebrating the on-screen works of Agatha Christie. Every Tuesday, a Casting Coup, in which we dream-cast adaptations of some of her most popular works. Each week, a set of films to watch so we may explore her characters, interpretations of them, and their international appeal.

The schedule, after the jump:

(October 2-6)
Hercule Poirot Week
Casting Coup: The ABC Murders

The Films:
The Alphabet Murders (with Tony Randall)
Death on the Nile (with Peter Ustinov)
Murder by the Book (TV Movie with Ian Holm)
Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple: Death in the Clouds (anime series with Satomi Kōtarō)
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Curtain (TV Movie with David Suchet)

(October 9 - 13)
Miss Marple Week
Casting Coup: The Mirror Crack'd

The Films:
Murder She Said (with Margaret Rutherford)
The Mirror Crack'd (with Angela Lansbury)
Murder with Mirrors (TV Movie with Helen Hayes)
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: A Pocket Full of Rye (TV mini-series with Joan Hickson)
Agatha Christie's Marple: A Caribbean Mystery (TV Movie with Julia McKenzie)

(October 16 - 20)
Tommy & Tuppence Week
Casting Coup: N Or M?

The Films:
The Secret Adversary (TV Movie with James Warwick & Francesca Annis)
Partners in Crime (TV series with James Warwick & Francesca Annis)
Partners in Crime: N Or M? (TV Series with David Walliams & Jessica Raine)
Mon petit doigt m'a dit... (availability permitting, with André Dusollier & Catherine Frot)
Marple: By the Pricking of My Thumbs (TV Movie with Anthony Andrews & Greta Scaachi)

(October 23 - 27)
Standalone Week
Casting Coup: Witness for the Prosecution

The Films:
Love from a Stranger (1937)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Endless Night (1972)
Desyat Negrityat (1987)
Innocent Lies (1995)

(October 30 & 31)
The Unadapted
Casting Coup: The Mousetrap

(November 6 - 10)
Murder on the Orient Express Week
No Casting Coup

The Films:
Murder on the Orient Express (with Albert Finney)
Murder on the Orient Express (TV Movie with Alfred Molina)
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express (TV Movie with David Suchet)
Oriento kyuukou satsujin jiken (TV Mini-series with Nomura Mansai)
Murder on the Orient Express (midnight screening permitting, with Kenneth Branagh)

And by the way - I have already cast And Then There Were None / Ten Little Indians, Death on the Nile, Hercule Poirot's Christmas / A Holiday for Murder / Murder for Christmas, and of course, Murder on the Orient Express.

Christie is one of the most prolific and widely available authors to be published, so do play along by visiting your local library...or dusting off your own copies.

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1 comment:

Collinboy said...

This is awesome! I just finished The Hollow.

You should do Murder By Death afterwards, because it is an amazing spoof!
Can't you just see Nathan Lane mocking Hercule Poirot?
Pierce Brosnan being playing Nick Charles, next to Cate Blanchett as his Nora?
Hugh Laurie as the Charlie Chan spoof?
Kevin Spacey and Cameron Diaz being the Sam Spade plus secretary roles?
Imagine Emma Thompson doing her best tweed-suited Miss Marple impression, all the while taking care of her nurse, who Carol Burnett could play to a T.
A blind Sir Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, or Jeremy Irons??!!

Just my thoughts.