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Dan Carrier’s movie news: Murder on the Orient Express – and a PR mystery

02 November, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot

Mystery surrounds an Agatha Christie tale, set to hit our theatres this weekend. Namely, this: has a big gang of today’s A-listers managed to reach the pinnacle of brilliant, camp fun a similar group of top-of-their-game actors achieved in 1974 when thrown together on a steam train caught in a snow drift somewhere in central Europe?

I am, of course, referring to the new version of Murder on The Orient Express, directed by Kenneth Branagh. It feels very much like the creators have tried to go toe-to-toe with the 1974 original, a classic packed to the rafters with stars.

Branagh plays Christie’s Belgian sleuth, Hercule Poirot and is joined by Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, Derek Jacobi, Willem Dafoe and Johnny Depp among others.

I would like to be able to recommend – or throw tomatoes at – this latest version, but was told by the studio’s PR people that there’s a strict embargo on all reviews until Thursday evening, after a glitzy Leicester Square premiere.

It can’t be because they are worried anyone will reveal whodunnit – Christie wrote the book in 1935, so it’s hardly a mystery.

But maybe the studio is fretful about the soon-to-be-made comparisons between Ingrid Bergman, John Gielgud, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York and others to today’s players and the effect it may have on the all-important opening weekend box office takings.

So very, very mysterious, you’ll agree. You will just have to go see it yourselves…

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