Book vs. Movie: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Hello my lovely readers!
You may be aware that a new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s famous novel Murder on the Orient Express hit cinemas in 2017. However, before I check out the new movie, I got started with the book and the popular 1974 film!


The Plot:
Hercule Poirot just wanted to relax on the train while making his way back to London. He’s out of luck. One wintery night a murder occurs and as the train is snowed in, it’s upon Poirot to solve the crime and catch the killer…


Book vs. Movie:
I usually start with the novel, but in this case I had seen the film a few times already. So let’s talk about the movie.
One of the first things you might notice about it is the impress list of cast members. Lauren Bacall, Albert Finney, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Perkins and many more make an appearance. So this simply has to be a brilliant film, right?
The scenery and costumes are wonderful. The story is presented in an intricate and capturing way that will certainly keep you guessing.
Let’s share some insights on the novel, before a little comparison.
I have to admit, this is the first Agatha Christie novel I ever read. The first thing I noticed was that it’s definitely from another time. The story features some statements that today you would call racist. The book was written in 1934, so I guess stuff like that was common at that time. But reading it was rather irritating and I frowned at my book a great deal. Otherwise, this is an interesting crime story that comes with a big twist at the end.
When choosing between the novel and movie, I have to say I’d go with the film. In general crime story are often somewhat easier to follow for me, when I get a visual. How does everything and everybody look, what’s the evidence? No matter how hard Christie tried to describe all of it, the picture was much clearer to me on screen. Furthermore, some of the character traits Christie mentioned (like Mrs. Hubbard being somewhat loud and irritating) also work better in a film. In the book you simply acknowledge the fact that she is like that, but in the movie it really had comedic potential. Finally, the plot twist at the end can be a bit confusing and I felt like the movie version was clearer in relaying the final analysis.

Despite Murder on the Orient Express being on of the most famous crime novels out there, I enjoyed the film more than the original book.


Did you read the book? Watch the movie? Let me know in the comments what you think!

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4 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie: Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

  1. I’ve only seen the 2017 film so I can’t add much to what you’ve already said, but it was definitely a film I enjoyed. I’ve only read 1 Agatha Christie novel, I think it was called And Then There Were None. It was a great story but the writing style like you said is so dated it was a very difficult read!


  2. Pingback: Book vs. Movie: Murder on the Orient Express (2017) | The Punk Theory

  3. Pingback: Top 5 Tuesday: Books where something went right | The Punk Theory

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