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Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection, Set 4

88 customer reviews

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Product Description

David Suchet returns as Hercule Poirot--the Belgian sleuth of unsurpassed deductive powers and peerless viewer appeal--in two fresh adaptations of Christie classics. As seen on PBS’s Mystery!

Mrs. McGinty’s Dead--With help from mystery novelist and old friend Ariadne Oliver (Zoë Wanamaker), Poirot tries to save a man from hanging for a murder he might not have committed. As the famous sleuth tracks down the real killer, he finds his own life at risk.

Cat Among the Pigeons--As Meadowbank School for Girls begins its term, a new student causes the headmistress unease. Princess Shaista is a political refugee hiding from revolutionaries in her native land. Fortunately, when the bodies start turning up, Poirot is on hand.

EXCLUSIVE BONUS PROGRAM: Super Sleuths, a documentary about the series featuring stars David Suchet, Philip Jackson, Hugh Fraser, and Pauline Moran; producer Brian Eastman; director Ed Bennett; writer Anthony Horowitz; and others.

David Suchet continues his definitive (and supremely entertaining) portrayal of Agatha Christie's Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot in Mrs. McGinty's Dead and Cat Among the Pigeons. Poirot is one of those classic characters of fiction who would be intolerable in real life, yet is delightful on the page (or in this case, the screen). Suchet, with his heavy-lidded but piercing eyes and an absurd little mustache, perfectly captures the balance of narcissism and nosiness--how Poirot uses his superciliousness to make himself seem harmless and unthreatening to the murderers and other criminals who meet and underestimate him. Accompanying the two mysteries is an engaging behind-the-scenes documentary that, among other thoughtful observations from the actors and writers of the series, points out that Poirot's foreignness allowed Christie to gently mock the peculiarities and obsessions of the English.

As Poirot strives to rescue a young man unjustly sentenced to death in Mrs. McGinty's Dead, he survives an assault on his own life as well as the brusque and pushy manners of his friend, crime novelist Ariadne Oliver (Zoe Wanamaker). The character of Oliver gave Christie the opportunity to poke fun at her own career, such as when the grumpy novelist bickers with a playwright in an attempt to infuse an adaptation with more sex appeal. Mrs. McGinty's Dead is entirely enjoyable, but it suffers a bit from excessive directorial flash with the camera. Cat Among the Pigeons, on the other hand, is a perfect fusion of story and style, where subtle visual flourishes enhance the plot's forward movement and mood of anticipation. The headmistress of a girls' school asks Poirot to help her choose her successor--but when a tyrannical teacher is murdered in the sports pavilion, Poirot soon unravels a tapestry of hidden rubies, a faraway revolution, a voodoo doll, and a missing tennis racket. Flashes of wit increase the fun (The headmistress huffs, "Mr. Poirot has an international reputation"--"So does Mussolini," grumbles the local constable). Suchet's skilled performances in Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection - Set 4 will please long-time fans and would be an excellent starting point for any beginner. --Bret Fetzer

Stills from Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection - Set 4 (Click for larger image)

Beyond Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection - Set 4

Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection - Set 1

Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection - Set 2

Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection - Set 3

Special Features

Super Sleuths: Series documentary featuring the stars, producer Brian Eastman, director Ed Bennett, writer Anthony Horowitz and others.

Product Details

  • Actors: David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson, Pauline Moran, David Yelland
  • Directors: Ashley Pearce, James Kent
  • Writers: Agatha Christie, Mark Gatiss, Nick Dear
  • Producers: David Suchet, Damien Timmer, Karen Thrussell
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 7, 2009
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001V7YZAM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,214 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Movie Collection, Set 4" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Mular TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 21, 2009
Even though well into his 60's, David Suchet continues to prove that he IS Hercule Poirot. Yes, the eyes look a little tired & the belly a little full, but even the great Hercule Poirot must age.

These 90 minute movies deserve multiple viewings as the mysteries are intricate and you could miss a clue if you turn your head. The stories, based on the full length novels MRS MCGINTY'S DEAD and CAT AMONG THE PIGEONS, are more flushed out than the older 60 minute episodes. One felt like clues were left out of those shorter episodes that prevented the viewer from solving the murder with Poirot. But here, all of the clues are there for you the viewer to pick up on, but are they what they seem?

I do miss the regular cast of characters in the old 60 minute series, Inspector Japp, Captain hastings & Miss Lemon are sadly missing from the 90 minute "Movie" versions of Poirot. However, they are present in the third disc which includes interviews with the actors who brought those characters to life. And you get to see David Suchet without his Poirot mustache.

While the production values are excellent, the wonderful 'Art Deco' style of the earlier shows is missing. I do wish they had kept that style going. 'Art Deco' buildings & objects do appear in these movies, but the style is gone from the production.

The bottom line is that I do like the more flushed out stories, but I miss some of the elements from the earlier productions. Still they are a 'MUST-BUY".

While I wish PBS would air all 4 new Poirot Movies this year (I don't know if it is due to budget cuts or not), it is nice to get to see at least two of the new productions and look forward to two more later on.
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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Carbonman on August 28, 2009
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I have loved Suchet's Poirot and that wonderful characterization is still to be found in these stories.
I also loved the art direction and cinematic style of the earlier stories in which Suchet appeared and that is not so evident in these films.

First the art direction. As others have noted, the "deco" feeling has been almost entirely lost, but I also find that the sense that the events being seen are taking place in a particular place at a particular time has also gone missing. The Poirot's I most love and repeatedly watch are the ones that are clearly taking place in England roughly "between the wars". I have noticed the decline in the sense of place and time in some of the films released shortly before these, but it is virtually absent in these two. I believe this is mostly a matter of changed art direction and set decoration.

As to cinematic style. This appears to be a matter of both editing and directoral choice. I find the editing abrupt and constantly jarring. In this way these two films are very similar to the Miss Marple films starring Geraldine McEwan, which I have never been able to sit through. It is not that find fault with Ms. McEwan's Miss Marple. She is fine. But the editing is too abrupt, to quick, too modern for the period in which the stories are set.

And then there is direction. These two films are so "artificial". Poirot is definitely an eccentric, almost fanciful, character, but Suchet has consistently managed to make Poirot seem "real". In these two films the director has made choices that conflict with that hard won sense of reality. In "Mrs. McGinty" it seems that they stuck a diffusion filter on the lens and never took it off.
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63 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Laika on April 30, 2009
I was just browsing on Amazon and ran across this set, and I am truly offended by how Acorn is treating the Poirot fans in the U.S. For the record, the two movies included in this set were released on Region 2 DVD last year, along with the other two movies from season 11 - "Third Girl" and "Appointment with Death." And when I bought that set last year, it still cost me less than what Acorn is charging for this half-set.

As for the movies, "Mrs. Ginty's Dead" is classic Poirot. It's very faithful to the novel, and by far my favorite episode of season 11. I didn't care for Zoë Wanamaker as Ariadne Oliver in "Cards on the Table," but she really grew on me in this episode. The scene where she's collaborating with Robin on her play is hilarious. "Cat Among the Pigeons" takes a few more liberties with the story, probably because Poirot didn't even appear in the novel until the end. It's still pretty well done, even though the focus definitely shifts from the schoolgirls in the novel to the teachers in the movie. I do wish they had come up with a better excuse to get Poirot involved in the action, though, because the reasons (both the real reason and his cover story) are frankly kind of dumb. But that's a minor quibble.

I can't judge the bonus DVD, of course, but even if it's wonderful, it still wouldn't justify the price for this set. If you like Poirot and British TV in general, I would strongly advise that you check out region-free DVD players. They're surprisingly cheap nowadays. You can buy the complete season 11 on Amazon UK, probably for less than what you'd pay for this set. (Fair warning, though: "Appointment with Death" is really, really terrible. "Third Girl" is pretty decent.)
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Topic From this Discussion
What movies does this contain?
Yes, what are the movie titles for the new movie collection set 4. I want to be sure I don't already have them.
Apr 8, 2009 by W. Schell |  See all 18 posts
for the HOH. Or CC? 100 million are HOH
In case you are still waiting for someone to reply :-)

There are numbers of "Poirot TV Series" box sets available in the US.
However, only Agatha Christie's Poirot Movie Collection Set 5 or later released DVD sets seem to have SUBTITLES. Therefore, this Set 4 DOES NOT HAVE ANY... Read More
Apr 18, 2013 by T. Hayakawa |  See all 9 posts
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