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