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Agathie Christie's Poirot - Cards on the Table

David Suchet , Zoe Wanamaker  |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Suchet, Zoe Wanamaker, Alexander Siddig, David Westhead
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M1A5K2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,541 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling July 7, 2007
'Cards on the Table' is one of my favourite Poirot novels, but this TV film has made a ghastly mess of the original story. Characters have been changed, or entirely replaced by other characters. A character who killed someone by accident in the book, is in this film version made out to have killed deliberately. The two girls have their roles swapped,so that the one who is the murderer in the book, is the innocent one in the film. The girl who is supposed to be guilty (but who in the film is made out to be innocent) turns out to be the daugther of one of the other characters (in the book they aren't related at all). And I need hardly say that there is no mention whatsoever of gay porn in the book. Most annoying of all, Superintendant Battle, who is one of Agatha Christie's best creations, does not appear in this film version at all.

The whole thing is absolutely maddening. If you watch this, do not imagine that it bears any resemblance at all to the original book, because it doesn't.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
David Suchet, who has played the villain in other films, is, as usual, superb as Hercule Poirot in this somewhat unusual tale. Poirot is invited together with four people, his friend the crime novelist Adriane Oliver, who adds some humor to the adventure, and two police officers, to an evening with the rather strange, very rich, Mr. Shaitana, apparently a Syrian. Shaitana tells Poirot that he is unusual in that he enjoys taking pictures of people and collecting murderers, not their pictures, but the people themselves. After a sumptuous meal, he has his guests play bridge, while he watches them for some time. However, after a while, he sits down in a large chair with high side arms that conceal him from view, and is later, after the several bridge games, found dead, stabbed through the heart. The police find that he has also been drugged. Poirot spend the rest of the film interviewing the guests, and discovers that each of them has a secret that Shaitana apparently knew about, them even though they tried to hide the secrets. Poirot has to find out why Shaitana invited these guests to his home, who drugged him, who stabbed him, and why.

The film is different than the book, book is still delightful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique Set-Up, Fun Mystery, but Poor Conclusion. October 23, 2011
"Cards on the Table" is a 90-minute film, part of Series 10 of "Agatha Christie's Poirot, that originally aired on Britain's ITV in 2006. Based on Christie's 1936 novel of the same name, this story introduced the character of mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver. Poirot is invited by London's richest man, the sinister Mr. Shaitana (Alexander Siddig), to his home for a dinner party, as is Poirot's friend Ariadne Oliver (ZoŽ Wannamaker). They are joined by police Superintendent Wheeler (David Westhead), Colonel Hughes (Robert Pugh), whom he suspects works for the Secret Service, Dr. Roberts (Alex Jennings), a physician, Mrs. Lorrimer (Lesley Manville), a cool middle-aged woman, Ann Meredith (Lyndsey Marshall), a nervous young woman, and adventurer Major Despard (Tristan Gemmill).

Mr. Shaitana steers the dinner conversation to murder, suggesting ways that one might commit the crime. After dinner, Mr. Shaitana divides the guests into two groups of four and shows them to bridge tables in separate rooms. The sleuths -Poirot, Wheeler, Hughes, and Oliver- are in one room, and they wonder what the other group may have in common. Mr. Shaitana does not play bridge but tries to ensure that his guests enjoy themselves before falling asleep in a chair. At the end of the evening, as the guests say their goodbyes, it is discovered that Shaitana has been murdered, a stiletto driven through his heart while he slept. The four guests who played bridge in that room are the suspects, and the four sleuths must find the killer.

This is the most contrived set-up I've seen in an Agatha Christie novel, which is saying something. Mr. Shaitana is rich, bored, and amoral. He amuses himself with real-life games.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lushly Appointed Production *Spoilers* August 7, 2007
By C. Cook
"Cards On the Table" gets a lot of negative reviews for the way it derivates from the original novel. Specifically, people take issue with the homosexual elements added to the story. However, despite these changes, the screenplay is surprisingly faithful to the book otherwise. How is this possible? Well, mostly because the final "twists" are added on top of the original storyline. For example, a man in the book who was having an affair with a woman, turns out to be having an affair with the woman's husband. Does this dramatically change the story? Well, I suppose if you are freaked out by the overt depiction of homosexuality in an Agatha Christie film then you will find this appalling. But it's ultimately an adaption. If you don't like it, go read the novel. It remains there, unspoiled.

Otherwise, this in an engaging production, nicely shot and well cast. Zoe Wannamaker makes a somewhat more morose Mrs. Oliver than I pictured, but she has left room to play it a little lighter in future productions. Suchet has deepened the character of Poirot, and he looks more and more like a haunted man. I suspect he is preparing the character for the depths he will reach in "Curtain." The storyline, while not one of Christie's most inventive or engaging, is serviceable. The changes give it a bit of energy the rather pedestrian climax of the novel lacked. The Suchet series has been so wonderfully faithful to the Christie canon--are we really going to freak out when they make some changes to the stories? The victim's homosexuality was strongly hinted at in the Christie novel, and the screenwriter ran with that. All in all, I found the adaption engaging, interesting, and respectful. A good screenplay is more than word-for-word translation of a novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I Didn't Bother to Finish Watching It
“Cards on the Table” is, unfortunately, another example of people deciding that a plot from the popular mystery author in the world and the brilliant David Suchet simply weren’t... Read more
Published 4 months ago by StarReviewer
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay-Nothing spectacular! Poirot fan can't recommend this one.
I'm an Agatha Christie fan of many years, since Junior High School, in fact. I'm also a Poirot fan, but this story fell flat for me. Read more
Published 13 months ago by UniversityDoc
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but why change the plot?
I do like the Poirot adaptations, but i HATE when plots are changed in books! Now, why add the homosexual reference? Not everyone likes this thrown into their faces by the media! Read more
Published 23 months ago by Sean J. Hagins
1.0 out of 5 stars A grossly over priced mess
The film is a crass, stupid, smug rewrite of the original plot. Well acted trash. Grossly overpriced to boot. Buy it elsewhere if you must see it.... Read more
Published on April 22, 2012 by Linc
4.0 out of 5 stars As A Standalone Film Product - Very Enjoyable
This was my very first David Suchet 'Poiroit' and I can see why the man has been doing this role for the better part of twenty years - he captures the effete diminutive detective... Read more
Published on February 10, 2012 by MadMacs
3.0 out of 5 stars Outraged
I just watched "Cards on the Table" and am, once again, outraged by the blatant inclusion of homosexual characters in novels wherein they did not originally appear. Read more
Published on September 14, 2010 by Lover of English
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series
I'm getting the entire series - bit by bit. That's how much I like Suchet and Poirot.
Published on April 22, 2010 by Book Carpenter
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a No Deal!
This Mystery was the first Poirot to disappoint me. ( I haven't seen all of them). The screenwriter did not seem to capture Agatha Christie's style. The show moved too slowly. Read more
Published on December 8, 2009 by James Barlow Jr.
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't watch if you have read the book.
I read the book before I saw the movie. I can't believe it could be so different. They killed off Rhonda Dawe instead of Anne Meridith and made Dr. Roberts gay. Read more
Published on November 13, 2009 by terri lynn luchies
4.0 out of 5 stars better than the others in this series
I have seen about four of these movies and tv series
with this actor. The Mrs. Oliver versions are better
constructed and less derivative. Read more
Published on July 15, 2009 by Roger Bagula
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