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Agatha

4.3 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Agatha Christie is generally considered the Queen of Crime Fiction. Her novels, stories and plays bamboozle legions of murder aficionados with complex plotting and dazzling denouements. But no mystery she ever wrote surpassed the one she lived. This tantalizing tale posits what may have happened to the famed writer during her real-life 11-day disappearance in 1926. Dustin Hoffman plays a brash American journalist who tries his own hand at sleuthing when he sets out the find the missing novelist (Vanessa Redgrave), a shy, introspective woman whose marriage to a war hero (Timothy Dalton) has foundered. What really happened? The world doesn't know and Dame Agatha never told. But as suspensefully directed by Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorky Park), Agatha offers a spellbinding solution.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton
  • Directors: Michael Apted
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Bros.
  • DVD Release Date: November 10, 2010
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003YPKBF2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,416 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Shelley on August 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
In 1926 acclaimed English mystery writer Agatha Christie disappeared after her car was found in the countryside. She later reappeared at the Harrogate Spa claiming "amnesia" and unable to explain what had taken place. The screenplay by Kathleen Tynan and Arthur Hopcraft constructs a solution to Christie's real life mystery by suggesting that she followed her husband's mistress to Harrogate Spa. What is intriguing about this idea is the way the treatment has Christie use the skills she presumably used to create her novels, to investigate the potentially lethal electrical apparatus used at the Spa as slimming devices. However outweighing the thriller elements of the film is the romantic approach by director Michael Apted, represented by the casting of Vanessa Redgrave as Christie, Dustin Hoffman as an American journalist following her, the lighting by Vittorio Storaro and the production design by Shirley Russell. Redgrave encapsulates the shy genius Christie who hides in her clothes and her partnership with the dandy played by Hoffman is both the coming together of two oddballs, and the excitement of seeing two great actors complement each other. Hoffman is as aware that Redgrave is Christie though she uses a false name as much as Redgrave is as aware of his awareness. Apted uses this double act of voyeurism of Hoffman spying on Redgrave and Redgrave's Christie spying on her husband's mistress as a demonstration of the public's fascination with celebrity, even celebrity as unwilling as Christie is - at a launch of her book at the film's opening, Christie can barely speak to say thank you for the attention. Redgrave and Hoffman have a delicious moment when she stoops to kiss him in profile, and Redgrave's tear as she half sings They Didn't Believe Me is memorable.Read more ›
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Format: VHS Tape
People are all over the place in rating this film (for a myriad of reasons) so I'll try to pin that down first. While the film was beautifully produced, bulging with a fine cast, it did not do all that well when it was released. Someone mentioned this reality already and they are correct in their facts on that point. I first saw "Agatha" either on HBO or Cinemax in the early days of those cable premium channels. In the end, it IS a really good film with an interesting story to relate.

In 1926, famed mystery writer Agatha Christie really DID disappear for better than a week. In real life, (and in the movie), she was experiencing major domestic problems, prior to her divorce from Colonel Christie, and it's my belief that this is the simple basis for her disappearance; however, numerous conspiracy theories have blossomed and psychologists' opinions of the matter have spurred on this sort of alternative scenario thinking. Certain conspiracy accounts may in fact be true, or possibly not -- I seriously doubt that we'll ever know all the facts. Christie later said that she couldn't account for the lost time and some psychologists have stated that she was in a "fugue state" for the period in question.

In any case, the movie is essentially all about what happened to Christie for those 11 mysterious days and nights. The movie provides probably the most popular account of that turbulent window of time in Christie's life.

A chief feature of the movie focuses on an American reporter (played by Dustin Hoffman) who tracks Christie down at a health resort. That 'location' takes up 2/3 of the film.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I want to counter one review here. I had seen this movie when it first came out. It DID NOT do well in the box office, BUT! This movie was beautifully filmed with excellent focus adjustments that mirrored the "mystery" that never took place, but could have. I also want to say that if anyone "falls asleep" at the beautiful music of Johnny Mandel, especially the closing title song "Close Enough for Love" then they think 50 cent is a gospel singer (By the way it has been recorded by more great singers and jazz artists than almost any song of Mandel's since the Shadow of Your Smile). This is first rate fiction and while Hoffman's character is almost plastic in its portrayal, Redgrave's and Dalton's is first rate. This one will disappear into obscurity, evidenced by its lack of DVD availablility.I am afraid, like so many movies that we are now trying to pull from the celluliod graveyard, it will be re-discovered way too late. You need to grab this one and remember the choice is yours a "cigarette or a kiss."
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Format: VHS Tape
The title of this English movie refers to one of the world's most famous writer, Agatha Christie, who, in 1926, left her home without warning and created a public speculation about her fate. The director, Michael Apted, gives us a great amount of solemnity, using it to balance with the most trivial of human behaviors. Dustin Hoffman is rather theatrical in his portrayal of a famous journalist that falls in love with the fragile and dependent writer and Vanessa Redgrave captures perfectly the loss and solitude of the character. And suddenly, when the movie itself was imbued in its quietness, becomes something close to a thriller, a race against time, and its cleverness never compensates the unexpected loss. But it is a beautiful film, carefully constructed and with some good dialogue. Victorio Storaro's cinematography is excellent as usual and Timothy Dalton probably gives his finest performance as a rigid and paternal husband who doesn't allow his wife to act as one.
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