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(based on 2 reviews)
Reviewed by 2 customers
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A satisfying jaunt . . .
By Matthew W. I. Dunn
from New Jersey
About Me Movie Buff
Comments about Agatha Christie Classic Mystery Collection (8-Pack) DVD:
This is an excellent set of DVD's of Agatha Christie mysteries that were adapted for TV. Some of them comprise some of Christie's best, most interesting work, for example (in my opinion): "Sparkling Cyanide" and "Thirteen for Dinner." ("The Man in the Brown Suit" is a bit kooky, yet in a fun way. The book was Christie's attempt at doing something "Hitchcockian.") Yes, the stories have been "updated" to the Modern Day, which at the time was the 1980's. Mostly, it works fine, albeit sometimes things can get a bit silly, like Poirot trying to pound out his memoirs on an old jalopy of an IBM computer. Then again, that was TOP equipment in the 80's. "80's Hair"? . . . as a "Valley Girl" would respond: "what-eh-ver"! I grew up in the 80's and happen to love the 80's styles, but . . . so what? The episodes were filmed when they were filmed, and are products of their age. Just go with it. And, while we're on the subject: The BBC versions of Christie's works -- actually, done by the ITV network, but who's noticing -- ALSO change Christie's timeline for her novels. For example, in the last book featuring Poirot (i.e., "Curtain") it's supposed to be set in the 1970's. Yet, the recent ITV version of it still has him set in pre-World War II Britain. The acting is good -- not Sir Laurence Olivier-playing-Hamlet quality, but good. I believe that, apart from the time-change, the movies follow the books pretty faithfully. Certainly, some of these versions are BETTER than the ITV ones that get shown on PBS in the United States: The British TV and film industry went through a period in the 2000's where every production had to have some social relevance and message. Some of Christie's stories were radically changed in order to accommodate those messages, which (of course) ruined the whole story. (I'm not watching a fictional murder mystery to get preached at, thank you.) Now, as for the protagonists: I've always like Ustinov as Poirot. I like his acting style. But, that's me. I know that others do not like Ustinov, because he is so unlike how Christie described him in the books. Sorry to say, I'm not really a fan of Helen Hayes. I know, that she was a well-respected stage actress, but I could just never warm up to her. Still, she is a MILLION times better than, say, the abysmally and embarrassingly bad, Margaret Rutherford. These movies are a great pleasure, as long as you don't expect more than they promise to deliver. They offer more or less well-plotted mysteries, adequate acting, some action and humor. So, sit down, relax, and enjoy!
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
Mediocre made for TV
About Me Avid Moviegoer
These are mediocre telling of Agatha Christie stories. These are not theatrical releases, but were made for TV movies-of-the-week from the 80's. They also take place in the 80's and not period Christie that you'll find with BBC productions. They are typical of the 80's with the TV stars of the day and "80's hair". There are a few exceptions; Fay Dunaway makes an appearance in 13 at Dinner, Helen Hays appears as Miss Marple in two of the films but producers also attempted to deceive viewers by putting her in Murder Is Easy… for about 3 minutes, as another character. A Caribbean Mystery and Murder With Mirrors are enjoyable with Helen Hays as Miss Marple, as is Peter Ustinov's appearance as Hercule Poirot. While somewhat enjoyable, they are extremely overpriced for only 8 TV movies, considering you can get a full season of McMillan and Wife or Columbo for [$]. Some of the movies are enjoyable so if you want them, do what I did and wait for a 30% off sale.
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend