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Tony Grist

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Agatha Christie [Jul. 16th, 2005|08:47 am]
Tony Grist
Agatha Christie fools me every time. I've studied her methods in film after film (I can't bear the books, but my idea of a relaxing evening is to settle in with a Poirot dramatization) and I never spot the killer in advance.

She's the master of misdirection. All the evidence is there, but somehow she contrives for you not to spot it. She's awesome.

It's become a tradition (ever since Murder on the Orient Express) that Christie dramatizations should be packed with stars and polished to a high shine. The Poirot series (with the incomparable David Suchet) was worth watching simply for the production values. Everything gleamed, everything from the houses to the ashtrays was Art Deco. Mmmmm.

Last night was an oddity. The Pale Horse is late Christie and there's no Poirot, no Miss Marple and it's set contemporaneously in the Sixties. The film was as meticulous in its recreation of that era as tradition demands- with authentic clothes and cars and haircuts, conversational references to "angry young men", posters for Lolita and the Rolling Stones on bedsit walls and the Kinks on the soundtrack. It's odd to see a period one has lived through treated as if it were a remote historical epoch. It made me feel old to the point of ghostliness.

And Gollum was in it- Andy Serkis I mean- as a strange, nerdy, young policeman with an even stranger head of hair. He easily stole the show from the nominal hero. What a talent he is!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2005-07-16 05:52 am (UTC)
My rule of thumb is that it's usually the person who nearly gets killed early on. They later turn out to have faked an attempt on their life in order to avert suspicion. But it doesn't always work.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-07-16 06:18 am (UTC)
ooooooooooooooh, a Jeremy Brett icon! I love it!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-16 08:20 am (UTC)
I'll second that. Brett's Holmes is extraordinary.
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-07-16 08:50 am (UTC)
Jeremy Brett took away Basil Rathbone's *title* as THE definitive Sherlock Holmes. He was amazing, although toward the end of his life his Holmes was a little bloated - alas, as we found out later, due to Jeremy's medical condition.

I've always admired Francesa because she is in a relationship with a much younger man...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-16 11:43 am (UTC)
I agree about Brett & Rathbone. As so often happens with very successful series they carried on longer than they should have done. By the end they'd run out of good original stories and were having to "improve upon" the sweepings of Conan Doyle's workshop.

And, yes, sadly, Brett no longer looked the part.

Francesca is with Ralph Fiennes, right?
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[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2005-07-16 01:10 pm (UTC)
Francesca is with Ralph Fiennes, right?

mmm, yes she is. And isn't she lucky?

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-07-16 08:19 am (UTC)
Yes, that works sometimes, but, as you say, she keeps changing the formula.
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