Recently I watched an episode of The ABC Murders, starring John Malkovich as a rather twitchy, guilt-ridden, autumnal Poirot. It is directed by Brazilian. Alex Gabassi, and often has a rather brutal, phantasmagorical quality. It is more David Lynch than the genteel Christieville world of cucumber sandwiches at the vicarage that we are used to.
Intrigued, I paid a visit to IMDB and was struck by how many well/known actors have played Poirot. Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov, David Suchet, Orson Welles and Kenneth Branagh. The recent Orient Express movie feels like a vanity project so that our Ken would get a chance to play the great sleuth. Initially it was beyond my ken, why Hercule should be so popular, but on reflection, I began to appreciate the charm of this rather stiff and pedantic Belgian brainbox. And of course a detective with flaws is always appealing.
Agatha Christie was definitely rather fond of her creation who was inspired by the Belgians she met working as a nurse during the Great War. Poirot appeared in 33 novels, one play and over 50 short stories.
By contrast, her other great character, Miss Jane Marple from the village of St Mary Mead » Continue Reading.