Merry Christmas! Our not-particularly-obscure movie takes place in December 1935 on board the luxurious Orient Express. Although the subject is rather grim for the holiday season, it’s a crackerjack who-done-it with an all-star cast of stage and screen — and snow plays a key part in the film.
As always, the brightest star from my point of view is the train itself. Pulling the posh coaches is SNCF #4353, a 1922-built 4-6-0 steam locomotive that is still with us. In order behind the engine are a baggage car, Restaurant car (#9), Sleeping car (#7), and a Pullman Lounge car #4163.
From Istanbul, Turkey, the train traveled through “Uzunkopru, Sofia (Bulgaria), Belgrade (Serbia), Zagreb (Croatia), Brod (Kosovo), Trieste (Italy), Venice, Milan, Lausanne (Switzerland), Bazel, Paris (France), Calais, with connections for London.”
Watch Hercule Poirot (played by Albert Finney) try to unravel a tangle of clues and suspects onboard an opulent occidental passenger train.
The engineman and his conductor come face to face with a snow-filled cut as #4353 simmers in the background; Poirot plays a little air-violin in his compartment, but all is not peaceful onboard. Nice fixtures and accoutrements, though!Continue reading