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Who Played Who Better? [Agatha Christie Adaptations]

We always talk about which Poirot or Miss Marple actor is our favorite but what about the actors/actresses who play the characters from the books? Agatha Christie's books have been adapted for years and years and there have been multiple versions of stories such as Murder On The Orient Express, Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile, Lord Edgware Dies, etc. From the many versions of a particular adapted story, which actor/actress played the character best?

1. Who played Arlena Marshall better in Evil Under The Sun? 
(A) Diana Rigg [Ustinov]
(B) Louise Delamere [Suchet] 

2. Who played Lady Edgware (Jane Wilkinson) better in Lord Edgware Dies/Thirteen At Dinner?  
(A) Helen Grace [Suchet]
(B) Faye Dunaway [Ustinov]

3. Who played Jacqueline de Bellefort better in Death On The Nile? 
(A) Emma Griffiths Malin [Suchet]
(B) Mia Farrow [Ustinov]

4. Who played Salome Otterbourne better in Death On The Nile?
(A) Angela Lansbury [Ustinov]
(B) Frances de la Tour [Suchet] 

5. Who played Sir Charles Cartwright better in Three Act Tragedy? 
(A) Martin Shaw [Suchet]
(B) Tony Curtis [Ustinov]

6. Who played Letitia Blacklock better in A Murder Is Announced? 
(A) Ursula Howells [Hickson]
(B) Zoë Wanamaker [McEwan]

7. Who played Dolly Bantry better in the Miss Marple series? 
(A) Joanna Lumley [McEwan/Mckenzie]
(B) Gwen Watford [Hickson]

8. Who played Ariadne Oliver better? 
(A) Zoë Wanamaker [Suchet]
(B) Jean Stapleton [Ustinov]

9. Who played Samuel Ratchett better in Murder On The Orient Express? 
(A) Toby Jones [Suchet]
(B) Richard Widmark [Finney]

10. Who played Christine Vole better in Witness For The Prosecution?
(A) Marlene Dietrich [1957]
(B) Diana Rigg [1982] 

I would love to hear your reasons as to your opinions :) 


“People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
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Comments

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    1) A  2) Draw 3) Draw 4) A  5) B 6) A 7) B 8) B 9) B 10) B. I think Tim Curry should have played the part Martin Shaw played in 3 Act Tragedy, I didn't like the film but Tony Curtiss, Peter Ustinov and Jonathan Cecil were brilliant, Zoe Wanemaker is Brilliant but her Ariadne is too Ascerbic for me, I think if the part has to be played by an American Jean Stapleton was an excellent choice. Gwen Watford is So goo as Dolly but Joanna has her moments and enthusiasm, Angela is unbeatable when it comes to Salome likewise Diana Rigg in anything Richard Widmar is Great as Richetti Jones seems too young.
  • I don't know if anyone had this impression when watching Suchet's version of Murder On The Orient Express, but with Toby Jones who played Ratchett, I got the feeling that the scriptwriter was trying to somewhat redeem Ratchett's character, making him a nasty character but also have the viewer have a little sympathy for him. Did anyone feel somewhat sympathetic for him? I know for Richard Widmark who played Ratchett, was nasty through and through and I think that's how the character should have been played. That's how the character was in the book. 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • Warning: This post contain spoilers

    I agree with you ChristieFanForLife that the Suchet movie tried to make Ratchett a bit more sympathetic, probably to heighten the moral issues the movie beat to death.

    I have not seen a number of these movies, but here are my opinions on the ones I have seen.

    1. A Diana Rigg: It has been a long time since I saw either movie, and so I am basing my answer to this one on the vividness of the impression the actress left on me. I do not remember Louise Delamere's Arlena Marshall at all, but Diana Rigg's Arlena Marshall was extremely memorable. I thought Diana Rigg's Arlena Marshall was a bit too nasty, but Diana Rigg did a great job of making that nasty character really come to life.

    3. A Emma Griffiths Malin: I really love both the novel and the Suchet version of Death on the Nile. Jackie is one of my favorite characters in the novel. In spite of being one of the murderers, Jackie is a sympathetic character because of her powerful love for Simon. Emma Griffiths Malin successfully portrays Jackie's passion and cleverness in  a sympathetic manner. Mia Farrow's Jackie is one of my main problems with the Ustinov version of Death on the Nile. Mia Farrow gets the passion right, but I never sympathized with her Jackie. Instead, Mia Farrow plays Jackie as a straightforward villain. (On a side note, I should probably add that I am not a big Mia Farrow fan in general. In my opinion, she also ruined The Great Gatsby with her overly shallow portrayal of Daisy [yes, Daisy is shallow but Mia Farrow's Daisy is so transparently shallow that anyone should be able to see through her; the Daisy in the novel had a charm capable of deceiving people which Mia Farrow's Daisy lacked])

    4. B Frances de la Tour: Frances de la Tour is hilarious as Salome Otterbourne. Practically every scene she appears in in the Suchet version amused me. Angela Lansbury did a good job, but I just found Frances de la Tour funnier in this role.

    7. A Joanna Lumley: Both ladies did a good job as Dolly Bantry, but Joanna Lumley delivered the more memorable performance. Her Dolly Bantry is endearing and sometimes goofy, but always fun to watch.
  • @P_Lombard

    I think Suchet's Death On The Nile could have been so much better on many levels. And it was unfortunate that Emma Griffiths Malin who played Jacqueline was in an unfortunate production. What I liked about the Suchet version in particular was the discussion that Poirot and Jacqueline de Bellefort had about murder in her heart and her star falling and all that which wasn't emphasized a great detail to my memory in the Ustinov version. I think it was the direction of the Suchet film that kept me from liking it and the film went too fast to my liking. If they took their time like the Ustinov version did and extended the time frame of the movie, the characters would have been more developed and the time with Jacqueline's character would have been much better. Honestly, I think they should have got other actors to play the roles. But yes, I did emphasize more with Jacqueline in the Suchet version and I think it's because of the discussions that Poirot and her had outside of the hotel near the beginning and near the ending on the boat and all this combined with the last scene of the film just makes her even more sympathetic. But it's a shame how one of the best Poirot stories couldn't translate as well as I had hoped with the definitive and best Poirot we had on screen. 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    I can't recall at the moment but in Murder On the Orient Express (the book), did the passengers on the train stab Ratchett when he was unconscious or when he was conscious and cognizant as in the Suchet film? 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭
    I thought The Adaptation of Death On The Nile was Brilliant I can't say there was anything wrong with it IMHO because I think I don't think there is anything wrong with it, Perhaps Tim Allerton was too camp and perhaps a glance by Barbara Flynndid suggest an improper relationship between Mother and Son but those to me are the only bad points.
  • ChristieFanForLife In the book "MOTOE" Ratchet is drugged and then stabbed.
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2016
    @taliavishay-arbel, thanks ;) 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • Here are some of my choices: 

    1. Who played Arlena Marshall better in Evil Under The Sun? 
    (A) Diana Rigg [Ustinov]
    (B) Louise Delamere [Suchet] 

    6. Who played Letitia Blacklock better in A Murder Is Announced? 
    (A) Ursula Howells [Hickson]
    (B) Zoë Wanamaker [McEwan]

    7. Who played Dolly Bantry better in the Miss Marple series? 
    (A) Joanna Lumley [McEwan/Mckenzie]
    (B) Gwen Watford [Hickson]

    9. Who played Samuel Ratchett better in Murder On The Orient Express? 
    (A) Toby Jones [Suchet]
    (B) Richard Widmark [Finney]


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭✭

    I wouldn't say Goofy about Gwen Taylor's Dolly Bantry but I know what you mean, hers was more humorous in a way and more I think they were both close to the real thing but Joanna's was not as endearing IMHO but there wasn't much in it.

    Angela Landesbury's Salome Otterbourne is more memorable to me, I found all her scenes funny.

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