Agatha Christie, Mystery Books and Films

Agatha Christie was a part of growing up. I read a lot of her books. My favourite creation of hers is the Belgian with the egg-shaped head, Hercule Poirot. I also watched a few of the English films that were made based on her books. The three films I liked best were Evil Under the Sun, Death on the Nile, and Murder on the Orient Express. Naturally, they are all Hercule Poirot mysteries, with Peter Ustinov and Albert Finney playing him. I also saw a couple of films based on the Miss Marple character, but to me, she was an "inferior" detective.

The Hindi film Gumnaam was also based on And Then There Were None, written by her. It was a really good film in the suspense genre, where winners of a contest are flown to an island resort, and bumped off one by one..excellent plot. Mehmood acted really well, and the song Hum kaale hain to kya hua dilwaale hain that he sang on-screen became a rage. Other popular songs were Jaane chaman, shola badan, filmed on the lead pair of Nanda and Manoj Kumar, and Jaan pehchan ho, jeena aasaan ho, sung at the party where the contest winners are announced at the beginning.

I doubt if anyone wrote as well as her in the world of detective fiction, though I also like Rex Stout and his detective Nero Wolfe (with Archie Goodwin as the sidekick), and Perry Mason, the lawyer who solved mysteries while getting his clients off the hook (literally, as they faced murder charges). A black and white TV series starring Raymond Burr as Perry Mason was my favourite while in the U.S. in the late eighties.

The other singular author in this genre was of course, Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes is incomparable, as is Watson. Elementary, you say? Also filmed well in an old TV series I remember watching on DD.


Diamond Head said…
I was also a fan of an old German production shown by DD in the eighties called 'The Old Fox' or 'Der Alte' played by Siegfried Lowitz as the detective.

I am craving to re-view (which I saw in B&W)the episodes after visiting Munich or Munchen as it is called locally (and was the scene of crime in most episodes) - do not seem to be available state side.

Ironically he played a killer in another German series called Derrick.
Harimohan said…
I cannot imagine how she plotted so many stories and wrote them down with such consistency. And she did what she could do well, without messing it up trying too many things. Got the plot right, the pace right and the characters are unforgettable.
Rajendra said…
DH, I vaguely remember THAT old fox.

Hari, yes, it is an amazing performance from the Grand Old Lady of mystery.

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