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The major characters are very similar in both stories, with quite a bit more backstory provided, naturally, for (1935), the murder happens in France.France is indeed more picturesque in the telling here than the actual journey on the titular train.
It is, to be sure, only a marginally satisfying thriller and not the sort of thing that ranks among the author’s best.
One thing the story does do well, however, is to suppose that the murder and the theft of the rubies might be two crimes, committed separately. The screenwriter, Guy Andrews, probably recognizing the novel’s weaknesses made quite a number of sweeping changes to the story, retaining only the names, the train, the murder and the guilty culprits of Agatha Christie’s original story.
Andrews, who also wrote the screenplays for , deliciously ups the number of potential suspects.
Unfortunately, the direction suffers from a bit too much handheld camera work, which was no doubt used to provide the spying sense that “you are there” while things are happening.
After a while, though, the cut-off heads and jiggly-frame dynamics just become distracting and annoying.
A long lost cousin, the wealthy and well-known Lady Rosalie Tamplin, invites the former servant girl to stay with her and her daughter at the fabulous Villa Marguerite on the Riviera.