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Agatha Christie's Poirot: Sad Cypress - television series DVD review
AGATHA CHRISTIE'S POIROT: SAD CYPRESS Not Rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 4 1/2 stars
Actors: David Suchet, Elisabeth Dermot Walsh, Rupert Penry-Jones
Director: Dave Moore   Studio: A&E Home Video
DVD release: 06 April 2004   Runtime: 100 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Box set, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Digipak, Pan & Scan , 1.33:1, Closed Captioned
Features: Audio tracks (English, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

Sad Cypress is one of the better book-to-movie Poirot mysteries, based on the book by Agatha Christie and featuring the infamous Hercule Poirot to solve the whodunit murder mystery.

This particular story is noted for being the first of the Poirot mysteries to involve a courtroom drama. The stage is set with a pretty young women with dark hair on the stand, accused of multiple murders. The detective watches from the side, his mustache a-twitch with curiosity, for he is certain she is not guilty of the crime of which she is accused.

David Suchet returns to play the famous Belgian detective; there is no one who can truly capture the magic of Hercule Poirot like Suchet can. In Sad Cypress, this is true yet again.

The accused is, Elinor, a young woman who is engaged to be married to her childhood friend, Roddy. Elinor's aging aunt is ill, and the young couple fully expects to be her heirs. During this time, Mary - the gardener's daughter - returns from schooling abroad. Clear affection is displayed between Elinor's affianced and the lovely, blond Mary. That flirtation leads to a break-up, leaving Elinor heartbroken.

When the aunt passes very suddenly and Mary follows in death, suspicion falls directly onto Elinor. She is hauled in for questioning, and held through the trial.

All the while, Poirot searches, quietly listening and gathering evidence in a way that only he can. He snatches at details and puts the little gray cells to work to determine if the young heiress truly is the murderer, or if she has only been framed perfectly while the true murderer gets well away.

As is usual in a production of this sort, details from the book are left behind. It is a reasonable representation, however, and the general feel and theme of Agatha Christie's tale is depicted. It is a fairly believable period piece, with only a few true-life discrepancies.

Sad Cypress is entertaining and complete. As thrilling murder mysteries go, it is one of the best.


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reviewed by Carolynn Evans
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