But for today's #ThrowbackThursday film, let's go way back to 1974 when Albert Finney starred as the famous Belgian detective in a star-studded movie version directed by the late, great Sydney Lumet.
Nominated for six Academy Awards, Murder on the Orient Express earned Ingrid Bergman her third—and final—Oscar for her performance in the supporting category, of Greta, the Swedish nurse.
Along with the costume design, the score and cinematography, the script by Paul Dehn—who gave us Goldfinger, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, and several Planet of the Apes sequels—was also nominated, but didn't win. It was the last screenplay Dehn would write; he died just two years later, in 1976.
The last of the six nominations? That went to Albert Finney. The five time Oscar nominee never, ever won the coveted golden boy from the Academy which goes to show you once again that awards, well, yeah, they're nice, but sometimes they just don't mean shit.
1974? That was a pretty big year. Finney was a great actor but he didn't really stand a chance. He was up against Dustin Hoffman for Lenny Bruce, Jack Nicholson for Chinatown, Al Pacino for The Godfather and Art Carney for Harry & Tonto. Nope, not a chance. Who won? Art Carney for Harry & Tonto. Hmmm. I can just imagine Nicholson and Pacino sitting in the audience, smiling through their teeth ... 'It's an honor just to be nominated...'
Here's the trailer. Unfortunately, the movie isn't available to stream anywhere that I can see, and I don't own a copy of the DVD. I hate to get all judgmental based on a trailer, tantamount to judging a book by its cover, and the movie itself may have been great in its day—besides the Oscar nominations, there are plenty of great reviews and a high Rotten Tomatoes score—but to my eyes in 2015, and it may be heresy to say this about a Lumet film, it looks like an old television movie. I'd say a remake is in order.
How about you? Talk to me.
Originally published 6/18/2015