East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The Hercule Poirot Centenary Blogathon: Peter Ustinov

It is the centenary of the birth of Hercule Poirot, the popular detective created in 1920 by Agatha Christie. For the occasion, the Liberi di Scrivere blog has organized a blogathon, and following this link you can find the list of participants.

In our house, the debate has never been about who is the best James Bond ever (I have always preferred Roger Moore to Sean Connery, who was my mother’s favorite), nor about who the ultimate Sherlock Holmes is (both me and my brother we remain faithful to Jeremy Brett). It is about Poirot that there is a split – my brother, along with the vast majority of Orthodoxy, recognizes David Suchet as the perfect Poirot, while I remain faithful to Peter Ustinov.

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Some considerations about the new Poirot coming in October

I have just seen the trailer for Death on the Nile, the new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel, featuring Kenneth Branagh in the role of Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective. Ca va sands dire that the trailer looks like a million dollars, the cast is suitably stellar (Gal Gadot!), and I’ll probably watch it one way or another when it comes out.

On the other hand I have often written about how much I like the original Death on the Nile, in which Peter Ustinov was Poirot, and that boasted an equally star-studded cast.

And this prompts a question: why remake Death on the Nile?

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Announcing the Hercule Poirot Centenary Blogathon

This year Hercule Poirot turns 100, and my friend Giulietta over at the Liberi di Scrivere blog is launching a blogathon to celebrate this event. I will be lending a hand both on my Italian blog strategie evolutive and here on Karavansara.
Sp yes, if you feel like joining in, drop a line in the comments or go over at Giulietta’s place and sign up in her comments.

Here’s the official call…

Hercule Poirot turns 100 this year. He first appeared in The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1920, when London-based publisher John Lane, co-founder with Charles Elkin Mathews of Bodley Head publishing house, decided to publish it in the United States.

For Agatha Christie, it was the beginning of one of the most incredible literary careers imaginable, and even today her books appear in the top positions on sales charts all over the world.

Much of her success is due to Poirot, a former Belgian police officer who fled to England due to the First World War and became the world’s most famous private investigator.

To celebrate Poirot, and his author, Liberi di Scrivere announces the launch of THE HERCULE POIROT CENTENARY BLOGATHON

The rules:

  • Each blogger can write an article in which he talks about a novel or a story in which Poirot is the protagonist or a theme of their choice: like Poirot in the cinema, Poirot in comics, Poirot in the kitchen etc …
  • Each blogger is invited to talk about a different book / topic.
  • A link to this launch post will be included in the post to be published.
  • The Blogathon will take place on Monday 12th October 2020. Each blogger will post their article on that date.
  • You are all invited to participate, leave a comment with the name of your blog, the url and the chosen topic, you will be added to our list. The more we are, the more fun it will be. If you want clarifications or more information you can contact me at my email address: liberidiscrivere@gmail.com.

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Back on the Nile

I’m not a fan of Agatha Christie.
I think what turned me off was starting with the Miss Marple mysteries, after viewing the old Margaret Rutherford movies. My late aunt, that was a great fan of Christie gave me an omnibus edition with a number of Miss Marple books, and I hated them.


But as I think I already mentioned, I love the Poirot movies featuring Peter Ustinov, and when it comes to Death on the Nile, in my house we are divided – to me, nothing surpasses the Ustinov movie, while my brother, that is a David Suchet fan, prefers the TV movie. Continue reading

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A second serving of Poirot: Evil under the Sun (1982)

It always goes like this: I re-watch Death on the Nile, and a week later I re-watch Evil Under the Sun. So why not write a post on the movie?

Four years after Death on the Nile, EMI made another Agatha Christie adaptation, choosing the 1941 novel “Evil Under the Sun”.
The ingredients were basically the same of the previous movie: a stellar cast (with Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin and Maggie Smith returning, even if the ladies were cast in different roles), an exotic location (Mallorca, doubling for an unspecified Adriatic Island), the same screenwriter (Anthony Shaffer) and the same Oscar-winning costume designer. Even the poster concept was similar.

The result is on a par with the previous film: a good adaptation, with a cunning plot and an unexpected finale, with a beautiful look and a great selection of great actors. Continue reading

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Afternoon on the Nile

Isn’t this writing business just great.
In what other field could I spend the afternoon re-watching the great Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile, and still call it research?

And by the way, the movie is from 1978, not 1974 as the trailer caption puts it.
And yes, I might inflict my opinions about the movie on you, one of these nights.