Although fans will miss Inspector Japp, Miss Lemon and Major Hastings, the newer Hercule Poirot TV movies showcase David Suchet’s unsurpassed interpretation of Agatha Christie's fastidious homicide expert.
Aristocratic Elinor Carlisle (Elizabeth Dermot Walsh) takes a drive down to Hunterby, the estate of her invalid aunt, Laura Welman (Diana Quick), with an eye to showing off her dishy fiance, Roddy Winter (Rupert Penry-Jones). During her recent convalescence, Aunt Laura has grown fond of a care-giver named Mary Gerrard (Kelly Reilly), the daughter of her former gardener. Elinor is concerned about her aunt’s declining health and shares a cryptic letter to Aunt Laura’s physician, Dr. Peter Lord (Mark McGann); it warns Elinor – who's in line to inherit the estate -- about busybodies attempting to move up the beneficiary food chain. Despite Elinor’s easy-going manner, Aunt Laura’s two nurses bristle about her superior airs – they'd rather see the attentive Mary benefit. As Aunt Laura succumbs to a series of strokes, Elinor suffers the indignity of losing her groom-to-be to Mary, but she does inherit Aunt Laura’s estate and, in a gesture of respect to her memory, Elinor gives Mary $7000 pounds. While maintaining a friendly facade, Elinor holds Mary responsible for her heartache. In light of the bad blood, Dr. Lord confides in Hercule Poirot (Suchet), who's vacationing nearby; the ace investigator senses trouble ahead. After Mary dies suddenly, the police arrest Elinor; a missing bottle of morphine makes them suspect that Aunt Laura didn’t die of natural causes either. As the legal noose is tightening around Elinor’s neck, Poirot is puzzled by certain oddities of the situation, including the fact that a woman as young and healthy as Mary had drawn up a will. With the Belgian snoop closing in, the bold killer invites Poirot to lunch.
A tricky whodunit even by Christie standards, this tale pivots on the way feelings of familial guilt – even on the part of a perfectly innocent party -- can be manipulated by the criminally culpable. Fine performances make it a delight for fans of the mistress of crime.
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- Released: 2003
- Rating: NR
- Review: Although fans will miss Inspector Japp, Miss Lemon and Major Hastings, the newer Hercule Poirot TV movies showcase David Suchet’s unsurpassed interpretation of Agatha Christie's fastidious homicide expert. Aristocratic Elinor Carlisle (Elizabeth Dermo… (more)