If there was to be a new big screen film version of one of her books, which one?

We have seen a great many AC dramas on tv, and a few on film, but which books should have the glory of major film?  


  • Actually, I think that Dead Man's Folly is underrated. There are a lot of themes in there, such as the decline of the old ways, when big families had large households, but looked after their servants (so the story goes) and kept a small community of fishermen, and farmers, etc in work. The war made wages too dear, as workers aspired to more pay and independence in shops and factories. Families couldn't keep on the houses, and they were sold to be hotels or schools, and the old paternalistic community failed, or so some say it did. You could get in some Downton Abbey style Upstairs Downstairs commentary and action there, and put in some country hunt scenes (not with animals being killed, of course) . You'd have the youth hostellers being the new order - brash and bold.Think of the great doyennes of cinema, a handful of wonderful character actors we have, who could play old Mrs Foliat desperately clinging on to the old ways. Wasn't the house based on Christie's own abode in Devon? The big screen film could be shot at her house, and all the biographical notes from her autobiography gleaned to make the shots show how she felt and thought about the place. What an interesting character is Mrs Foliat, not bad, but flawed: an interesting contrast to some of the cruder characters in other Christie novels. Then there is Hattie (I won't elaborate on her two-faced character). What a colourful character to bring dialogue and mannerisms to life, and to suggest great appeal, beauty and cunning. The other suspects and party goers could be given as roles to other great actors. The one whose wife is having an affair - Hugh Laurie, perhaps. Humour could be introduced. A really great part could be made of the Squire - real acting; lots of flashback scenes too, to give us a chance to guess. The villagers could be beefed up, and more detail and scenes given to showing their lives and ways: the ferryman, and his family - how they talked and lived and loved, and what an English village was like. You could have scenes overseas where Hattie and her cousin came from; the sea and river and yacht would make nice scenes. You could really get someone to play Ariadne Oliver well, and take comments and evidence of who she is from other novels and use this to build her up. The relationship between Ariadne and Poirot could be explored. Could they be......lovers ... on the quiet ......hiding it from Miss Lemon......who knows, why not?
  • You could do the whole film, around the Mrs Foliat character, showing her sense of family, her disappointments, etc; her love, her sense of duty. It is all there, and the locations - the old boathouse - nice and picturesque, and creepy.

    The more obvious one they'd do is Five Little Pigs. Deep and grand. I'd be most surprised if anyone would touch Death on the Nile, as, though a long and extremely complex Christie, it has been done twice on the big screen, and,I think (?) little, quite brilliantly.
  • I like the idea of Dead man's folly. I'd like to see a movie of crooked house - but the end is so shocking I don't think it will be done.
  • I think with Crooked House, they could make some changes, as I previously suggested: SPOILER ALERT, Nanny poisoning before rock-and-stable-door incident, and rock-and-stable-door incident more injurious than intended, so she dies.... and then the diary is discovered later - only after tutor and second wife have been accused and jailed pending trial. You couldn't have the car accident  alluded to, and wreckage shown, in a film, because it would be too shocking to have an adult taking the law into their own hands in such a way. But the rock incident being fatal would highlight the silliness, youth and vulnerability of the conceited child, and make it all seem a senseless tragedy rather than about evil. Also, the directors could indicate that neglect on the part of the parents was to blame for the crime, and in presenting the parents they could play up the narcissistic self-preoccupation of the couple, getting in a nice unstated allusion to the dangers of celebrity  culture in general, and the vanity of elements of our modern me-orientated society,( as evidenced by the press's preoccupation with minor actors and celebrities flaunting themselves in states of dress and undress, and many sections of our modern society posting selfies on social media).You could do a modern take on the crime, blaming everyone but the murderer: although this wouldn't be quite true to the spirit of the novel, since we know that AC was not averse to calling children bad and undesirable to know.
  • edited December 2015
    Griselda , Great ideas! I hope someone will do it! Especially now, when the "affluenza" boy is back in the news, the whole idea of parential responsibility for children who become little horrors is relevent.
  • Yes, they could really focus on that! I can't remember seeing a tv version of the Crooked House story - can you? Have they ever done Murder is Easy? That is a strange one. I'm not sure it would make a good film. I'll stick with my wish for Dead Man's Folly.
  • There was talk of doing it 4 years ago, but it never materialized.
  • Caz59Caz59 Leicester, United Kingdom
    I love crooked house - one of my favourites,  and I am sure I have seen a tv adaptation but long time ago - am going to google it else it will bug me
  • If you find it let us know, I'd really like to see it!
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    I would like Cards on the table. It's one of her best plots. I would like to watch this marvelous story on big screen. It would be an excellent movie.
    Croocked house would be very good choice too, but I think they would do so many changes that could be very frustrating for a fan to watch.
  • That is a good idea about Cards on the Table. The directors would have a nice bit of confidence knowing that And Then There Were None went well. There are some similarities between the films - you have the characters as they are in the present - and then the back stories, with them all guilty of something. Bridge is a bit fascinating too. The Poirot series with David Suchet did it very well - except they changed the plot, which was ridiculous.
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    @Griselda, I didn't like the adaption. Actually, I hated it! They ruined the story with so many changes! The plot is perfect, so why change it? Of course, I know that it's a tv adat, so you have to do changes and I'm not against it. I'm against the kind of changes they did! I will complain the rest of my life!
  • tudestudes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    To be fair, I love David Suchet as Poirot and I liked the cast.
  • Same here, Tudes. The changes ruined it beyond belief - it would be like changing Christmas to May, and then saying you've improved it. I am so used to naff changes, that I'm able to close my eyes and ignore them, and just be thankful the great novel is coming to life through the acting. I thought the acting was sensational. The characters were nicely differentiated, and the mixture of weakness and hardship to explain their failings was nicely done. I thought the actress playing the thief was very, very good - and the guy playing - is it ? - Colonel Race. I hope they get used again in AC adaptations. The scene with Poirot and the stockings  was great  - one of his fictitious  nieces and nephews being mentioned again! I always remember this adaptation - perhaps because David Suchet was so very fine.
  • We sometimes critisize tv adaptations, but I have to say, that I have just re-watched the Geraldine McEwen version of The Pricking of My Thumbs and I really thoroughly enjoyed it. As a novel, being one of the later ones, it was looser, and more rambling. To me, the adaptation was an improvement. Miss Marple wasn't featured in this novel, but was added alongside the actress Greta Saatchi who was playing Tuppence Beresford  (as many forum members will, of course, know). Charles Dance, who played the part of the Judge in the Boxing Day's And Then There Were None, was the vicar. (It was good to see the reusing of actors who had a proven track record at successfully interpreting the tone of the era and the novels for subsequent dramas.) Greta Saatchi and Anthony Andrews could do the later Tommy and Tuppence novels for tv in future - in my view. There was  plenty of imagination when it came to giving the characters personalities they did not necessarily have in the novel - but in my view, having seen this drama four times, the interpretations, though very brave - nb Septemus Bly - worked well. I was convinced, affected and enthralled. Geraldine McEwen was different to Joan Hickson and the Marple of the books, but consistent and the character robust enough to stand up to the unfolding drama, which called for great compassion, which the actress showed. What was very impressive was the sense of the  dramatic, the visuals,  the scene - setting, midnight searches, the tying up of linking historic action with what was current to the plot. The acting by everyone was great. The little girl - Nora; Lesley Philips as James Stark, the army sergeant, Chris; Rose ; Bonny Langford and the comedian chap as the Johnsons - all of them were great, and the relationships were convincing, and went together well, and suited the era. It shows me that almost any AC novel  can be done on small screen, and big screen, I'd say, if the screenplay and actors are good enough. This was not a great novel, but they made something of it, even getting in humour, and the spooky atmosphere was brilliant. I'm not going to be complaining about Geraldine McEwen's interpretations in future. This tv work is a gem, and whoever directed it should be given the job for the next big screen AC adaptation. As drama, I can't see how this could justifyably be critisized, even though it diverges from the book.
  • You certainly made me want to see it!
  • Try to look it out - it is really good. If you hadn't read the book, you wouldn't know who had done the murder, until near the end. You're kept guessing. Lots's of very good actors: Lesley Philips, June Whitfield, Charles Dance, Greta Saatchi, etc, etc,
  • From what I see on the big screen these days, I'm iffy on anything shown on the big screen from Agatha Christie's books. They would have to be adapted with great care, respect, and faithfulness to the material -- to the book. And from what I see on the small screen, there are too many liberties taken, unnecessary scenes chockful of sexual tension and language that lean more in the hardboiled crime fiction genre rather than from Agatha Christie. If you can't get it right on the small screen you won't do so on the big screen, unless those involved such as the director, the producer, actors, and scriptwriter are fans of Agatha and are familiar with her books. One of the best films from Christie's books to hit the big screen was MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS from 1974. I loved the cinematography, the script, the actors/actresses, and the film was faithful to the book. I'm not expecting the film to be EXACTLY like the book. I understand the difference between the print vs. film mediums but there should be some similarities with the book and the film. And if there are differences, keep them at a minimal, necessary to the story, and close to what Agatha Christie's style.   
  • ChristieFaForLife: I read an interview with the CEO of Agatha Christie Limited which had been published in Drama Quarterly on December 1st 2015:(dramaquarterly.com/highlights/strong-views). If you read it you will realise that the company want to 'do something new and give a different message'. I interpreted the interview as suggesting that the perception of 'cosy crime', as Ms Strong calls it, is one that could meaningfully be adapted to 'resonate for a modern audience'.

    I think fans need to accept that any new filming will try out new ideas. It might be useful for fans to further share and develop their views of what are the absolutely essential ingredients of a novel which ought not to be changed. For me, one would be plot.
    In terms of addressing the theme of this thread, I think that Sparkling Cyanide would make a good new film. Central to the story are some young characters, which ought to help the story to resonate with modern audiences. TV audiences are familiar with dramas or reality shows about rich, privileged families and they see portrayed on screen a degree of self-absorption in some characters. It would be easy to style Iris (is it?) and Rosemary as the 'Made in Chelsea' or other rich kids of their age. I think Rosemary's husband could be younger. He could be a successful tycoon of thirty years, and she could be 22. The political family would be tricky, but you could ignore the political angle and just make the character interesting and different to the others and script and act them well. The  problem is that the class differences which mattered when the book was written don't today. You don't have inheritance as such a big issue today. Class envy is central as a motive for the cyanide crime. SPOILER The secretary character in SC would be difficult to update.  

     Murder on the Orient Express has always re-made well over the years  because the horror of the SPOILER child's murder has united the classes in defiance against the killer. Also, on top of this, the snow-bound train has made blurring the class distinctions essential because public toilets, even, are shared.  So this story doesn't come across as so old-fashioned to modern audiences.
  • I would say do The Moving Finger first, without Miss Marple. Romances are ever timeless, and this is a glorious example. Nobody hardly would complain about the absence of Miss Marple because everybody comments that she is hardly in this book. Jerry could SPOILER have the oven idea at the end. More plausible in a way that he'd intervene and try to be around to protect Megan rather than making the audience swallow the idea that the police never tell him to go away and leave the crime scene as he isn't doing anything just getting in the way.

    I wouldn't even mind Kelly Brook in this adaptation, as she is an archetypal beautiful woman. I would say to the production team, make your adaptations modern by the way you cast current stars whom everybody modern wants to watch. Tom Hiddlestone could play Jerry.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    A Murder Is Announced I would say or another Miss Marple Story or ABC Murders or a better version of Cards On The Table or Why Didn't They Ask Evans? 
  • CrookedQuinCrookedQuin California, United States
    I think they should definitely do another adaption of Towards Zero. They could possibly tackle her espionage stories and give them a few changes to intensify it and to exploit all the possibilities of the genre, or perhaps share the plots between them, or adapt shorts stories as movies by mixing a few. 
Sign In or Register to comment.