Thursday, July 14, 2011

Clothes Make the Man

Even though Albert Finney is not my favorite Poirot (how could he be when there is David Suchet?), I do love these photos of Finney in character, in this fabulous fashion ensemble. But this is a fairly aggressive, pugnacious looking Poirot. Very different from Suchet's interpretation. But I LOVE the costume by designer Tony Walton for the 1974 production of Agatha Christie's MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS directed by Sidney Lumet.

For another view of Poirot like you've never seen him. Check out the Poirot one of a kind action figure (!?) on John's PRETTY SINISTER BOOKS blog.

David Suchet as a very natty Hercule Poirot.
From the PBS Mystery series.

Peter Ustinov as Poirot in bathing costume from EVIL UNDER THE SUN (1982) directed by Guy Hamilton. Costumes by Anthony Powell.


Note: This post is an entry in the Monthly Agatha Christie CARNIVAL hosted by Kerrie Smith at her blog, MYSTERIES IN PARADISE. All the entries and links will be listed on Kerrie's blog on July 24th.


  1. hehehehehe wonderful entry! I, too, love the costuming in the '74 Murder on the Orient Express. I lamented the fact that Suchet wasn't in that production, but Finney's interpretation was interesting if a bit, um, over-wrought in some ways. I haven't seen the new Suchet version yet, but I'm planning on it when I finish the Edwardian Farm series.

    I love to watch a couple of Suchet Poirot films, then watch the Ustinov 13 at Dinner and see Suchet as Japp. Cracks me up every time!

  2. My favorite is Jane Marple, but I do like the English mysteries, orient express was a winner.
    I miss Murder she wrote.


  3. Birdie: All the costumes were wonderful, yes. But this photo of Finney in Poirot's clothes just epitomizes the era (and the film) for me. And look at his attitude. :)

    But I have to admit I loved the bathing costume - including flowing robe and the little bathing cap - that Ustinov wore in EVIL UNDER THE SUN. The costumes in that film were fabulous. But very stylized, i.e. obviously costumes.

    It's hard now for me to accept Suchet in any other role. To me, he IS Poirot. :)

    But I'll have to see about 13 AT DINNER. I've only seen the Suchet version, I think.

  4. Yvonne: Yes, me too. My mother loved that show as well. I too like Miss Marple. But only the Joan Hickson version. The others pale in comparison. :)

  5. I agree that Joan Hickson is the ONLY Miss Marple. However, Jane being Jane, we never see her indulge in the sort of splendid fashions that exemplify our Hercule. (I can't believe I called him by his first name!)

    Grand examples of the costumers art, and a major reason we love these movies that take us away.

  6. Caftan Woman: I've been wanting to do a post on the costumer's art - it IS an art.
    I think I'll work on something later on today. Sounds like a plan.

    I do like the way, though, that they dressed Joan Hickson. Perfect.

    You can call him Hercule. Why not? Just not to his face. Ha!

    I always liked his 'brother's name best: Achille.

    He only 'appeared' in one story, but I don't think he really existed.

  7. Haha.

    It is quite impossible to take a man seriously in such a bathing costume, isn´t it?

    Well, not that you don´t see worse costumes on the beach today ;)

  8. There's an H embroidered on the suit, if I'm not mistaken. :)

    But the bathing cap is just the perfect touch.

    And the robe had some black and yellow design. Black birds or flowers or something. It was incredible.

    I love this scene from the movie.

    Suchet would NEVER do this to Poirot.

  9. The action figure is incredible. What a lot of interesting people there are in this world. I am exceedingly fond of the Suchet photo. He was born for this role; like John Thaw for Morse, and Kevin Whately for Lewis, and now I believe Laurence Fox for Hathaway, and Patricia Routledge for Hyacinth. I'm sure there are lots of others but these popped right into my head. Acting is so mysterious to me.

  10. Oooh, Nan, you gave me such a good idea for post. I think I'll work on it for Wednesday or Thursday.

    Actors Born To Play A Certain Role. Sounds good!

    I do agree with all your choices. And yes, that Suchet photo is perfection. I love it too.

  11. David Suchet is the only Poirot for me.

    But I agree Finney looks good shame about the actual portrayal of the character!

  12. Me too, Jo.

    Poirot should always be approachable. Finney didn't play him approachable. :)

  13. I love David Suchet the best as Poirot and his attire. The other two just didn't do it form me.

  14. Irene: He's my favorite too. But I do love the costumes they're all wearing. :)

  15. Where did you find that picture of Finney as Poirot at?

    1. I believe the original photo might have been from Vanity Fair. But I can't find any proof online. Can't find a link either. Couldn't then. Can't now.

    2. Okay, thanks. I noticed on the DVD Behind the scenes that there more pics from that shoot. The actors in costume standing behind that curtain.....and none of them are online. *sigh*

    3. It's really odd that there isn't more available online. Well, good luck. Maybe check out Vanity Fair's archives? Or if you can find out the photographer's name?


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