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Agatha Christie's Poirot: Hickory Dickory Dock

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Suchet, Philip Jackson, Pauline Moran, Paris Jefferson, Jonathan Firth
  • Directors: Andrew Grieve
  • Writers: Agatha Christie, Anthony Horowitz
  • Producers: Brian Eastman, Christopher Hall, Sarah Wilson
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • Release Date: Feb. 5 2002
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005RIWY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #181,746 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

When a series of bizarre thefts at a boarding house leads to murder, it takes Hercule Poirot all of his ingenuity to solve a series of interlocking mysteries and unmask the killer. This feature-length Poirot mystery shows why David Suchet is the definitive screen version of Agatha Christie's dapper Belgian sleuth. With his fastidious habits and thick French accent it would be easy to turn Poirot into a caricature, but Suchet makes him funny without diminishing the detective's brilliance. Poirot's peculiarity is a perfect disguise, and when he sets out for the murder scene in his immaculate clothes--like a shiny black beetle bustling through the drab, brown London streets--there is little doubt that the crime will soon be solved.

Hickory Dickory Dock reaches its climax, naturellement, with the detective and his suspects gathered tensely in a drawing room. Although the story suffers from some clumsily introduced clues (Christie suffers here in comparison with writers like P.D. James), the denouement works well, keeping us guessing while allowing the more astute viewer to spot the killer before Poirot makes his announcement. --Simon Leake

From the Back Cover

Poirot is incredulous when the impeccable Miss Lemon types a letter riddled with errors. She explains that she's preoccupied with worry about her sister, who runs a London student hostel plagued of late by a spate of mysterious thefts. With the object of restoring efficiency to his office, Poirot offers to visit the students. More thefts occur and then the murders begin, witnessed only by a small mouse. Poirot and Inspector Japp race against time to trap a killer desperate to conceal a secret from the past. No detail is too small to escape the attention of the world-famous Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie and loved by millions. David Suchet stars as Poirot in this British television production set in the art deco elegance of 1930s Europe. A PBS Mystery! phenomenon and A&E smash hit, the series also stars Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon and Philip Jackson as Inspector Japp. DVD SPECIAL FEATURES AND EXTRAS INCLUDE: biographies of Agatha Christie and David Suchet, interactive Poirot trivia, cast filmographies, Agatha Christie materials and scene index.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Both my sister and my mother have read almost every mystery that Agatha Christie ever wrote, but I never thought to start. Then I sat down one evening to watch television with them, and I was at once enchanted. It was an episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot on A&E. The David Suchet Poirot films (both full length movies and short films) come from this series. I enjoyed that first show so much that I watched the series religiously until it went off the air.
I started reading some of Agatha Christie's mysteries this year, and I firmly believe that David Suchet is the best portrayal of Hercule Poirot that ever was. I have seen other notorious actors, such as Peter Ustinov and Tony Randall, play the part, but they do not achieve the full embodiment of the persona (both physical and psychological) that David Suchet does.
HICKORY DICKORY DOCK isn't an immediately predictable film. I honestly did not know who the killer was until Poirot revealed the truth. This is not one of those mysteries where you can tell what the detective or the police or the killer will do before they even do it; this film left me completely on the edge of my seat. HICKORY DICKORY DOCK has a storyline that does not follow some predetermined, overused mystery plot; it is creative and exciting. Additionally, the historical accuracy is extreme, right down to the shoes.
I highly recommend any of the David Suchet Poirot films to anyone searching for an interesting, exciting mystery to watch.
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I really enjoyed the novel and was expecting to enjoy the movie version, but I found it curiously dull as compared to many of the other adaptations. No Captain Hastings and a mouse. This mouse, while cute, appeared far too often - crawling around the clock, arriving in rooms at the precise moment they were murdered, even acting as a catalyst in the climactic scene. The real interesting aspects of the book, and much of its humor, came from Dame Agatha's casting of these motley group of students. As a product of her time, she had used racial epithets in her earlier works that American publishers changed because they were offensive. She changed though. Watching her evolve with the times, and reflect those times in her novels provides a fascinating look at the social evolution of the 20th century. She has a lesbian couple in "A Murder is Announced" and in Hickory Dickory Dock - she had Ram Lal - an Indian student, very political yet polite and the extremely charming and affable Akibombo from Africa. However, these were the two characters that were cut from the adaptation. They did not have large dramatic parts which made them more expendable, but they added warmth and humor to the assemble that made the book very charming. The group of students in the movie seemed simultaneously dull and unattractive personality-wise although they were supposed to have a lot of camaraderie as young folks all living under the same roof. The mystery itself was secondary in this story - so not top-shelp Christie who-done-it in my opinion. The humor and interest in the movie are the trials and tribulations poor Japp endures as Poirot's house-guest. Miss Lemon has a larger part this time, and is a constant presence. And finally - the trying-not-to-be-horrified looks Japp and Poirot try to suppress as each tries to impress the other with their native cuisine is priceless. Too few and far between though - unless you're a huge Christie fan, I would suggest exploring the other movies first.
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The star of this Hercule Poirot entry, "Hickory Dickory Dock" (Acorn Media: AMP 5025), seems to be a mouse that gets more screen time than do some of the human cast. Barring that, we have here a very convoluted tale of diamond smuggling , social awareness and protest (not found in the original novel), petty thievery, and murder. There is also a bit of "comic" relief, this time with Japp (Philip Jackson) staying as a guest of Poirot and wrestling with unappetizing meals and a strange bit of plumbing in his room that no one seems willing to explain to him.
Another feature unusual to this series is that of Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) being directly involved in the situation that brings her boss to the hostel, run by her sister, where a mixed group of young people are all entangled, in one way or another, with the seemingly triple plot-strands of the thefts, the smuggling, and the murders--all against a background of the Jarrow Marchers and their dying leader, whom Japp suspects of a murder many years before.
I really shouldn't say more, lest I spoil the fun. Suchet is up to his high standards as the comical but dangerous Belgian, Moran is truly human in this episode, and Jackson gets a chance to show us the home environment of his Chief Inspector. The photography is nicely in the film-noire tradition (although in color), and the secondary characters sharply drawn and believable. Except for the murderer leaving a photograph on a body, every thing seems perfectly logical. That mouse, however, is annoying.
This Acorn Media DVD includes some low-tech bonus tracks about Suchet and Christie, some of the cast, and Poirot/Suchet trivia questions. Lots of fun all through.
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In the opening scenes of this tale, a furry little mouse scurries through the walls of a boarding house in London searching for morsels of food. As in the children's nursery rhyme he scurries up the clock just as it strikes the hour. Having made his way to a bedroom in the upstairs, he pauses and twitches his whiskers. The crumbs from a bedtime cookie are lying on a saucer..but he hesitates. Something strange is happening and he dare not advance to the plate of crumbs. What is this...oh my goodness one of the humans is killing the nice young girl who always eats cookies at bedtime. What awful things happen in the hours around midnight!!
Agatha Christie was given to using lines from literature for the titles of some of mystery tales, but HICKORY DICKORY DOCK is no nursery tale. Someone is killing the young men and women occupants of a youth hostel in London. The boarders are all attractive and energetic could one of them be the culprit. What could be the motive..lust, money, a deadly secret??? The mouse knows the murderer's identity and the secret but the police are stymied.
Enter Hercule Poirot! Well not exactly. First, there's Miss Lemmon. Seems her sister is in the boarding house business and she has noticed strange goings on at her establishment. Miss Lemmon asks Poirot to investigate her sister's complaints which he is reluctant to do. After all, how can the great Belgian detective worry about trifling matters like misplaced items at a boarding house..even for Miss Lemmon!! Poirot does as he is asked however, and soon he is involved with murder. With the help of the Lemmon sisters he cracks the case and not a moment too soon. A wild chase at the end involves Hastings and the good Inspector.
HICKORY DICORY DOCK has an interesting cast including the handsome young man (Jonathan Firth) who played Albert in the miniseries VICTORIA AND ALBERT. (I understand he IS the brother of Colin!!)
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