SRP $14.99 1.85:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 PARAMOUNT

Albert Finney stars as Hercule Poirot in one of the better Agatha Christie adaptations featuring this Belgian detective. But, the ensemble cast is equally as impressive, featuring Jacqueline Bisset, Lauren Bacall, Sean Connery and more! 

Set aboard the Orient Express, a millionaire, Richard Widmark is murdered via multiple stab wounds, and it’s up to Poirot to figure out the who and why before the train ride reaches its final destination. As the film unfolds, Poirot discovers that “everyone” is a legitimate suspect, leading to a conclusion that’s intelligent and satisfying.

For some reason, PARAMOUNT has not presented the image in its proper ratio. It’s not a small problem. There are scenes in which it feels like much is missing, even with a 1.85:1 ratio and 16:9 enhancement.  The colors are solid, although this isn’t a stellar presentation. There is some excessive grain in several scenes. Fleshtones appear natural throughout.

PARAMOUNT has presented options for both the original monaural mix and a Dolby Digital 5.1 remix.  While purists will appreciate the mono, with surprisingly fine fidelity, the 5.1 mix is preferred, offering effective use of surrounds and complimenting a great score.

PARAMOUNT has included some extras here. “MAKING MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS” offers several featurettes highlighting the film’s production with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage.  “PORTRAIT OF AGATHA CHRISTIE” offers narration from Christie’s grandson and a look at the author. A theatrical trailer is also included.