Being Poirot (2013) Movie Script

Hercule Poirot?
Hercule Poirot is, for me,
much more than the character
on the written page.
Hercule Poirot, for me,
almost is a real person.
You're a detective.
I am THE detective, Colonel Curtis.
He is the person who was responsible
for my life for 25 years.
The truth...
It has the habit of revealing itself.
I've got to know him,
I've lived him...
No-one can always be right.
But I am. Always, I am right.
It is so invariable, it startles me!
He's my invisible...closest
and best friend.
POIROT: 'They have been good days.'
'Agatha Christie's Poirot
premiered on television in 1989.'
Voila. Is there nothing
to which Hercule Poirot
can not turn his finger?
'A quarter of a century
and 13 series later,
it's a global phenomenon,
watched by 700 million viewers
in 100 countries worldwide.
It's 6:00 in the morning...'
Thank you very much, thank you.
'..and Sean, my driver,
is taking me to work.
I'm heading to Pinewood Studios
to film the last series of Poirot.
This will be one of the hardest days
of my acting life
because today...
Poirot will die.'
(AS HASTINGS) I say, old chap,
you're looking pretty awful.
Don't you think I should call
a doctor?
Oh, what good would that do?
No, mon ami. What will be, will be.
DAVID: Getting into character is a
very detailed process for me,
beginning from the moment I'm dressed
and I get into the car,
with Sean driving me.
Because at that point,
I'm learning lines.
But then I got to make-up
and then the serious business of the
day begins for me.
David is a method actor.
He dieted for probably about
nine months
to lose, I think, about two stone.
I'm all right.
Whereas in all the other films,
he looks like a robust little man,
in Curtain, he looks like a little
sack of bones in a suit.
It'll be good if it helps him
look really, really ill. Mmm.
'Agatha Christie does the most
extraordinary thing.
It's the only story in which you see
Poirot as a little old man.
And it's told through the eyes of
Captain Hastings.'
'The key to it, for me,
is that moustache.
Once that moustache goes on that lip,
I think it's true to say you would
be speaking to Hercule Poirot.'
(AS POIROT) Make sure it does not
droop a little bit. Yes.
Yes, that is better.
'Curtain, Poirot's last case, was
written by Agatha Christie in 1942.
Intended for publication after her
it was hidden in a bank vault for 30
years before publication in 1975.'
He knows he has to die.
He could never take the ignominy
of being accused of a murder
and then hung.
We all knew that the final scenes
were coming up
and we'd, in a sense, prepared.
But it was nevertheless
a most remarkable atmosphere.
Huge sound stage at Pinewood,
with a set built in the centre
of it.
The room itself,
which contained a bed and walls,
in which he was gonna die,
was not crowded;
it was deliberately kept quiet.
And now...I need to think.
But Poirot -
Go down to breakfast, mon ami.
The case, it is ended.
And outside, the set itself,
the rest of the crew,
was exceptionally quiet.
Sheila, David's wife,
was sitting beside the sound man.
'To film it was one of the most
extraordinary experiences,
to have - or to play -
a man who...dies.'
Forgive me.
End camera.
It's a difficult day.
It's difficult.
Cos he feels and he feels
the character very deeply.
I think every time he shoots it,
it's going to take more out of him.
For a character actor of his
to lose someone he's been completely
involved and absorbed in
for 25 years...
is a personal tragedy.
Terrible. It was awful.
I'll never forget it.
The hardest, hardest moment
of filming.
(AS POIROT) What a day.
What a moment.
'When Curtain was published,
such was the sensation
at the news of Poirot's death,
that it made the front page of the
New York Times.
It showed the extraordinary impact
of a strange little character,
who, for many,
had seemed like a real person.
Hercule Poirot has been the most
important role in my acting career.
You might think you know Poirot
but I'd like to show you what goes on
inside those
(AS POIROT) little grey cells.
Along the way, we'll find out
why this remarkable little man
is so loved around the world.
To begin to understand Poirot,
we need to go back to the beginning.
I am on my way to the seaside town
of Torquay
and remembering a visit I made
25 years ago.'
He said to me, "I've been offered
the role of Poirot."
He said, "What do you think?"
I said, "Well, I would take it.
I wouldn't hesitate."
I said, "The only piece of advice
I'll give you
is it's going to change your life."
And he said, "Oh, don't be so
silly." I said, "Well, it will."
So, a very special place.
Agatha Christie's house.
'Greenway was Agatha Christie's
summer home
from 1938 until her death in 1976.
Soon after I was cast
as Hercule Poirot,
I was invited here to meet her
I remember one particular lunch I had
with Agatha Christie's daughter
and her husband Antony Hicks.
And they said to me,
"We want the audience to be able
to smile with Poirot
but never laugh at him.
And that's why you have been chosen
to play the role."
'Getting the approval of Agatha
Christie's family was crucial for me
before my life as Poirot began.
Today, I've come back to meet
her grandson, Mathew Prichard.'
Here we are in Devonshire,
where Poirot was actually born.
How do you think he came to be?
Well, of course it was long before
my time
but, erm...I'm told that a bus
drew up
in Union Square in Torquay.
And out of it trooped a whole
busload of Belgian refugees,
one of whom was a little man,
who, surprisingly enough, David,
looked a bit like you.
Do you fancy a pint of beer,
if there's any left?
Non, merci.
I cannot yet bring myself to enjoy
the English public house.
My grandmother must have seen him
and she must have thought,
"Well, there's my detective."
'Poirot was introduced to the world
in 1920
as a World War I Belgian refugee
in Agatha Christie's first book,
The Mysterious Affair At Styles.'
(READS) Poirot was an
extraordinary-looking little man.
He was hardly more than 5'4" but
carried himself with great dignity.
The neatness of his attire
was almost incredible.
(READS) As a detective, his flair
had been extraordinary
and he had achieved triumphs
by unravelling some of the most
baffling cases of the day.
The handwriting on this letter
shouts your guilt.
You are a heartless murderer.
'Agatha Christie could never have
that Poirot would become so famous,
appearing in over 50 short stories
and 33 novels.'
Oh, look. Now, is this a real one
that she used?
That is a real one. She would have
taken this to the Middle East.
She would have hammered out
Death On The Nile
somewhere near the pyramids
in Egypt.
On something like that.
The more I know about Agatha,
the more I learn about her,
that she was such a warm, generous,
lovely person.
I just hope she would have liked
what I did, that's all!
She was very honest.
Very candid indeed.
'Today, Agatha Christie is revered
in Torquay.
So I can't visit here
without loaning something
very special to the museum.'
Oh, I don't believe it.
I knew some things were coming here
but I didn't know what it was
and it's my flat!
MY flat! It's Poirot's flat!
Look. My desk.
Hello, Carl. Hello, David.
It's nice see you. Hello, Amy.
Very nice to see you as well.
Very nice to see you.
Oh! Fantastic!
Take it out.
That is absolutely beautiful.
This is actually my prize possession.
I think I've probably held that
more than any other thing
I've ever held in my life!
That is absolutely incredible.
It's still warm as well.
It is still -
'But there's another reason
we're here.
I'm meeting John Curran,
an archivist who has found clues
about Poirot's creation
in Agatha Christie's secret diaries.'
And there, look. Hercule Poirot. Yes.
Written by Agatha Christie.
So you can see here,
The Mysterious Affair At Styles,
the plot was roughed out
and then came her dilemma.
(READS) A detective story.
Now, what kind of a detective?
So she says,
"Why not have a Belgian refugee?"
Because refugees were in
most countries at that stage.
You're not selling onions, are you?
Your people come over here,
doing that, a lot.
(READS) What kind of man
should he be?
A little man with a somewhat
grandiloquent name.
Poirot, monsieur. Hercule Poirot.
Poirot? Could never get my tongue
around French.
But I am Belgian, monsieur,
not French.
(READS) Like many small, dandified
men, he would be conceited
and he would, of course,
have a handsome moustache.
Yes. I think the moment is ripe
for the trimming of the moustache.
Also the pomading.
And what about Agatha's own
relationship to the man himself?
Hmm. Well, that became a bit fraught
as the years went on
and she says here,
(READS) Why, why, did I ever invent
this detestable, bombastic,
tiresome little creature?
I must be right because I am never
(READS) Eternally straightening
things, forever boasting,
always twirling his moustaches
and tilting his egg-shaped head.
And then she adds -
and I think this is quite funny -
(READS) Anyway,
what is an egg-shaped head?
Have I ever seen an egg-shaped head?
When people say to me -
Agatha said this.
This is an egg-shaped head.
But you see, all of those things that
irritated her, the public adored.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Yes.
And I'm here to be witness
to the egg-shaped head.
'In 1920, Agatha Christie put Poirot
on the page.
Soon he was to become a star of stage
and screen.'
Good evening, everybody.
This is Hercule Poirot.
'In the Roaring Twenties,
Agatha Christie's new detective
Hercule Poirot was hugely popular.
After only four books, he was set
to appear on the London stage.'
I wish I could get into Dr Who's
Tardis and go back to sitting
in a London Theatre in 1928 and
witnessing, for the very first time,
that the character of Hercule Poirot
came to life.
Performed by Charles Laughton,
one of the greatest actors
that we had in those days,
performing in a play called Alibi,
which was adaptation of the glorious
novel The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd.
(READS) It was just like the
detective of the novel
walking into the room.
The actor's make-up is perfect,
the attitude,
the way of holding his head.
I have seen Poirot tonight.
Poirot himself
actually appears on stage as himself
in the novel and the film we made
called Three Act Tragedy.'
I was certain the person who murdered
the Reverend Stephen Babbington
and Dr Bartholomew Strange
must have been present on both
occasions, but not apparently so.
DAVID: And in every novel,
she gives him his great,
what we call the 'summing-up'.
That's where he goes through
all the people in the room,
making them feel guilty
for a crime they never committed,
and pointing his finger
at the guilty party.
It's his moment of theatre.
God...damn you.
What have you done?
What have I done?!
It is you who have deceived ME!
DAVID: Oh, yes, I think Poirot,
if he wasn't a detective,
I think he could have easily been
a wonderful actor.
'In 1931, three years after Poirot
first appeared on stage,
Alibi was filmed for the cinema
with a new Poirot.
Sadly, this film is now lost
but other screen portrayals
have survived.'
Oh, wow.
Isn't this fantastic?
lights, camera...
'The oldest surviving Poirot film
is Lord Edgware Dies from 1934,
starring British actor
Austin Trevor.'
The moustache for Poirot is such an
important part of his character.
And it was obviously a conscious
decision by the film company
not to have him with a moustache.
You mean to tell me that you think
she committed all these murders?
I do not think, my friend,
I know she did. Every one of them.
The accent is...
Well, you can hear it's English,
trying to be French.
But then that was the style then.
Madame, you tried to pull the wool
over the eyes of Hercule Poirot.
And I'm hanged if we can have that!
I remember watching
Murder On The Orient Express
as part of my research
when developing the character.
A repulsive murderer
has himself been repulsively
and perhaps deservedly murdered.
In the public's mind,
Albert Finney was THE Poirot.
When that film came out,
Poirot came alive for the public
as he had never done before.
Great film, Death On The Nile,
and...I've always thought
that Peter Ustinov
was just on the edge
of becoming a really great Poirot.
I am the...nasty little
eavesdropper, madame.
'25 years ago, I went back
to Agatha Christie's novels
to find her Poirot.'
I got a file of paper,
a pen...
and I started reading
every single story.
But I've never seen this little
creation of Hercule Poirot
portrayed as he was written
in the books.
So I wrote a list of 93 little notes
about his character.
Et bien.
Tell me all that you have discovered.
What's the first one?
Belgian, not French!
(READS) Has four lumps of sugar
in tea or coffee, sometimes three
and once or twice, five.
Order and method are his gods.
(AS POIROT) In the little grey cells
of the brain
lies the solution of every mystery.
(READS) Always wears a hat
when going out in the evening air.
Will wipe dirty seats or benches
with his handkerchief
before sitting down.
'I had found his idiosyncrasies.
Now I had to build his character.'
I shut my eyes and I think.
One must always seek the truth
from within.
For me, it's the voice.
Poirot is not really connected
with his emotions.
He's connected with his head.
And therefore,
I decided to give him a head sound.
So, I can be talking to you
as David Suchet.
My voice is coming up
from my emotions.
Now it is in my mouth, now it is
going higher, higher in my brain.
I will put on his Belgian French
(AS POIROT) and then I will speak
as Hercule Poirot.
Chief Inspector, you ought
to look to your elocution.
Swipe me, nothing wrong
with my lingo.
'But something was still missing.
I went back to the books and found
the final piece of the jigsaw.
His walk.'
(READS) Poirot crossed the lawn
with his usual rapid, mincing gait
within his patent leather boots.
Having found that, of course...
..I then had to learn how to do it.
And that's the walk that became
synonymous with my Poirot.
Whitehaven Mansions, if you please.
'The same level of care went
into the whole look
of the television series.
Here, in London's
Charterhouse Square,
the production team found the
exterior location for Poirot's home.'
I really do love coming here.
This is, of course,
where Poirot lived.
The name of the block in the book
is Whitehaven Mansions.
And he chose this particular
block of flats
not because of its location
or anything
but because it's symmetrical.
And that, for Poirot,
was la creme de la creme.
'I've come here to meet Poirot's
first producer...'
David, how wonderful to see you!
'..Brian Eastman.'
Well, this is so strange
because I don't know whether
I'm coming back into one of our sets
or the real place
and of course,
this was the real place.
But the set was based on it,
wasn't it? Yeah.
Well, it was a decision, wasn't it,
to have everything set in the '30s?
Yes, cos she wrote the Poirot novels
over a period of about 60 years.
And I felt that it was very
important for a television show
that we should be rooted
in one particular era.
And in the end, I thought,
"Well, I'm actually going to root
them all in one particular year."
Dress them like 1936.
Of course, this isn't our flat
in the set.
This is the real flat
in this building.
We used the outside.
Which one was it?
Well, I remember we always used
to count down from the top.
One, two, three.
It's that one with the vertical
blinds. I think that was the one.
Mr Poirot? Mr Poirot?
Yes, Miss Lemon, yes?
There's a letter, sir,
from Eliza Dunn.
BRIAN: And the wonderful thing
that I felt that you did
was you managed to capture
the peculiarities
alongside the lovability.
And I think that is why people
love him.
But I had a wonderful team of actors
around me, didn't I?
I was able to play off them
and they were able to have their own
lives and their own worlds.
Good heavens!
Hugh Fraser as Captain Hastings.
Hastings, you think,
"Oh, he's a bit of a dunderhead."
And maybe he isn't the brightest
but Hugh brought
a fantastic intelligence
to a man who apparently
didn't have much.
And Inspector Japp, Philip Jackson,
who is always bested by Poirot.
Right, who's the victim?
And Miss Lemon...Pauline Moran...
just brought that beautiful
eccentricity to it.
Abduction. Addiction.
Adultery, see also under 'marriage'.
Bigamy, see also under 'marriage'.
See also under 'marriage'?
I know from the mail I get and from
how people react to the series,
it's not just me,
it's the whole look.
It's production values,
the props, the locations.
And I couldn't have been given
a better place to live
for the man I played.
'There was one other element
that played a crucial role
in creating the mood of the series.'
It's great to see you.
'I've come to meet composer
Christopher Gunning.'
If I just hum...
..they say, "Poirot".
But you know, David,
one of many extraordinary things
was that I presented Brian Eastman
with four different tunes.
And he rang up the next day
and he said,
"Well, I've listened
to all four of them
and number four is my favourite."
And I was mighty disappointed
because number one was mine.
Why do you think I put number one
at the beginning?
Yes. And I can still remember it,
actually. It went like -
DAVID: Yes, I have heard that.
It went something like that.
And that was my clear favourite
but Brian didn't even get that
a thought.
And of course, he was right
and I was wrong.
How did you decide that should be one
of your theme tunes for Poirot?
What is the process for you?
I did read a script, so I thought
about what sort of music
would take us back to the '30s
a little bit.
And I phoned Brian and asked him
and he said,
"No, I'm getting terribly negative
reactions to the music, Christopher.
We're going to have to start again."
So what I did was to darken it all
and I moved it into G minor,
so the alto saxophone
could now play it...
(PLAYS OPENING NOTES) that register, and the
accompaniment could be down here.
Immediately, it has a sort of
gravitas that it didn't have
when I was fiddling around up there.
'That music, along with many other
elements, defines the series.
But what made Poirot such a popular
character around the world?
Where better to find out than
visiting the country of his birth -
Pity Emily couldn't come.
Still, I think she's right.
Brussels is a far cry from
Her loss is my gain.
'Hercule Poirot is not simply a
legend in Agatha Christie's homeland.
The Poirot films have been seen
in over 100 countries.'
'Over the years, I've received
thousands of letters
from all around the world.
Viewers might know my face
but not all have heard my voice.'
Hercule Poirot.
'I had no idea Poirot would be so big
outside Britain.
Now I want to find out about his
international appeal
and where better to do so
than the country of his birth?'
'Ladies and gentlemen,
welcome aboard this service
to Lille and Brussels.'
One of the aspects that really
link us, Poirot and myself,
is that both of us are, in a way,
Although I was born in England,
most of my family on my father's side
were from Lithuania.
I certainly don't look like
a typical Englishman.
And that was Poirot as well.
In all the stories,
he's portrayed very vividly
but we know very little about his
We know that he came to England
head of the Brussels police force,
but we know very little about
when he was a policeman there.
Well, Poirot, how does it feel
being back in Brussels again
after so many years?
In the eye of my mind,
Chief Inspector, I have never left.
Wow! Here we are.
Most beautiful square in the world.
Ah! It's fantastic. Look at it.
The Grand Square in Brussels.
I can actually remember filming here
The Chocolate Box
and yeah, I played chess in this
square. I remember that.
'The Chocolate Box
was the only Poirot story
that took us back to his past
as a police officer in Brussels.'
'It's told in flashback,
so I had to lose over 20 years,
with the clever help of make-up
and a hairpiece.'
I'd like a box that I can fill
with chocolates, please. Sure.
There's a murder, of course,
and Belgian chocolates appear to be
the cause of death.'
Of course what we have to remember
is the chocolate might have
tasted nice
but you wouldn't have lived
very long
to savour the aftertaste.
POIROT: My duties as a junior police
involved my regular attendance
at the Court of the Coroner.
The death of Paul Deroulard
was treated by all those concerned
as a matter of routine.
DAVID: Where I am now is in the
Palace of Justice in Brussels.
And of course, Poirot would have been
very familiar with this place
cos this is the High Court, this is
the highest court in the land.
Superintendant Bouchet,
one moment, if you please.
Chantalier and myself,
we would be very happy to investigate
further the Deroulard case.
DAVID: His methods of detection
are very basic.
He's not a forensic detective.
He likes clues, of course.
Everything is in the clue.
Jean-Louis, inside this envelope
are chocolate crumbs.
I want you to tell me by your
analysis exactly what they contain
and whether or not they contain
DAVID: He's far more of a
He is interested in people's minds.
When he speaks with you,
he always says,
(AS POIROT) I listen to what you say
but I hear what you mean.
For it was you, Madame Deroulard,
who killed your son.
'In over 70 stories,
Poirot solved many intriguing cases.
But there was always one great
mystery that eluded him.'
The mystery that even I, Hercule
Poirot, will never be able to solve.
The nature of love.
I get lots of mail
and people talking to me
about Poirot's sexuality.
Why is everyone so afraid of sex?
"Why hasn't he married?"
"Does he fall in love?"
"Where's Poirot's romantic interest?"
'In Chocolate Box,
Poirot found the killer
but lost his heart to his client
Virginie Mesnard.'
I hope I haven't made things awkward
for you, Hercule.
And Poirot really becomes
very attached in an emotional way
to Virginie.
this will say it for me.
'She gives to him
a little silver brooch.'
Virginie, you should not have.
'If you notice, when I play Poirot
as an older man,
he always wears it
and that was given to him
by his first love.'
He would love to have been married
but he knows himself.
No-one could put up with
his own weird eccentricities
as a person.
But in actual fact,
although he says that,
I believe he knows
that HE couldn't put up with them.
'Poirot was a lonely man
but what he does with his life
is solving crimes.
You've got it wrong,
you bloody little Frog!
Firstly, I am not
a bloody little Frog.
I am a bloody little Belgian.
'Poirot was proud of being
a Belgian citizen
but what do the locals think of him?
Who better to ask than Belgian
crime writer Stan Lauryssens?
Well -
So, how's Brussels?
Brussels is wonderful but I think
I have to congratulate you
because you won an award,
didn't you? A writing award.
Well, I won Hercule Poirot Award.
The Hercule Poirot Award?
Yeah, which is the award for the
best crime novel of the year.
Fantastic. Do you think Poirot
is typically Belgian?
He's typically Belgian because he's
got all the mannerisms of Belgians.
First of all, they're short.
They're good-looking.
Oh, well, that's very kind.
What makes Poirot so endearing?
His warmth.
You can't be mad at him.
Do you get that from the page?
Yeah, yeah.
I mean, that's what I found.
Yeah. You're speaking of Poirot
as though he was a real person.
He is. He is?
Who says he's fictional?
Because every night, at home,
anywhere in the world,
there you are.
You made him a living person
and that's your fault.
That's why people embrace you
in the street. Take photographs.
"Hey, here he is! Poirot!"
'Even without the moustache,
I'm always surprised to be recognised
anywhere in the world.'
Well, here I am in a police car,
with police outriders as an escort
and it's quite overwhelming.
Apparently, I'm going to meet
somebody very important.
Has to be important
for this sort of welcome.
Beautiful, isn't it? Yes.
Beautiful building.
'In fact, I've been invited
to meet the Mayor of Brussels
and the Chief of Police.
We're going to find out what they
of Belgium's most famous detective.'
Hercule Poirot.
Mayor Thielemans.
I say, back home, are you?
Would you have liked Hercule Poirot
here now?
Yeah, we need him.
You need him?
Yeah. But with a moustache.
That can be arranged.
That can be arranged?
That can be put in the post.
Can we...
What do the Belgians think
of Hercule Poirot?
They are proud because he solved
matters the English couldn't solve.
And your accent was not too bad.
Thank you.
I wondered -
I felt very nervous meeting you!
You could have said it was terrible
and we are on television, you know?
Thank you very, very much. You've
given me such a lovely welcome.
It's a great honour to be here.
My pleasure. Thank you, sir.
They take Poirot to their hearts
and, you know,
Agatha Christie is widely read here
and Poirot is one of Belgium's sons.
When I was studying the character of
I learned that there was some
speculation about where he was born.
I think Agatha is actually quite
clear where he was born.
He was born in Spa in Belgium.
However, I'm on my way to a town
that has claimed him, in a sense,
to be one of its sons.
'There's something distinctly odd
about the small town of Ellezelles,
30 miles west of Brussels.
They like to think that Poirot
was born here.'
There he is!
'Local historian Pascal Hyde
can even show me a birth certificate
to prove their claim.'
So - Look, here is
the birth certificate.
(READS) Extrait de naissance
d'Hercule Poirot.
Here you have the name of your
father. Yes.
Jules-Louis Poirot.
And you have Godelieve, your mother.
This is wonderful.
It is absolutely extraordinary.
There is my birth certificate.
Born in Ellezelles
on l'Avril 1st.
April Fools' Day.
'Some Belgians might dispute the
actual place of Poirot's birth
but there is no question about his
commitment to his faith.'
What's interesting for me
is that Agatha Christie makes him,
being Belgian, Catholic.
So he is a religious man.
POIROT: There is nothing in the world
so damaged
that it cannot be repaired
by the hand of Almighty God.
He believes that 'le bon Dieu' -
the good God -
has put him on this earth
to rid it of crime
while he is still alive
and able to do so.
So part of Poirot's character
is in doing his job,
he's actually serving God.
'Agatha Christie's books reveal
that Poirot retired from the
Belgian police force
and that is world was thrown into
at the outbreak of the
First World War.'
He couldn't have actually fought
in the trenches himself
because he was retired from the
Belgian police force
and then the war started
and then he became a refugee.
POIROT: Then began my second career.
It is reported that I am the most
famous detective in England.
'Agatha Christie created an outsider
who was true to life.
His faith gave him his purpose
but I think his humanity and warmth
is the secret of the character's
But of all the crimes he solved,
there was one case that would
challenge him to breaking point.'
'In the whole of Poirot's career,
there was one story above all
that seems to have captured
the public's imagination.'
And if you would be so kind
as to book for me a passage tonight
on the Orient Express.
'I knew that even after 20 years of
playing Poirot,
this would be one of the most
challenging performances
of my career.'
Good morning, sir.
Good morning.
Welcome back.
Nice to be back, thank you.
Murder On The Orient Express was
almost, for me, an untouchable.
Obviously because it was such a
famous film with Albert Finney
and it won Oscars.
So I had quite a lot to live up to.
'I began researching
Murder On The Orient Express
by reading the book on the original
restored train to Venice.
Now I'm going back to relive Poirot's
most dramatic story
and meet some old friends.'
It's such a pleasure
to see you again.
'In 2008, I set out to make
Murder On The Orient Express,
a story about a very brutal murder,
and I wanted Poirot
to be as faithful to Agatha
Christie's novel as possible.'
Oh, my goodness me.
I'm back home.
Well, welcome back home.
It was an extraordinary experience to
have been on the train
before I made the film
because I used that
in the making of the film.
Murder On The Orient Express with
Albert Finney was a wonderful film.
We had a different take on it.
We took it much more seriously.
In fact...
the actual tone of the book...
is serious.
I think the story has become
because to have 12 murderers -
judge, jury and executioners -
was an extraordinary invention
of hers.
Ca va?
DAVID: In the story,
the train becomes stationary
because of an avalanche.
To be stuck inside this narrow tube
made it very claustrophobic.
That was the brilliance of her story.
So...the guilty 12.
Where I am now is where the big
summing-up took place
and this is where he makes his
big reveal
that not one person among them
was the murderer
but they were all guilty
of putting in the knife.
No, no. No, you behave like this
and we become just... the street!
The juries and executioners,
they elect themselves.
No, it is medieval!
The rule of law,
it must be held high.
And if it falls, you pick it up
and hold it even higher!
He is thrown into deep anguish
and thought and prayer
as to what should be do?
Even though he may sympathise
with the crime,
is it his right to let them go?
Or should he do what he knows
his faith would tell him to do?
'That's the story. But where she set
it is so unbelievably brilliant.
It's lovely to be on the train
and in the carriage
that Hercule Poirot slept in.'
Fillet de boeuf.
'And to be able to eat in the
restaurant he ate in.'
'In the 70 films I've played Poirot,
Murder On The Orient Express
was the one which showed him
in a turmoil of conscience
we've never seen before.
Torn and tormented over what to do
about this murder.'
Thank you so much.
'In the end,
he chooses to let them go.'
On the human level,
he did the right thing.
But as far as his faith is concerned
and what it did to him,
it really cost.
'Poirot understands the frailty of
people -
their passions, their hopes
and their dreams.
It's a characteristic which I think
is recognised and admired
by viewers the world over.'
'Orient Express was one of my
biggest challenges as Poirot.
Now, five years on,
I'm on the set of Dead Man's Folly.
(AS POIROT) Good morning.
How are you? Fine, thanks.
'It's June 2013 and nine months since
I filmed Poirot's death in Curtain.
I wanted to end 25 years on a high,
not his demise,
so we shot the final film
out of sequence.
When I finish this film,
I will have shot every Poirot story
that Agatha Christie ever published.'
You come on a set like this
and you think,
"I don't have to do anything."
Good morning. Morning, David.
How are you?
You've been in the fortune teller
tent - Yes.
- which we saw you go into last
night. A scene in there.
A few cuts and then -
I come out and meet the Dutch girl.
80, take one.
Background action and action!
I think the enduring power of Poirot
obviously centres
on David's performance.
But also, careful casting, very good
direction, brilliant art direction,
excellent locations
and a great deal of thought
go in to make it the package that
becomes Agatha Christie's Poirot.
What you wear on your head,
it is a creation most beautiful.
Like something from Royal Ascot,
ne c'est pas?
David is meticulous. He's brought
with him an eye of detail.
We have never been allowed to let
our standards slip
because David would pick us up
on that.
Oh, it's an honour to work
with David again
and it must be an extraordinary
experience for him
and for his family, I have to say.
I think a big shout out goes to the
family, I've got to say,
living with Mr Poirot for 25 years.
Have you seen Lady Stubbs?
Have you seen my wife Lady Stubbs?
Has anyone seen Lady Stubbs?
In some ways,
it's a farewell to the character.
I don't know, I think we're all
anticipating the last day
and how emotional that might be.
'Agatha Christie's summer home
provided the inspiration
for Dead Man's Folly.
So as a wonderful tribute to Poirot's
creator, we have come to Devon,
where my final shot will be filmed.'
I think it's a lovely way
to end the series here.
I feel pleased for David as well,
to have shot all of them
and to have adapted all the novels,
which I know is very important
to him.
It's a triumphant day. I won't see it
in any other way as well. I won't.
It's emotional.
Of course it's emotional,
I won't pretend it's not emotional.
But I feel very elated. Happy!
They are filming the very last scene
of the very last story of Poirot
that will ever be made
with David Suchet playing Poirot.
It doesn't feel like 25 years.
If I look back, it's...
really my children growing up,
my family, my...
It's a quarter of a century
of my life.
And...suddenly, it's over.
I think it's the fact that he has
applied utter dedication
to one role.
Most actors do a role, put it down,
walk away from it.
David has never put it down.
C'est bon. Merci.
515, take one.
David's legacy is to have given the
a character that they can never
To bring to life someone who has
entertained people around the world
for 100 years
and to stamp that character
into all our imaginations.
And that legacy on television
will never fade.
Ladies and gentlemen, that is a wrap
of Poirot after 25 years.
(AS POIROT) Thank you.
Thank you.
I would like to say to you,
thank you for having me.
I have enjoyed all the little
adventures that I have solved.
To you all, au revoir.
Merci beaucoup.
DAVID: I really do look back
with great thankfulness.
To be given that role
and have allowed me the privilege
of playing him
over a period of 25 years,
what a gift.
Thank you.
OK, everyone this way.
One, two, three -
And again, one, two, three -
Brilliant. Wonderful. Well done.