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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer of Christie: Dead Man's Folly 8/4



The Summer of Christie continues 8/4 with Dead Man's Folly, the first Hercule Poirot book we'll be covering this summer in celebration of his new mystery The Monogram Murders this fall!  We're kicking off our discussion with tonight's airing of "Dead Man's Folly" starring David Suchet as the Belgium detective while questions and discussions will continue on at Bookclub Girl Monday.

This is not Suchet's first time with this story - he was also the audiobook narrator for one of the versions (specifically this one here, available at Audible with whispersync).  He vowed to be Poirot for all of his mysteries (something that took him 25 years to do!).

The new ITV production airing on Masterpiece is not the first time Dead Man's Folly has been made into a movie either however!  Back in 1986 Peter Ustinov, who played Poirot for 6 movies from 1978 to 1988, also brought this book to screen.

Let's compare:
David Suchet as Poirot
Peter Ustinov as Poirot
Unfortunately Christie herself did not live to see either of the men play the character she vocally disliked (she found him to be a “detestable, bombastic, tiresome, ego-centric little creep.”) and for myself I grew up moreso on Suchet then Ustinov, a fact made very clear since until recently many of the books Ustinov adapted were not adapted by Suchet.

Its hard for me to compare the two actors though.  Ustinov's Poirot is a fussy, pedantic sort just as Suchet's version, but because Ustinov played him so infrequently Suchet was able to refine a lot of those quirks more.  Then there's the fact Suchet had several "friends" and "associates" who reoccured through his run (just as in the books themselves) who served to ground his character better.

Tonight is the premiere of "Dead Man's Folly" (in America at least)

Here's a trailer:



and here's a scene from Masterpiece! to whet your appetite:



Here's an interview of Suchet from BFI on the movie:



And for comparison here's Ustinov's commercial for his version in 1986:


DEAD MAN'S FOLLY premieres on Masterpiece! August 3rd, 2014 at 9pmEST.  We'll be discussing it via twitter so feel free to tweet @WmMorrowBks and use the #monogrammurders to join in the fun!