A few words about…™ Crooked House — in Blu-ray

This is a very pretty film, that simply "is." 4 Stars

For those few, who may not know their Agatha Christie works, the great lady of detective stories had two major series based upon two disparate characters, the extrararodinary Hercule Poirot, most recently experienced in Kenneth Branagh’s latest incarnation of the classic Murder on the Orient Express, and the wonderfully beloved, Miss Marple.

Her works go back to 1920, with the initial Poirot novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, and continued unabated to 1976, with her final Miss Marple tome, Sleeping Murder.

Crooked House, which features neither of her most famous characters, is a quality tale on its own, involving a possible murder at a magnificent old estate, Scotland Yard, and a plethora of characters that bring that estate to life.

The film, directed by Giles Paquet-Brenner, brings together a wonderful cast and great location work, creating a work that while interesting, seems, at least to me, to be missing a soul at its center.

The new Blu-ray from Sony gives us pristine entree to this wonderful Christie work, and enables those who prefer not to read, to experience the work, but with little excitement during that experience.

This is a very pretty film, that simply “is.”

For those that wish a modern take on the wonders of Miss Christie’s work, best to pick up the forthcoming 4k of Orient Express.

Image – 5

Audio – 5 (DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

author,member

21 Comments

  1. I've read and own every Agatha Christie novel and short story collections. Crooked House is one of my favorites and the blu ray is winging its way to me as I type and I'm so looking forward to it. My one dream is that a film version of her novel Death Comes As The End which to my knowledge has never been made into a film or TV movie gets made during my lifetime. Since the entire novel is set in Ancient Egypt, it provides a unique background for Christie's murder mystery.

  2. KeithDA

    It was on TV over Christmas and I have to agree it’s nice to look at, but is not riveting. The cast probably had more fun making it …

    Did it air as a TV movie (a "Christie for Christmas") in the UK rather than have a theatrical release??

  3. Will Krupp

    Did it air as a TV movie (a "Christie for Christmas") in the UK rather than have a theatrical release??

    Yes – it was heavily trailered due to its glamorous cast – just didn't quite live up to expectations…

  4. Saw it during its brief theatrical release and enjoyed it highly. Glenn Close is delightfully hammy in a role that 15 years earlier would have been played by Maggie Smith. And so nice to see a Christie work that has never been filmed before, not even by the BBC.

    Mike S.

  5. You're right, Mike, about there being precious few Christie mysteries left that haven't been filmed for theaters or TV. I hope to get to Crooked House this afternoon. I have read the book, so I know going in the identity of the murderer. I'll be looking for the ways it's concealed or the manner in which clues might be dropped to give away this person's identity.

  6. Matt Hough

    You're right, Mike, about there being precious few Christie mysteries left that haven't been filmed for theaters or TV. I hope to get to Crooked House this afternoon. I have read the book, so I know going in the identity of the murderer. I'll be looking for the ways it's concealed or the manner in which clues might be dropped to give away this person's identity.

    Strangely enough, I've read a lot of Christie's but had never read THIS one before (how I don't know.) I watched it on demand the other night and really enjoyed it. I've read ENOUGH Christie, however, to know how she thinks and to recognize certain tricks she lays out (after 80 books you tend to repeat yourself!) so I was able to spot the killer relatively easily. It was still a lot of fun.

    I can see why it was one of her favorite stories.

  7. I watched this one this afternoon, and I really enjoyed it. I appreciated that it had the look and feel of a REAL movie and not something made-for-TV. I love Christie plots that manage to make every single character potentially the guilty party. At one point or another, the finger points very dynamically to one particular suspect who would seemingly be the perfect suspect.

    As I said earlier, I had already read the novel, so I knew who the guilty party was. When I read the book, I didn't manage to guess correctly and was completely fooled. I think the way certain clues were presented, particularly in the second half of the film, had I not known who the killer was, I believe I would have figured it out before it was revealed. But that doesn't take anything away from this well made and very enjoyable mystery. I'm sorry it seems to have gotten somewhat lost in the enthusiasm for the remake of Murder on the Orient Express.

  8. Matt Hough

    I appreciated that it had the look and feel of a REAL movie and not something made-for-TV.

    That's because it is a real movie! Even shot in 2.35 scope! It's theatrical release was minimal unfortunately. I guess there just wasn't a market for it. I remember when the film was originally announced several years ago, Julie Andrews was going to do the Glenn Close role. Now that would have been something to see!

  9. Andrew Budgell

    Will and Matt have sold me… Crooked House will be mine when I place my next Amazon order. I can never revisit Dame Agatha. 🙂

    Darn them. Me too. I kept seeing that banner ad of Glenn Close with the shotgun and wondered what it was. That’s how I found this thread.

  10. Will Krupp

    Strangely enough, I've read a lot of Christie's but had never read THIS one before (how I don't know.) I watched it on demand the other night and really enjoyed it. I've read ENOUGH Christie, however, to know how she thinks and to recognize certain tricks she lays out (after 80 books you tend to repeat yourself!) so I was able to spot the killer relatively easily. It was still a lot of fun.

    Well, I watched it and wasn't too impressed and I can't even remember who the killer was. With all the excitement for it here, I now wonder if there was too much Christmas Spirit in my glass to appreciate it..? <_<

  11. Matt Hough

    If you can't remember this very surprising and unexpected killer, you MUST not have been paying very close attention.

    That one got me. Had no idea where it was going.

    And one of the few things in the film that worked for me. I just felt that it had no underlying soul.

  12. Robert Harris

    That one got me. Had no idea where it was going.

    And one of the few things in the film that worked for me. I just felt that it had no underlying soul.

    I started speculating fairly early on, but I can't elaborate without getting close to spoiler territory. The film didn't work as a whole for me. Also, I was worried during the first scene in the detective's office that the whole thing was going to be shot in wobbly-cam, but at least that didn't happen. Netflix sent me a DVD rather than a Blu-Ray for some reason.

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