Don't live in Ashburn? Set your location to find movies & showtimes near you.
Murder on the Orient Express Movie Poster

Trivia for Murder on the Orient Express

Showing all 103 items
Jump to: Spoilers (12)
  • Angelina Jolie was originally attached to the project in the role of Mrs. Hubbard, but dropped out. Charlize Theron was also courted for the role, but in the end Michelle Pfeiffer was cast.
  • This was Michelle Pfeiffer and Johnny Depp's first collaboration since Dark Shadows (2012).
  • In 2004, Michelle Pfeiffer was going to star in another Agatha Christie adaptation; Witness for the Prosecution. The film's script was written by her husband, David E. Kelley. This was a remake of the Billy Wilder film Witness for the Prosecution (1957). Pfeiffer was going to play the role of Christine Vole, previously played by Marlene Dietrich.
  • Kenneth Branagh previously directed and starred with Derek Jacobi in Henry V (1989), Dead Again (1991) and Hamlet (1996). Branagh also directed Jacobi in Cinderella (2015).
  • This is Johnny Depp and Pen?lope Cruz's third collaboration since Blow (2001) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). Judi Dench had a cameo feature in POTC: On Stranger Tides.
  • In between filming, Josh Gad "interrogated" an annoyed Daisy Ridley several times in an attempt to get her to answer his questions about Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), filming the reactions with his smartphone. Several actors and cast members took part in it, including Judi Dench, Pen?lope Cruz, Chris Pratt and The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams. These hilarious videos can be found on Gad's Facebook and Instagram.
  • Stacey Snider, CEO of 20th Century Fox, broke off negotiations with Angelina Jolie after several months due to her insistence on significant script changes on what was a relatively small part.
  • There was in fact one murder on The Orient Express. Maria Farcasanu was robbed and murdered by Karl Strasser, who pushed her out of the moving train. This happened approximately one year after Agatha Christie's book was published. Also, in 1950, Simon Karpe disappeared from the train under suspicious circumstances involving espionage; some elements of which inspired Ian Fleming's From Russia with Love.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer described the making of the film as "deceptively challenging" due to the nature of the period and the language used during that era.
  • The film's cast includes two Oscar winners: Judi Dench and Pen?lope Cruz; and four Oscar nominees: Kenneth Branagh, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer and Johnny Depp.
  • Pen?lope Cruz's character is named Greta Ohlsson and is of Swedish descent in the original novel. The new name chosen for the character (Pilar Estravados) is taken from Agatha Christie's 1938 novel 'Hercule Poirot's Christmas'.
  • This is Kenneth Branagh's second movie to be shot on 65mm film. The first was Hamlet (1996). After 21 years, Branagh decided to use this film format once again because, according to his own words, he felt inspired by some independent movies he had been watching (mostly films by Michael Haneke) . With the announcement in the second theatrical trailer that the film will receive a limited 70mm engagement, Murder on the Orient Express (2017) is now the fourth film in the 2010's to be shot on 65mm and projected in 70mm, following The Master (2012), The Hateful Eight (2015) and Dunkirk (2017) (in which Branagh appears in a supporting role).
  • Manuel Garcia-Rulfo's character (Marquez) is named Foscarelli in the original novel.
  • Leslie Odom Jr.'s character, Arbuthnot, is a colonel in the army in the original novel; here his character is a doctor, replacing Dr. Constantine from the novel.
  • Murder on the Orient Express happened in today's Croatia, near the town of Vinkovci.
  • Regarded as one of Agatha Christie's greatest achievements, Murder on the Orient Express was first published as a novel in 1934.
  • The story was partly inspired by the Charles A. Lindbergh kidnapping case, in which Lindbergh's 20-month old son was taken and held for a $50,000 ransom. The ransom was paid, but unfortunately Lindbergh's son was found already dead.
  • The very first publication of the story was in a six-installment serialisation in the Saturday Evening Post in 1933 in the U, under the title Murder on the Calais Coach.
  • The story was inspired partly by an incident in 1929 when the Orient Express was trapped in a blizzard in ?erkezk?y, Turkey, where it was stranded for six days. Two years later Agatha Christie was involved in a similar scenario when she was travelling on the Orient Express and the train got stuck for a period of time due to heavy rainfall and flooding, which had washed away part of the track.
  • When the trailer for the film was first released, many Agatha Christie fans complained about Kenneth Branagh's interpretation of Poirot's iconic mustache being insulting to the source material. When the novel Murder on the Orient Express was first adapted for the screen in 1974, Agatha Christie (who was still alive at the time) was rather displeased with how the mustache on Albert Finney's Poirot turned out.
  • Daisy Ridley's character was previously played by Vanessa Redgrave, who is the mother-in-law of Liam Neeson who, like Ridley, has appeared in the Star Wars films.
  • Olivia Coleman plays Hildegarde Schmidt in this film. She previously starred alongside Vanessa Redgrave in The Thirteenth Tale (2013), who played Mary Debenham in Murder on the Orient Express (1974).
  • The original Orient Express route (from October 4, 1883) was from Paris to Giurgiu (Romania).
  • After Austin Trevor (1931-1934), Francis L. Sullivan (1937), Heini G?bel (1955), Martin Gabel (1962), Tony Randall (1965), Horst Bollmann (in 1973), Albert Finney (in 1974), Peter Ustinov (1978-1988), Vidas Petkevicius (1981), David Suchet (1989-2013), Anatoliy Ravikovich (1990), Alfred Molina (in 2001), Konstantin Raykin (2002), and Mansai Nomura (in 2015), Kenneth Branagh is the fifteenth actor to embody detective Hercule Poirot on screen, not including parodies and works that are not written by Agatha Christie.
  • Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe starred in Platoon (1986), thirty-one years prior to this film.
  • Sir Peter Ustinov played Poirot in six different films, including 'Death on the Nile,' which also included an all star cast.
  • The photograph of Katherine, Poirot's love, is actually an image of a younger Emma Thompson, who is Kenneth Branagh's ex-wife in real life.
  • In the full cast listing, there is a British Military Officer played by actor Tom Hanson, which is the same name of the character played by Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street (1987).
  • Johnny Depp and William Dafoe both starred in Cry Baby (1990)
  • Derek Jacobi's partner Richard Clifford appears in the film as a Ma?tre D' during a restaurant scene in Istanbul. Clifford has also previously appeared in small roles in other Kenneth Branagh-directed films such as As You Like It (2006) and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994).
  • Kenneth Branagh and Derek Jacobi have previously played the role of Hamlet on film and stage, as well as directing each other in their interpretations of the famous Shakespeare tragedy. Branagh appeared in Jacobi's stage production in 1988 (with the Renaissance Theatre Company), and then went to star and direct in the 1996 big screen adaptation of the play, with Jacobi appearing as King Claudius. Jacobi played Hamlet in 1979 for a stage production that toured Europe and Australasia, and later reprized the role in a television adaptation aired by the BBC in 1980. Coincidentally, Paapa Essiedu (an extra who appears as a police officer guarding the Wailing Wall at the start of the movie) also played the role of Hamlet for the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2016.
  • A majority of the bit roles are played by actors who were at one time or another members of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, who also directs and stars in Murder on the Orient Express (2017). Members include Michael Rouse (who plays a British Police Chief Inspector in 'Murder'), Paapa Essiedu (Young Policeman), Hadley Fraser (British Military Escort), Kathryn Wilder (a prostitute), and Matthew Hawksley (Waiter on the Orient Express), just to name a few.
  • A majority of the actors in the film (both the main cast - like Kenneth Kenneth Branagh and Derek Jacobi - and the bit players) are current and former members of the United Kingdom's foremost theatre companies: The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Royal National Theatre. Several of them have also appeared in live broadcasts produced by these companies.
  • When all the guests are seated in the tunnel near the end of the film, their positions are a recreation of the last supper also with 12 people seated at the table.
  • Johnny Depp and Judi Dench appeared together in the film Chocolat. They also had a brief appearance together in Pirates of the Caribbean: on Stranger Tides.
  • The real place where the train stuck is actually not at all as on the screen. High mountains are shown, while in reality Vinkovci, Croatia is located in a plain.
  • Sergei Polunin (Count Raldoph) and Hadley Fraser (British Military Escort) both appeared in The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall (2011). Polunin, an accomplished dancer, portrayed a slave driver and a shepherd in the ballet sequences, while Fraser, a popular West End performer, played the romantic role of Raoul.
  • Kenneth Branagh (Hercule Poirot), Judi Dench (Princess Dragomiroff), Derek Jacobi (Masterman), Richard Clifford (ma?tre d' and Jacobi's real-life partner), Gerard Horan (Aynesworth) and Miranda Raison (Sonia Armstrong) all appeared in the biopic My Week with Marilyn (2011). My Week with Marilyn also featured Toby Jones, who played Ratchett (the murder victim) in the 2010 television adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express (2010), alongside David Suchet as Poirot. The adaptation was a feature-length episode of the long-running crime drama Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989).
  • Elliot Levey and Paapa Essiedu (who appear in the film in bit parts) have previously appeared in Russell T. Davies' adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (2016).
  • Daisy Ridley (Mary Debenham) and ensemble members Elliot Levey (Rabbi), Crispin Letts (Head Waiter on the Orient Express) Ansu Kabia (Newsreel Police Captain) and Paapa Essiedu (Young Policeman) have all appeared in the British medical drama Casualty (1986).
  • Much of the cast and extras are made up of Kenneth Branagh's closest friends and acquaintances, with many of them having either been directed by Branagh in his previous projects, co-starred with Branagh in a film or theatre production, and/or have been a member of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.
  • Kenneth Branagh (Poirot), Tom Bateman (M. Bouc), Elliot Levey (Rabbi) and Gerard Horan (Aynesworth) have previously appeared in adaptations of William Shakespeare's romantic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Branagh and Horan appeared in the 1993 big screen adaptation Much Ado About Nothing (1993) (which Branagh directed), while Batement and Levey appeared in the 2011 television adaptation Much Ado About Nothing (2011) starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate.
  • Todd Boyce (who appears as a judge in the film) previously appeared in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). Both of these films star Johnny Depp, who plays Ratchett.
  • The train is stuck high in the mountains somewhere between the towns of Vinkovci and Brod. There aren't any mountains in that part of Croatia. It's a plateau.
  • Judi Dench and Johnny Depp have appeared in films about the infamous Jack the Ripper murders. Dench appeared as Sally in the Sherlock Holmes tale A Study in Terror (1965), while Depp appeared as Inspector Frederick Abberline in From Hell (2001). Both of these films are fictionalized portrayals of the murders, and, like Murder on the Orient Express, are written as a whodunnit.
  • Josh Gad (McQueen) and Gerard Horan (Aynesworth) both appeared in the live action remake of Disney's Beauty and the Beast (2017) (starring along Kenneth Branagh's ex-wife Emma Thompson ).
  • Johnny Depp has worked on numerous occasions with Kenneth Branagh's former partner, Helena Bonham Carter. The two appeared together in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Dark Shadows (2012), The Lone Ranger (2013) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). And all three are portraying characters in the cinematic Harry Potter Universe, though never sharing any screen time.
  • Kenneth Branagh and Johnny Depp have appeared in the Harry Potter film franchise. Branagh appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). Depp appeared in the franchise's prequel Fanstastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). This role will expand in the upcoming (2018) installment The Crimes of Grendelwald.
  • Character positions in a shot near the end of the movie, with all the suspects sitting at a long table in the mouth of the tunnel mimics the exact positions of the figures in Leonardo's painting "The Last Supper."
  • Kenneth Branagh and Willem Dafoe have both appeared in the Jack Ryan film series. Dafoe appeared in Clear and Present Danger (1994), while Branagh appeared in and directed Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014).
  • Penelope Cruz's character (though with a different name) was played by Ingrid Bergman in Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Willem Dafoe appeared with Bergman's daughter, Isabella Rossellini, in Wild at Heart (1990).
  • This film features Daisy Ridley, a character named Daisy, and is produced by Ridley Scott.
  • Willem Dafoe and Michelle Pfeiffer have both appeared in films featuring Batman. Pfeiffer appeared in Batman Returns (1992), while Dafoe appears in Justice League (2017).
  • In Poirot (1989), the part of Ratchett/Casetti was played by Toby Jones, who appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) with Kenneth Branagh.
  • Sean Connery, who has played James Bond, played Col. Arbuthnot in the original adaption Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Judi Dench, who played M in numerous James Bond movies, appears in this adaptation.
  • The choo choo train is Optimus Dressamus' personal means of transportation when he is traveling along the countryside.
  • This is Leslie Odom Jr.'s first major film role after starring in his Tony winning performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton.
  • Murder on the Orient Express (2017) is the fourth movie in which Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe are cast together, the first being Platoon (1986), the second being Cry-Baby (1990), and the third being Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003).
  • Josh Gad's character mentioned speaking in French because Johnny Depp's character "doesn't speak a word of it." Johnny Depp however speaks a decent level of French.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer (Mrs. Hubbard) and Olivia Colman (Ms. Schmidt) previously appeared together ten years prior in 'I Could Never Be Your Woman' of 2007.
  • The Orient Express ran over a variety of routes. The "Classic" Orient Express ran between Paris and Istanbul via Strasbourg, Munich, Vienna, Budapest and Bucharest. The train in this film - as a station announcement makes clear - is the Simplon Orient Express, which ran via Milan, Venice, Belgrade and Sofia.
  • Filmed using some of the same 65mm film cameras as Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (2017), which Kenneth Branagh had acted in shortly before this production. These two films are among the few to be shot on 65mm film since Branagh's Hamlet in 1996, and the only ones released in 2017.
  • Judi Dench previously worked with Albert Finney in the 3rd film of the rebooted James Bond series with Daniel Craig, Skyfall (2012). Finney portrayed Hercule Poirot in the 1974 adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express Murder on the Orient Express (1974), which also featured Sean Connery, who played James Bond in the original film series.
  • Hercule Poirot is a French speaking Belgian detective, but Kenneth Branagh repeatedly mispronounces "oeufs", the plural of egg.
  • The Simplon as in the Simplon Orient Express, is in reference to the twelve mile Simplon Tunnel linking Switzerland and Italy, removed a half a day's travel time between Paris and Istanbul by way of Venice.
  • The cast often played the popular party game "Werewolf" on the weekends. Pen?lope Cruz seemingly being the most innocent player, resulted in her often winning the games.
  • Big screens with animations of moving landscapes were installed on the set to create the visual effect of a moving train. Josh Gad experienced some motion sickness during filming due to this.
  • Josh Gad and Leslie Odom Jr were classmates.
  • "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens is the novel that Hercule Poirot reads along the movie amidst uproarious laughs.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer (Mrs. Hubbard) and Olivia Colman (Ms. Schmidt) appeared together in I Could Never Be Your Woman (2007).
  • The scene in the start of the movie where Poirot measures multiple eggs, is not part of the book but might be a reference to the description of Hercule Poirot's head as very egg shaped.
  • When Poirot invites Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley ) outside for a picnic so that he can interview her, he makes her write down her name and address. It is then pointed out that she is left handed. Daisy Ridley is in fact left handed. In the book, Poirot tried this on every passenger and all of them were right-handed with the exception of Princess Dragomiroff who refused to write.
  • Johnny Depp and Judi Dench played along side each other in Chocolat (2000).
  • Agatha Christie based the Armstrong story on the Lindbergh kidnapping and murder of 1932. In film, the fictitious Col. Armstrong's wife Sonia Goldenberg Armstrong and her family are Jewish. Lindbergh was very anti-Semitic and in the late '30s & into the '40s; he was a Nazi sympathizer who virulently opposed U.S. entry into World War II.
  • The 12 passengers sitting in the tunnel at a long table are mimicking the painting "The Last Supper."
  • In the opening scenes, one character is seen doing Kung Fu kicks and moves that would not have been widespread in the early 1930s.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer showed up months in advance in order to construct the hair and wardrobe for her character.
  • Kenneth Branagh had the cast film their "interview" scenes on each actor's first day in order to capture the "first day excitement." Michelle Pfeiffer, whose first day on set was the scene in which Mrs. Hubbard reports to Poirot that there had been a man in her room, loved the idea, while Pen?lope Cruz greatly resisted it.
  • Kenneth Branagh described the first scene between Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer as being from the kind of movie that would be playing within a movie.
  • Jacqueline Bisset, who starred in the 1974 version Murder on the Orient Express (1974), told Kenneth Branagh how excruciating it was to shoot the extended scene in which the murder was revealed. To avoid this feeling among the actors in his version, Branagh shot his side as Poirot first, cut wherever he could when shooting the actors up close and did everything to make sure the whole cast spent as little time as possible on set during the lengthy scene.
  • Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe previously appeared together in "Platoon".
  • Despite beautiful landscaping, that's not how it looks between Vinkovci and Slavonski Brod in Croatia. That part of Croatia (Yugoslavia in 1934.) is actually lowland and there are no hills or mountains.
  • Poirot's monologue "I have always been so sure- too sure. But now I am very humble and I say like a little child, I do not know..." is a directly taken from the end of Poirot's confession in the final novel of the Poirot series, Curtain.
  • Director Kenneth Branagh also teamed up with Judi Dench and Josh Gad on Artemis Fowl (2019).
  • Anjelina Jolie was considered for the role of Hubbard but production didn't like that she insisted on too many changes. Charlize Theron was also considered.
  • Josh Gad was the only member of the cast to have ridden on the actual Orient Express although Kenneth Branagh was allowed to go on the train.
  • Kenneth Branagh was aware of the over-extravagance of his character's mustache but he justified it by the fact that there were 15 quotes in the original novel mentioning the mustache.
  • The picture Poirot holds so dearly of Katherine, a woman whom he once loved and lost, is in fact a picture of Kenneth Branagh's real ex-wife, Emma Thompson.
  • During the effort to find a berth on the Orient Express, attendant Pierre Paul Michel stated passengers already booked all First & Second Classe berths or seats, respectively. Second class passengers would have a separate car from the first class passengers. The train pulled only four cars: a baggage, sleeping, dining, and bar car. During the transit and after the train stopped the film neither shows a second class passengers nor do the characters refer to them, ever.
  • The Orient Express in the 1930s as now, with the exception of 21st century train suites, passengers do not have private bathrooms. Passengers must share toilets and all must do without showers or baths. In 2018, from the shortest routes to trans-continental vacations with train suites, fares for passengers range from ?2,200 to ?40,000.
  • Late in the movie when Dr. Arbuthnot confronts Poirot with a handgun he employs a two handed grip on the gun colloquially know as tea cup or cup and saucer method. This method of handgun shooting was not taught until WW 2. A WW 1 military trained shooter like Dr. Arbuthnot would have been taught to shoot a handgun with a one handed grip exclusively.

Spoilers

  • Michelle Pfeiffer sings "Never Forget" over the closing credits of the film. The song was co-written by composer Patrick Doyle and director/star Kenneth Branagh.
  • At the end of the movie, a messenger informs Poirot that he is needed in Egypt on solve a "death on the Nile". Death On the Nile is the title of another Hercule Poirot mystery novel and upcoming movie.
  • At the end of the film, Hercule Poirot is informed of a murder in Egypt, which opens doors to a follow-up or even a second adaption to one of Agatha Christie's novels.
  • When Poirot is interrogating Daisy Ridley's character he remarks "It fractures the soul to kill another human being." Kenneth Branagh played Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Lord Voldemort, the central antagonist of the Harry Potter series of books/films, kept himself alive by literally separating pieces of his soul through murder and hiding the fragments in meaningful objects. The first of which (though it is not realized until much later) is discovered in this very installment.
  • Agatha Christie's original plot is loosely based upon the Lindbergh kidnapping of Highfield / Hopewell, New Jersey, in the 1920s. The character of Mr. MacQueen's Father is a fictionalized version of Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf - the head New Jersey State Police Investigator in the Lindbergh case.
  • At the end of the film, Poirot is told of a "death on the Nile". In the novel, "Death on the Nile", Poirot was on the boat, on the Nile, before and at the time the first murder was committed.
  • After the murder in the dining car the suspects have two faces when they are viewed through the glass from the refraction. When Gerhard (Willem Dafoe ) is caught in a lie during his questioning he is given an additional face. When Mary Debenham lies to Poirot her face is shot to give it an asymmetrical look while Poirot's is shot symmetrically.
  • German born Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a carpenter, kidnapped and murdered 20 month old Chas. Lindbergh Jr. After the "Trial of the Century" and many appeals, employees of the state of New Jersey executed Hauptmann by electrocution. In the movie, Josh Gad's character's father's life was ruined by his forced prosecution of an innocent woman framed for the murder. There is new evidence that suggests that Hauptmann too was framed by an acquaintance of his who was German spy. The character of Mr. MacQueen's Father is a fictionalized version of Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf - the head New Jersey State Police Investigator in the Lindbergh case.
  • Kenneth Branagh described the song at the end of the film as an expression of grief, pain and loss, drawing on classic Celtic melodies.
  • The film and the novel on which is based parallels in part the kidnapping and murder of the son of aviator and Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh. As in the actual case the kidnapper kills the child, however no sinister mastermind or boss plotted the Lindbergh kidnapping. German-born Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a carpenter, kidnapped and murdered 20 month old Chas. Lindbergh, Jr. After the "Trial of the Century" and many appeals, the State of New Jersey executed Hauptmann by electrocution.
  • On the evening of Ratchett's killing in the Orient Express First Class Sleeping Car/ Pullman, everyone would eventually murder or had murdered someone. In author Agatha Christie's last Poirot novel "Curtain: Poirot's Last Case", Poirot murders a serial killer.
  • After leaving Bouc & Arbuthnot in the baggage car Poirot walks toward the suspects to reveal the solutions to the crime, the suspects are sitting on one side of the table as in Da Vinci's painting of "The Last Supper". Caroline Hubbard/ Linda Arden sits in the position of Jesus but unlike the painting, no one sits in Judas' seat.
Movie details provided by