Fugitive 25 Years Later

DATELINE:  TV Classic Into Movie Classic

Taken in

A recent homage to the Harrison Ford/Tommy Lee Jones thriller, The Fugitive, never mentioned that it was based on the David Janssen, Quinn/Martin tv series.

Janssen died before age 50 in 1990, shortly before this big-screen version.

If this high-flying, high octaine movie had been a tv show, it would likely have been a two-parter on the small screen.

The film has big written all over it. Big effects and big budget.

We were most amused to see limping Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimble jumping around like a superhero with super-strength, instead of a cardiologist in middle age. His jump off a dam would kill most, or break every bone. Not for Harrison Ford, he just limps away (actually having torn ligaments).

It seems there wasn’t a water hazard the producers and director Andrew Davis couldn’t let pass. Throw Ford into it. And, then, they looked for every staircase in Chicago and make Tommy Lee Jones run up and down.

Apart from that unusual quality, the film also features only three run-ins between the stars: Jones is a US Marshall (again and again in movies) who is relentless in chasing Ford. Their first encounter is 40 minutes into the movie in which Gerard (Jones) admits he does not care whether Dr. Kimble (Ford) is innocent.

These are two arrogant, type A personalities who will let nothing stop them, and therein is a hilarious adventure thriller. Billed nowadays as a thinking man’s version of Deathwish or Taken or even any Bruce Willis adventure, this lives up to its excitement.

Why Dr. Kimble returns to familiar haunts, like his hospital, to find the one-armed killer is beyond sanity. Filmed in Chicago and its St. Patrick’s Day Parade, it is atmospheric of the Windy City.

Everyone admits Dr. Kimble is smarter than the police, but not smarter than Tommy Lee’s laconic character with his snippy attitude.

Twenty-five years have not dampened this movie. It holds up on every level. It is worth your attention, with Big Pharma still the villain.

American Experience: Gilded Age

 DATELINE: 1%ers Around 1900!

photog meets Morgan dollar Silver Dollar J.P. Morgan

Once again, the PBS series gives us an education. It’s rather painless and extremely informative with a political edge. “The Gilded Age” may not be what you think, or it may not be what PBS thinks. According to this two-hour documentary (with no re-enactors, thankfully) details the world of business and society from 1880 to the early 20th century.

That means a healthy dollop of Vanderbilts, Carnegie, and J.P.Morgan and their money-first philosophy of America’s business being business.

Gilded means there is a patina over the rot.

And, you can say that the urban blight and immigrant climb started with the Gilded Age. They wanted to have a good life, but found out it mostly came with wages, however high, or however low.

Though Americans wanted to be proud of their trade or profession, they learned through their socialist and unionist leaders that they were mere pawns for the 1% of super-rich.  And, this age is when those folks started amassing power and wealth.

Andrew Carnegie tried to save his reputation with charitable works, but it was a patina over rot. And, banker and heartless monster John Pierpoint Morgan never pretended to be anything but a creep with a huge purple nose who hated the press and media. His face should be on the Morgan silver dollar.

1% wealth is with us today in spades, as billionaires think they own the world. And, perhaps they do.

You may find the injustices against hard-workers hard to take, but even by today’s standards of enlightenment, you have an army of people who hate Bernie Sanders and his message. He would have been at home during “The Gilded Age,” and that may be a sad commentary after all.

 

Unidentified Episode 4, Going Nowhere Man!

 DATELINE: Half-way to the Stars?

head mellon Mellon Head?

Luis Elizando wants to uncover what is going on in the skies for a hundred years—and that is why he quit the Pentagon program that resisted investigations into these unknown objects. It isn’t a coverup as much as a denial of truth.

By the fourth episode of Unidentified, looking at the three released videos that raise all kinds of questions, the former Pentagon leader finds that two were East Coast encounters, not far from Washington. In fact, the young pilots (Ryan Grave and Danny Aucoin) risk their reputations to reveal that they were stalked by an armada of craft acting in ways that go beyond all aerodynamic rules.

Everyone wants to say these could be enemy on Earth vehicles. No one wants to believe that because it would mean sure subjugation by political enemies.

That leaves the unpleasant notion that no one in the government wants to face the inevitability of a smarter, more advanced civilization. Or, conversely, they know that these ships that stalk our nuclear-powered ships and their jets, even into war zones, are benign creatures or light energy from another dimension.

As weird as strikes everyone who witnesses these, there seems to be a reluctance to identify and to confront what they are. It could be someone knows what they are—and hands are off any confrontation.

As the show’s military-based investigators note, to cover this info up is a federal crime. But, the black budgets of top secrecy for decades may render that idea moot. These are not merely ancient alien believers, but men who want to move policy toward open discussion and revelation. Good luck with that.

Chris Mellon may want to shake his congressional associates and wake them like the Rip Van Winkles they are. That thunder in the sky is not elves bowling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secrets of the Dead? WWII Pep Pills!

DATELINE: Deadline Pep!

james holland Holland Invades Germany!

We never heard of this PBS marvel of history documentaries. It sounds like a bad show from the History Channel, something morbid about ghosts or Egyptian mummies.  It is entitled Secrets of the Dead!

Of course, it is none of the above. It is an intelligent look at historical events, uncovering little known information and formulating new theory.

For this episode from Season 17, it is called World War Speed. It is about the shocking notion of amphetamine usage during the second World War!

Who knew?

What’s worse, who suspected that the governments of England, United States, and Nazi Germany, condone and required drugs to stimulate the soldiers.

We’d like to think that only craven Hitler demanded his soldiers take amphetamines to remain awake for days: like good Aryan supermen.

However, Generals Montgomery and Einsenhower learned of the practice and decided it was a good strategy. You see, not only did it keep men awake but made them act out in deranged, but heroic ways. Men would volunteer for death missions and do utterly suicidal actions.

Hitler had experimented on victims of concentration camps to see how the pep pills effected people who were starving to death. However, even Hitler decided the side-effects were too grave to continue on his army. Not so with the American and British.

They gave pep pills to men in tanks that were deathtraps. It gave them courage beyond logic. We are horrified to think that this show, hosted by James Holland who most recently worked on the History Channel “Hunting Hitler”—and he has not lost his yellow journalism style here.

It is appalling to think that innocent young men had no idea that “pep pills” drugged them out of their minds.

We may tune into this series again. It is a shocker and provides teachable moments.

 

 

 

Great White Shark: Fear Uncaged!

DATELINE:  Mermaid & Great White Shark Playtime

Mauricio Hoyos Mauricio Hoyos!

 

The little shark documentary Beyond the Cage of Fear, narrated and directed by Steve Morris, may be a looney gem of entertainment.

At a time when Shark Week is all the rage, we were intrigued by the lack of cage.

The experts here are among that group that insist we have misunderstood the Great White Shark and confused his life and mind with the jaws of death.

It seems every shark documentary demands a scene of the shark exposing his rows of teeth and biting off more than he can chew.

So, a bunch of cowboys of the sea gather together to challenge their fears and show off their courage. Aging danger freak Mike Hoover leads the charge.

These are beautiful young men who have lung capacity that you might find unfathomable. They can hold their breath for many minutes under water and swim like a fish.

Among them are Hannah Frasier, Brandon Whaley and Mark Healy. They are among the bravest young fools you will ever encounter as they try to create a relationship of friendship with a great white shark.

Mauricio Hoyos looked familiar at Guadalupe Island, and we recognized him from a recent show on Unidentified, the UFOs. He is perhaps the foremost, young expert in great white sharks on the planet and hangs around their favorite haunt in Mexico. He knows these hotshots are crazy, but what can he do?

Perhaps the craziest of all is Hannah, who swims in a mermaid suit, so to speak, with tiny pasties to cover her tiny pasties. She too swims without snorkel or tank with Bruce the Shark.

Yeah, they named him Bruce as if that demeaned his danger. The point is that fear drives our lives: yeah, it’s called survival.

We love these beautiful daredevils and admire them, but we doubt they will live long lives.

 

 

 

Ancient Aliens Toss Kon Tiki Overboard

 DATELINE: Vimana Your Raft

Vimana TravelThor Mans Vimana!

This week Ancient Aliens went one better: they just blew Thor Heyerdahl out of the water. Yep, they claimed that Southeast Asians came to Colombia via vimana spaceships, not rafts.

By teaming up David Childress with Praveen Mohan, their new Hindu expert, sort of a Giorgio from Mumbai, you have some insights from 12,000 miles over the globe. The gold diggers of 3000 years ago worked for ancient alien “gods.”

Ancient Aliens starts off with a bang: blaming the Vatican and its auto de fe of the Inquisition for destroying the Mayan culture because it knew about visitors from the sky. In fact, they even go so far as to accuse the Vatican of still covering up the information stolen from the Mayan and taken to the Vatican archives where it still remains.

The other interesting bombshell has to do with the Hindi god from outer space whose name was, you guessed it: Maya. We see a similarity on History lately. You can blame it on two groups, it’s either the Masons or the Mayans.

Who knows? Maybe a future show will prove that the two groups share more than rituals and secret, lost knowledge.

It seems all those parallels between South America and India may have something to do with Vimana, the mythical spaceships of Indian legends and ancient texts.

Childress brings his Hindu counterpart to a remote area in the jungle of Colombia to show him the various statuary that resemble Hindi gods. It offers the theory that the South American location became a second city of Indian gods.

The newest cliché of TV documentaries is taking shots from above by drone: now you can see the topography of rivers and geoglyphs from the angle of ancient astronauts in their flying machines.

The Vatican now is catching up to the Masons as a suppressive group with secrets in their archives.

Unidentified: UFOs as Tic Tac Toes

DATELINE: New Series About Military UFO Video

out there

Leave it to History Channel to find a new bottle for old wine. This is almost as funny as Leave It to Beaver 50 years ago. Each week we have a crisis in the universe with the bickering mid-life crisis teenagers as observers. Laugh till you cry.

You may not want to call them UFOs or USOs, because that is old hat. Today’s dudes of the Air Force hotshot top gun types call them “Tic Tacs” to use a dull metaphor.

It seems that shape wins the day. If you recall the past year, the Pentagon released a few videos about these aircraft and closed down a program that studied them.

The man in charge quit. His name is Luis Elizando, and now he is the main host of the series. So, he has found, like Stanton Friedman, a budding career for the rest of his life. Our first thought is why was this tattoo’ed military man in charge of anything, let alone an important secret project.

Well, the government also gave us Edward Snowden and Bob Lazar, so you needn’t think any more about it.

Two other notable men (team members as they call themselves) share the investigation honors. One is a former minor rock star from Blink 123, named Tom deLonge. The other is one Christopher Mellon (of the rich people in Carnegie-Mellon) who worked as an assistant undersecretary in the Defense Department (shades of Nick Pope with ready cash). We presume he is underwriting the programs.

The show spends some time introducing these men (there are seldom women, other than Linda Moulton Howe). They interview former service men and women. One is billed as a first open interview with the woman pilot in shadow. So much for truth in advertising. Another pilot is retired and ostensibly living in seclusion to hide from government agents.

All this leads us to hear one expert opine: it’s already too late. They’re here and they’re way beyond us. If they want to take over, they can in an instant.

There are four more episodes of this stuff, and we’ll be there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work for Tom Brady! It’s Cheap!

 DATELINE: File Under “Help Wanted!”

tom-teddy Tom Hugs All Employees!

Yes, your golden opportunity is smiling down on you. Well, perhaps not so golden, as the pay is paltry, but TB12 in Patriot Place, Foxboro, is looking for a receptionist. In Tom’s bright world of euphemism, the job is Front Desk Associate.

You don’t need a pesky college degree (Tom barely finished with General Studies), but you do need all your teeth for smiling broadly no matter what happens. And, apparently, much stuff happens.

You will work for a “global company”, according to the description, but you do need to be an American citizen. Tom is a Republican, after all.

It’s a company with health issues, so you had better have super human strength to lift 50-pound bags of mail and answer it too. You should have a diligent work ethic—because you have to do it all part-time, including multi-tasking, fixing the computer, have a knowledge of health terms and bogus health issues, serve a diverse clientele that wants to meet Tom.

You need an iron ability to work with Giselle who probably doesn’t want Tom meeting any women. That likely includes any massage experts recommended by Robert Kraft.

Oh, yes, there are lots of interruptions at the front desk, according to the job description: like fending off crazed fans who want their money back. That’s probably why they’d like you to have a para-military or police background. Kung fu is not on the list of talents, but it may help.

TB12 is rapidly “evolving” as the ad states, because Tom is on the verge of retiring and may drop into the office more frequently. It also helps if you have an interest in transforming global health and botox treatments– and dealing with Julian Edelman and keeping Gronk out of Tom’s hair transplants.

Among the talents required: “Proven working experience” and “Exceptional verbal & written communication skills.” So, that GED will help after all.

If you want Tom’s autograph, it will only come on the paycheck.

 

P.S., YES, THIS IS A REAL JOB POSTED ONLINE!!!!

Underwater Ancient Aliens

DATELINE: 20,000 Leagues

from outer space Take Us to Your Leader.

Let’s go deep with the ridiculous heading down to the sublime. Ancient Aliens took the plunge again this week, finding our alien counterparts in jellyfish.

You have to admire a creature that can regenerate its own brain. On top of that, we now learn that some species of jellyfish are immortal. Rather than die, they simply go back a couple of stages and re-live their teenage years.

These bizarre creatures may have elements that are clearly transplanted here by pan-spermia. The aliens have been in USO (unidentified submersibles) vehicles for eons.

The next jump is by a creature on Earth with nine brains. Yes, nine brains indicate that there may be an animal of the aquatic mode that is smarter than people or chimps. The octopus may also be better adapted for space flight and colonizing new worlds, owing to their ability to adapt and to change shape.

In a lesson we never wanted to learn, we hear that the octopus has twice as many genes as humans. And, they can gene splice without a lab coat.

All this leads us to underwater bases that may have been there under five miles of seawater for a million years. Talk about hiding in plain water.

Giorgio and the crew are blown away by the notion that where there’s jelly there’s the peanut of civilization from outer space. When he goes to a research laboratory where Dr. Queenie Chan shows him amino acids and water drops on meteors, you know that his fertile imagination has left us behind.

You may get your feet wet like a daffy duck swimming downstream as Ancient Aliens goes where no man has gone before—straight to the Mariana Trench. More strange life exists in Bermudan water tunnels than on Jupiter.

Don’t forget your snorkel.

X-Files History & Piltdown-Man Fraud

DATELINE:  German View of England’s Finest!

dupes & dopes

Dupes & Dopes with Piltdown Man

You know this miniseries will be confused with the old crypto-investigators series with David Duchovny, but this German import felt no compunction about using the title and adding the word “X-Files History”. This is a German documentary that has only four episodes, and the one we sampled was juicy enough to stand alone.

One of the longest frauds perpetrated was by a gang of British scientists from 1912. Back then, methods were loose and discipline was nearly negligible. You could salt a dig site and no one would be the wiser.

A decade before Howard Carter in Egypt, there was Charles Dawson in England. He was no academic, no researcher, not a scholar, and only made his money through dubious means. He was born middle-class in Hastings.

Like many Brits of the era, he was offended that everyone rival to England was finding archaeolological gold. The United Kingdom was offended by being left in the dust of antiquity.

A couple of patriotic Englishmen may have started a cottage industry to find relics of the past. They, in fact, faked them brilliantly. The most brilliant and dubious was the Missing Link, corroborating Darwin’s theory of Ape Man descendants.

Dawson was a reprobate who lived in a fake castle, artificially aged and with a fantasy dungeon. He climbed the social ladder and married well, but his real hobby was aging bones to look like they were thousands of years old.

His greatest hoax was the find the Missing Link in England, not Africa, or China. As improbable as it seems, he had allies like Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote the Lost World the same year Dawson found the Missing Link.

The Dyle fans went bonkers when it was suggested that Sherlock’s creator might have a part in the fraud.

Even if he didn’t conspire with John Bull and the bull crap, Doyle was a prime dupe. He was into everything, including the paranormal. So, it was not a far jump for him to buy into the Piltdown Man and give him credibility.

The ultimate payment for the fraud (which took 40 years to expose) was the chemicals Dawson used to provide an old patina to the bones. The heavy metal fumes killed him and his wife in mid-experiment, like a grotesque Sherlock Holmes story.

Ratings Gold for Civil War Gold Show!

DATELINE: Moneybags Lagina Wins!

in Hackley library In Hackley Library Under His Images!

Somebody up there at History Channel knows how to salt a mine. Tenderfoot types are buying the bullion by the cartload.

The curse of Civil War Gold is the albatross of the Curse of Civil War Gold. It’s too late to change the show’s title, and they’re stuck with it. Kevin Dykstra, the originator, seems more and more bewildered that his pitch has been hijacked and evolves each week into something far afield from his notion of a gold hunt series.

Take the latest episode as the arc of the season nears its end. “Grave Expectations,” throws another ironic title at him. You know he’s out of his element.

Now he leads a team with co-leader Alex Lagina who joins him on the big moments, like meeting a great-grandson of a Michigan man who has gold purportedly from the Jeff Davis arrest. And when the team meets with Marty Moneybags Lagina, the old man had demanded to hold gold in his hand—it is Alex sitting next to him.

As if to add irony to the biting satire of meeting a man who confirms the Confederate Treasury was stolen by Union soldiers and hometown businessmen, the meeting takes place in the Hackley Public Library.

You guessed it: sitting under photos of Charles Hackley, the man Kevin Dykstra maligns at every stage of the series, they meet with a descendant of the conspiracy.

Well, at least, they confirmed this time that the mummy of John Wilkes Booth was a carnival attraction for years—hardly the proper fate of a man in on a plot to steal hundreds of millions of dollars in gold.

And, once again, an attempt to find the escape tunnel Booth used at Garrett’s Farm, is futile and pointless, as they have no permission to excavate to prove anything. An aside throws out the info that unspecified “authorities” have refused to allow Booth’s remains to be exhumed and tested with DNA.

The series has taken on a new life—and will likely be back on History next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Conspire to Kill Ortiz!

DATELINE: Bounty Hunters Come Cheap in DR

ortiz-unleashed Bargain Basement Killers!

The price on David Ortiz’s head was reportedly only $6000 to be divided up by a dozen conspirator killers. Then, the number went up: no, not the bounty, but the number of plotters splitting the ante. The latest count from the Dominican Republic is there are ten co-conspirators. It’s almost like a county fair of killers. A few are still at large.

We are on our way to a baker’s dozen.

Maybe your money goes a lot farther in the Dominican Republic economy. If that cheap lifestyle is driving Americans to move to that crime-ridden country, they are living a cheapskate rich lifestyle.

We thought that assassination of Julius Caesar was a shoddy affair, but 2000 years later the attack on Ortiz is even more carnival-like. Instead of a forum, or even Fenway Park, Ortiz was shot in the back, a la Jesse James, in an outdoor bistro atmosphere.

No motive has been given for the crime. We cringe at the speculation. And none of it enhances Ortiz’s reputation as a moral paragon.

Friends now say that Ortiz counted on the general public to protect him from dangerous gang members or gangsters.

The best laid plans belong to mice, not men. No one could stop the bullet with Big Papi’s name on it.

If you think witness identification is a deterrent to crime, you have only to see killers blithely walk up to the large Ortiz and put the gun at gall bladder height. They did not care who saw them, or if they would be known.

What we have here is the polar opposite of the Aaron Hernandez case.

The motorcycle get-away driver was inept too. He skidded into the crowd, giving a mob the courage to beat him up. He professes to be a Big Papi fan.

Heavens, imagine what might have happened if the motorcycle driver had been a Yankee fan.

We come back to the low-ball price on Ortiz’s head. This was not the work of a head-hunter, but of a world where life is not only cheap, but it is on sale to anyone with a credit card limit under $8000. The killers planned to share the amount at a payoff of $1000 each, but as the number goes up, the slice of the pie drops to crumbs for a murder.

 

 

 

 

David Ortiz Questions Persist

DATELINE: Pardon Us!

GOATS

Boston sports media always protect their own. If you have questions, you may not always receive answers. Not even the get well wishes of a former President of the United States can hide bigger puzzlements.

Dark questions haunt the situation surrounding the hit on David Ortiz. Oh, yes, make no mistake: it was a hit that fortunately did not end Big Papi’s game. As he told doctors entering surgery, “I am a good man.” He did not want to die.

So, we wonder why the Red Sox organization decided to fly Ortiz out of the Dominican Republic as soon as possible, even before he stabilized (despite the medical opinion to the contrary).

If you think he was stable, he arrived in Boston to face immediate second surgery. Did someone botch the job in the ER of the DR?

In New York’s Post, you see the words “hit man.” This does not surprise several of his former teammates, who indeed think an assassin’s bullet is not out of the question.

You may well wonder why Ortiz returned often to the DR. Was it to see his family—while leaving his wife and children back in Boston?

You may well wonder why the assassin is tied to drugs and why his companion was a police officer. You may well wonder if the long-ago charge that Ortiz used illegal substances in his baseball career might resurface.

They removed Ortiz from the DR before another attack might finish him off: how easy it is to die in a hospital from complications after being shot up and losing your intestines, spleen, and other organ parts.

Septic poisoning is but a day away.

Big Papi’s agent thinks something odd is going on. Well, when you are spirited out of the hospital before the police can question you, there is an appearance that leaves a dubious feeling.

We can count only on the fact that the Boston media has thrown up another protective shield around David Ortiz.

Deadwood Passes Deadline

 DEADLINE:  the Un-Deadwood Movie

Olyphant Olyphant

The movie sequel to the three-season HBO series Deadwood is not dead as a doornail after all. It’s not even moribund.

HBO gunned it down ten years ago in a shootout shout-out, and it took as much time for writer/producer David Milch to resurrect it with nearly the entire original cast. (Powers Boothe left us a few years ago, and he is not noticed or mentioned here).

For two weeks we have heard the words “Shakespearean” applied again and again to this Western. Yes, they talk funny with Swearingen leading the way with swearing in iambic pentameter. Ian McShane is the scene-stealer emeritus.

An odd thing happens when a show tries to reset after the sunset: actors either look like they have aged twenty years, not ten, or others look like they had to step out of a time machine to reappear.

A few flashbacks remind us of how much the actors have changed in a decade.

We won’t spoil it by saying who looks ancient, and who held up. That may be the real suspense. Suffice it to say that boyish Timothy Olyphant has aged into Western star Sam Elliott, one of his old villains from Justified.

Others like William Sanderson and Jeffrey Jones have looked perennially old for 30 years. No news here.

As for the characters and characterizations, everyone is the same, just moreso. Perhaps that is the real secret of aging: you just get worse in your worst habits.

As for the script that has rankled some fans, you will have to understand that these kind of shows usually center upon birth, marriage, funerals, auctions, and deaths. Yup, we have them all in spades.

Deadwood’s statehood celebration is crashed by Gerald McRaney, the house villain, who returns as a California Senator Hearst who brings the 19th century Internet with him: yes, he is putting up telephone poles for profit.

Fear not. It is still the wilder West and shoot-outs are bound to occur near the local bordello.

Robin Weigert’s Calamity Jane looks like she is caked in dirt, but she was already an international celebrity by the time of this show (1889).

Many characters don’t have much to do—and do it for a few lines.

We wouldn’t have missed this reunion show for the world of kindling wood, nor dead heroes. It even beats having Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty show up twenty years after their show Gunsmoke ended in a sequel movie.

The West never loses its allure.

David Suchet’s Evil Under the Sun!

DATELINE:  Poirot Dandy!

Poirot cast Great Cast!

We took in an old TV chestnut from almost twenty years ago, Evil Under the Sun, from the eighth season of the off and on series of David Suchet as it attempted to film every Agatha Christie episode.

This one had the delight of Poirot being sent off to a health spa in Devon to recover from his obese condition.

Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran) insisted that Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser) accompany him. The classic regulars of the show are here in their element, perhaps beyond their element. Miss Lemon is sent by Poirot all around the countryside to do legwork for the case. Usually, Miss Lemon claims to have filing to do—and must decline any other assignments.

The other stand-up regular is Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson) more respectful of Poirot in later seasons. Though he and Hastings are now semi-regular dinner companions, they are always murder investigators.

The health spa is filled with suspicious and dubious figures who claim the place is the opposite of health. Its torturous steam boxes and daft clientele are perfect candidates for murder and murder victim.

It becomes increasingly obvious to Poirot that the place is ripe for crime, even as he is served various vegetable drink concoctions.

Sometimes murder flows trippingly on Christie’s contrived plots, though this one clunks to a finish, it is still fun to behold. We can see the roots of disgust in Poirot at the human condition, though this low-budget, low-star power TV version is a delight compared to the overblown movie with Peter Ustinov as Poirot.

Most of this is the result of a delicious ensemble cast and a deep dedication to the color scheme of Art Deco.

Gathering all the suspects in the hotel dining room for a big Reveal loses none of its luster for mystery fans. It’s a gem.