Still mourning the untimely death of his wife, Bella, Hastings is summoned to Styles Court in Styles St. Mary by his old friend Poirot. It is the country manor where, thirty years previously, he and Poirot had first met in England and where they had also solved their first murder mystery together. Now, Styles has changed hands and is being run as a modest post-war guest house, and it is here that Hastings makes a gut-wrenching discovery: Poirot's health has taken a turn for the worse. The Belgian detective is now old, gaunt, arthritic, and confined to a wheelchair as he battles a weak heart. But his little gray cells are as active as ever, which is why Poirot has called him to Styles in the first place - a murderer is in their midst, and may be ready to strike again. He asks Hastings to be his eyes and ears about the place, for Poirot does not know who is likely to be the killer's next victim. Being as observant and vigilant as possible, Hastings takes stock of his fellow company, ...Written by
The "Curtain: Poirot's Last Case" by Dame Agatha Christie was actually written during World War II but knowing it would he the last book involving the beloved Belgian detective, Ms. Christie had it sealed in a vault along with the novel "Sleeping Murder" (the last "Miss Marple" novel) with plans to have them published at or near the end of her life when she would no longer be able to write. Four months after "Curtain" was published Dame Agatha Christie died but since the novel was generally well-received critically, she gave permission for "Sleeping Murder" to be published the following year in 1976 which she would never see. See more »
Poirot shoots the sleeping Norton in the forehead at such close range it is unlikely that the only visible injury would be a single small entry wound with no blood. See more »
[laying out newspaper clips]
Madame Constance Etherington, tried for the poisoning of her husband, a man who was very sadistic but also addicted to the drugs, and with whom you were on terms most intimate. Norah Sharples, poisoned by her niece, Freda Clay...
I hope you're not s-suggesting I was on intimate terms with *her*.
[lays out a photograph]
You and Mademoiselle Clay taking a walk together. You see, I do my homework, Monsieur Norton. And... Matthew Litchfield. Now you visited him, did you ...
[...] See more »
It's difficult, perhaps nearly impossible, to write an objective, clear- eyed review of Curtain at this point. Those of us who enjoyed Suchet's definitive portrayal are filled with a mix of emotions. So I won't even try to be objective.
The setting was drab and dark, yes, but that, I think, was part of the point. A sumptuous, beautiful setting, like that seen in Five Little Pigs, would've seemed out of place. Styles is a decayed, dying home, a shadow of itself -- and so, it seems, is Poirot.
Closer observers of UK television and movies might recognize members of the cast and comment on their ability to carry off their roles. I can only say that I thought all the actors did, at minimum, competent jobs. Hugh Fraser and Aidan McArdie deserve particular commendation for turning in wonderful performances. It nearly goes without saying that David Suchet proves, yet again, why he is the definitive Poirot.
The expectations for this episode were tremendous. I'd say that the production did an excellent job satisfying Christie purists, an easier task given that she wrote this at the height of her powers. A wonderful way to close out a wonderful series, n'est pas?
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