Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Cherchez la femme

TCM's "Riding the Rails" theme on Wednesdays in prime time in April brings me to two people I've profiled in recent posts.

Richard Widmark is part of an all-star cast in Murder on the Orient Express, airing tonight at 8:00 PM ET. Based on the Agatha Christie novel, Widmark stars as the victim, a man who gets stabbed to death on the Orient Express and who could have been killed by almost anybody in the car. Well, not Hercule Poirot (played by Albert Finney). But the suspects include Anthony Perkins, Sean Connery, Wendy Hiller, Vanessa Redgrave, Jacqueline Bissett, Michael York, and Ingrid Bergman (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her part).

Dame May Whitty is the title lady who vanishes in Alfred Hitchcock's 1938 movie The Lady Vanishes, which immediately follows Murder on the Orient Express at 10:15 PM ET. One of the fellow passengers, played by Margaret Lockwood is sure that there's a lady missing, but she can't get anybody on the train to believe her, until Michael Redgrave has cause to believe she might be telling the truth.

The Lady Vanishes was remade in 1979, with Angela Lansbury in the title role as the lady who vanishes; Cybill Shepherd and Elliott Gould star as the two people who go looking for her on the train. Remakes are usually not as good as the original, especially if you're remaking a Hitchcock movie. Coincidentally, however, this remake shows up on TV this week as well, at 2:40 PM ET on Friday April 25 on Encore Mysteries, for those of you who get that channel.

All three movies are listed as being available on DVD as well.

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