Anyone who knows me (or has read my 1930s cozy mysteries) knows that I'm a huge fan of the Golden Age of Crime Fiction. It was during the 1920s and '30s that such mystery greats as Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham were in their prime, and the genre produced its best and most memorable works. Being such a lover of these classic mysteries, I am always thrilled to find movie and television adaptations that do them justice.
Some of these well known characters have had the good fortune to be represented by actors and actresses who are true to the author's intent and who, for me, simply are the embodiment of the fictional person I enjoy so much. Peter Davison, for example, is the perfect Albert Campion. Jeremy Brett is the best and truest Sherlock Holmes. Joan Hickson (chosen by Dame Agatha herself to play her character long before the actress was old enough for the role) is just right as Miss Marple, and the only actress to film all of the Marple novels.
|Suchet's Hercule Poirot 1989|
Having watched all but the last five films (which have not yet been shown in the United States but which will go straight from the mailbox into my DVD player the moment my order arrives), I can say that, even when the writers change the novels for some inexplicable reason, Suchet's Poirot never disappoints. He is the little Belgian detective, from his brilliantined hair and ridiculous moustaches down to his well-shined patent leather shoes. He is meticulous and somewhat (okay, maybe quite) OCD, set in his ways but easily drawn in by a puzzling problem, unhappy if there is not proper heating or if his breakfast eggs are not exactly the same size but never distracted by red herrings, dedicated to justice but not without mercy for those caught up in crime.
My favorite part of Suchet's performance comes as best I can tell from the actor himself. There is a twinkle in his eye, a definite light of joy and compassion that I cannot help thinking comes from his genuine Christian faith. He is a delight to watch in the role and, as glad as I am to know he has succeeded in his quest to film all of the Poirot stories, I am sad to know there will be and can be no more. (Unless they film Christie's Poirot stage play, Black Coffee, which I would love to see.)
|Suchet's Hercule Poirot 2013|
Have you seen Suchet as Poirot? Which literary characters have you seen brought to the screen just as you imagine the author pictured them? Who would you like to see brought to the screen? Who do you think would best play that character?