The Venice Film Festival
I’m never going to visit the Venice Film Festival. At my age, it’s just one of those things I’m going to have to come to terms with. I’m never going to fly to Italy and watch movies in a tuxedo, just like I’m never going to climb Mount Everest, run with the bulls at Pamplona, or date Scarlett Johansson. All three of those activities are equally exotic and probably equally dangerous.
But I can still eventually enjoy the movies that premiere at the festival, which started Wednesday and runs until September 9. There are some rather interesting films making their debut, including George Clooney’s new directorial effort starring Matt Damon, Suburbicon, about how a home invasion affects a town in 1950s America; Mother!, the creepy new film directed by Darren Aronofsky that is so shrouded in mystery that not even the trailer will help you understand what it’s about; and Our Souls At Night, a Netflix original drama that brings Robert Redford and Jane Fonda together again.
There’s also a movie titled The Shape of Water, written and directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Judging from the trailer below, it looks like a cross between a small, quirky romantic drama and … The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
That could be the title of a political documentary or possibly a really dark new game show, but it’s actually the name of a new, free, online magazine edited by writer P.J. O’Rourke.
American Consequences will focus on the financial world and how it affects “your retirement, your money, and your financial safety in the coming years,” as the site says. It will try to cover the stuff that the media and Wall Street don’t talk about much. And if you think that means the magazine is going to be boring, check it out. It’s not all dry numbers and stock reports and business-speak. There’s some fun stuff here, including this essay from O’Rourke, in which he tries to figure out this new mutant capitalism where the top companies are Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. He’s baffled by them. He knows what the former top companies do, places like General Motors and Exxon and AT&T. He’s not sure what Facebook does. He just knows he doesn’t want it.
The 100 Greatest Comedy Films of All-Time
Were there lists before the web existed? There were, but you didn’t see them as much as you do now. It seems like every day there’s a new “Best Movies” or “Worst Sitcoms” or similar list on a website, which pretty much takes away any gravitas that these types of lists used to have. If there are so many of them, then they don’t really mean anything. But they’re fun to read and always good for an argument. Everybody loves lists!
Like this list of the greatest comedy films of all-time. The BBC polled various critics and came up with the 100 top films. While there are many films on the list you’d expect to see — Some Like It Hot, Airplane, This Is Spinal Tap, His Girl Friday — there are some movies on the list that I think will surprise you. The Philadelphia Story and Pulp Fiction are on there, and I don’t know if I’d even consider them comedies in the strictest sense, but they’re good movies, and there you go. Three Jerry Lewis movies made the list, two that he directed (The Ladies Man and The Nutty Professor) and one he starred in (The King of Comedy).
Some Like It Hot at number one? It’s an overrated movie. Sorry, I had to say it. Let the arguments begin! What comedy movie is your favorite?
Jerry on TCM
It’s appropriate that Turner Classic Movies is going to run a marathon of Jerry Lewis movies this Monday. Lewis, who died last week at the age of 91, hosted the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Labor Day Telethon from 1966 to 2010 (and his work with the organization actually goes back to the ’50s). Here’s a list of the movies that will be shown starting at 8 p.m. ET.
Too bad The Delicate Delinquent isn’t on the list. That was his first movie after breaking up with Dean Martin, and it’s one of his best.
50 Years of the Microwave Oven
I still remember when my family got our first microwave oven. It must have been the late ’70s or early ’80s. For the first several months, I remember we had this general fear that the thing was either going to explode if we put anything metal in it, and even if that didn’t happen, at the very least we’d get cancer if we even looked at it while it was cooking.
But those fears are over, and now I use it mostly to cook frozen dinners, warm up leftover pizza, and pop popcorn (though lately I’ve been thinking about buying Jiffy-Pop again). Sure, we could get by without microwave ovens, but it’s nice that they’re around.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the home version of the microwave oven, first introduced by Amana in 1967. There were other versions before that, but they were way too large to fit in the home.
RIP Tobe Hooper, Richard Anderson, Larry Sherman, Bernard Pomerance, and Jeannie Rousseau de Clarens
Tobe Hooper directed many classic horror films, including The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist, and the original TV movie version of Salem’s Lot. He also directed several TV shows, including The Equalizer, Nowhere Man, and Amazing Stories. He died Sunday at the age of 74.
What an interesting life Larry Sherman led. Not only did he appear in such movies as North by Northwest, Midnight Cowboy, Manhattan, and When Harry Met Sally, and on TV shows like Law & Order, The Late Show with David Letterman, The Sopranos, and Royal Pains, but he was also Donald Trump’s publicist in the 1980s. He was also a sports reporter for several newspapers, a writer on the original ’50s quiz show The Joker’s Wild, and even appeared on Broadway.
Sherman died Saturday at the age of 94.
Richard Anderson is probably best known for his role as Oscar Goldman on The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, but he also had regular roles on The Lieutenant, Perry Mason, Dynasty, Zorro, Dan August, The FBI, and Cover Up and made appearances in movies like Forbidden Planet, Paths of Glory, and Seven Days in May. He died yesterday at the age of 91.
Bernard Pomerance was a playwright who wrote The Elephant Man, which won the Tony Award for best play in 1979. He also wrote several other plays and poetry. He died Saturday at the age of 76.
Jeannie Rousseau de Clarens was a French interpreter who became a spy and collected secret information about German rocket plans and passed the information on to the British. She spent time in three different concentration camps. She almost died in one in 1945 but was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross. She died August 23 at the age of 98.
This Week in History
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech (August 28, 1963)
The speech was given during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in front of a crowd of 250,000 that had gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson has a look at the man some called “the dangerous Doctor King.”
World War II Starts in Europe (September 1, 1939)
The war started when German troops invaded Poland. Britain and France officially declared war on September 3.
This Week in SEP History
This Stevan Dohanos cover depicts the Skowhegan State Fair in Maine. Do you know what 4-H stands for? It comes from the 4-H pledge: “I pledge my head to clear thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”
If 4-H were created now, they’d have to add a fifth, for “hashtag.”
September Is National Chicken Month
There are approximately 90,224,359 chicken recipes online. How can I possibly pick a few to give you for National Chicken Month? Well, by throwing a virtual dart and seeing what comes up, like these Individual Chicken Pot Pies, these Cornflake Chicken Tenders, and this Skillet Rosemary Chicken.
But don’t cook chicken in the microwave, even if it is the 50th anniversary. That hardly ever works out well.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Newspaper Carrier Day (September 4)
This is the day you support your local newspapers and the people who deliver the paper to you. The day was picked in honor of Barney Flaherty, the first paperboy hired on this day in 1833.
This would also be a good day to explain to younger people what newspapers are.
Labor Day (September 4)
You know what you’re doing Labor Day night — watching the Jerry Lewis marathon! — but during the day, maybe you can spend time at the grill in a “Kiss the Cook” apron, making some Grilled Shrimp and Asparagus from Curtis Stone, some Grilled Corn with Sweet Pepper Butter, and maybe that Grilled Pizza you’ve heard about and have been wanting to try.
Why did the guy get dragged from his airline seat? That’s not the start of a riddle, it’s an actual question millions of people around the world are asking this week. You’ve probably heard about the 69-year-old man who was accosted and dragged from his United Airlines seat because he wouldn’t get off the plane after the crew notified passengers that they needed four seats for airline employees. The plane wasn’t even “overbooked” in the traditional sense; they needed the seats so those employees could get to other United planes, which makes the situation even worse. What, they couldn’t get the employees to Louisville, Kentucky, some other way? They couldn’t offer a ton of money to the passengers instead of dealing with a multi-million-dollar PR nightmare? Maybe the default position for airlines to take, even if a passenger is wrong, should be “don’t drag paying customers off of your plane, especially when every other passenger has a camera.”
Of course, social media lit up, with complaints pointed toward United Airlines’ Twitter account, jokes for new slogans, and memes for United Airlines movie lines. Several people have made the Harrison Ford “Get Off My Plane!” joke.
United CEO Oscar Munoz, after a couple of press releases that just made things worse, went on Good Morning, America on Wednesday morning to address the issue.
It’s almost as if United was trying to win the “Who Can Create a Bigger PR Nightmare Contest?” this week. The other finalists were Pepsi, for their tone-deaf Kendall Jenner commercial, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer, for his comments about Hitler (it’s always a good idea to just never talk about Hitler). This isn’t even the only United controversy this month. Another incident happened in Hawaii last week.
I’m so glad I don’t have to fly that often. Air travel isn’t what it used to be. Though if I do fly and United wants my seat, my going price is $2,000, a night in a nice hotel, and maybe one of those travel bags with the United logo on it.
And the Winners Are…
The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes were handed out this week, and it’s impossible to mention all of the winners and finalists (you can find a complete list here), but a few that stand out are David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post for National Reporting, The Salt Lake Tribune staff for Local Reporting, and Peggy Noonan of The Wall Street Journal for Commentary. The Fiction winner was Colson Whitehead for The Underground Railroad.
RIP J. Geils, Tim Pigott-Smith, Peter Hansen, Glenn O’Brien, Charlie Murphy, Chelsea Brown, and Dorothy Mengering
I was rather amazed by how many people online think that J. Geils, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 71, was the singer for The J. Geils Band. No, that would be Peter Wolf. But Geils founded the band in 1967 and played guitar on many of their hits, including “Love Stinks,” “Freeze Frame,” and “Centerfold.”
Tim Pigott-Smith was a veteran actor who appeared in TV shows like Jewel in the Crown, The Chief, and Doctor Who, as well as movies like Quantum of Solace, RED 2, V For Vendetta, Alexander, Victory, and Clash of the Titans. He passed away last week at the age of 70.
Peter Hansen was also a veteran actor. He played Lee Baldwin on General Hospital for close to 40 years. He also appeared in shows like Perry Mason, The Lone Ranger, Sea Hunt, Matlock, Magnum, P.I., and The Golden Girls, and in the movies When Worlds Collide, Branded, A Cry in the Night, and The War of the Roses. Hansen died Sunday at the age of 95.
Glenn O’Brien wrote the “Style Guy” column for GQ for 15 years, leaving in 2015 after a dispute with editors. He got his start working with Andy Warhol, wrote for other magazines, co-wrote Madonna’s book Sex, and was once the creative director at Barney’s. He passed away last week at the age of 70.
Charlie Murphy was Eddie Murphy’s brother and a fine comedian in his own right. He was a performer and writer on Chappelle’s Show, where he was famous for his funny “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” segments. Murphy died earlier this week of leukemia at the age of 57.
Chelsea Brown was a cast member on the classic ’60s sketch show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. She also appeared on The Flying Nun, Mission: Impossible, Marcus Welby, M.D., Police Story, and the bizarre horror-comedy movie The Thing with Two Heads. She passed away on March 27 at the age of 69–74 — sources can’t seem to agree on her exact age.
You might not know the name Dorothy Mengering, but you know her son, David Letterman. Dave’s mom lived in Indiana and appeared on his TV shows many times over the years, reporting from various Olympic Games or appearing during holidays, where she would make a couple of her famous pies and Dave would try to guess what pies she had made that year (one of the great annual traditions on the show). She even wrote a cookbook, Home Cookin’ with Dave’s Mom. She passed away Tuesday at the age of 95.
Where were you during the writers strike of 2007? If you miss those days when production of TV shows was shut down, or maybe you don’t even remember a 2007 strike, we may soon be getting a sequel. The Writers Guild of America is going up against The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for various reasons and may vote to go on strike on May 2.
A strike authorization vote will take place next week. Obviously this is a complex issue, but Ken Levine has two posts on his site that summarize it rather well, including a post that outlines what you should know about the strike and one that gives an issue-by-issue rundown on why the strike might happen.
Like Ken, I support the writers.
Every once in a while, we get a Wheel of Fortune answer that boggles the mind. Just two weeks ago, we had the guy who thought A Streetcar Named Desire was actually A Streetcar Naked Desire, which made host Pat Sajak remark that he’d rather see the contestant’s play than the original. Last week, the show had couples on and … well, I’ll just have Jimmy Kimmel explain what happened next. Watch the whole clip; he gives the couple a gift:
Maybe Wheel of Fortune could take this and use it as the basis for a “Really Difficult Puzzle” round on the show. The answers could be anything random. Monkey Crayons! Pickle Tables! Triscuit Envelopes! Make the money amounts on the wheel really outrageous since it will be harder for the contestants to guess what the answers are.
Happy Birthday, Turner Classic Movies
A few weeks ago I was thinking, if I could watch only one TV channel, what would that channel be? I could have picked one of the major networks because there are so many shows that I watch on them, or I could have picked one of the news channels because I would need to keep track of the news. But then I thought, I don’t need it to be one of the news channels because I could watch the news on one of the major networks.
Then I threw all of that away in my mind and settled on Turner Classic Movies. That’s the one channel that, if it went away, I would truly miss.
TCM celebrates its 23rd birthday today. They’re showing some classic films later today (well, they show classic films every day), including Mildred Pierce, Picnic, Magnificent Obsession, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. On Monday night, actor William Daniels will be a guest programmer, introducing the films A Thousand Clowns, 1776, and Dodsworth.
This Week in History
Joseph Pulitzer born (April 10, 1847)
The man whose name is engraved on the awards mentioned above was born in Hungary and passed away in Charleston, South Carolina in 1911.
President Lincoln Assassinated (April 14, 1865)
Saturday Evening Post Archives Director Jeff Nilsson looks at a Post editorial, titled “The Murder of President Lincoln,” that appeared in the pages of the magazine just seven days after the assassination.
This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Late Night Hat Check” (April 13, 1957)
I’m trying to figure out what’s going on in this cover by Constantin Alajálov that appeared 60 years ago this week. Is the husband confused because his wife is waking him up in the middle of the night by doing something as silly as trying on her Easter hat? Or is he slowly coming to the realization that, oh, great, my wife spent money on another hat? Probably both.
National Eggs Benedict Day
I worked at a breakfast and lunch place for several years, and one of my least favorite things to make was Eggs Benedict. The eggs had to be poached just right, the English muffins couldn’t be too soggy, and if I let the hollandaise sauce sit around for too long it would thicken up, and I’d have to whip it up again furiously so I could pour it on top. I love Eggs Benedict myself, but I often thought, standing in that hot kitchen, do you really have to order this? How about some toast or maybe a nice bowl of fruit instead?
This Sunday is National Eggs Benedict Day, which is appropriate because Eggs Benedict is a very Sunday-ish thing to have (and it’s Easter). Here’s a classic recipe from Allrecipes, including a recipe for the hollandaise sauce. If you want a variation on the classic recipe, swap some spinach for the Canadian bacon to make Eggs Florentine, or make Eggs Hemingway by using salmon. If you want to keep the toppings the same, you could try replacing the English muffin with something like a buttermilk biscuit, bagel, corn muffin, or a Krispy Kreme chocolate doughnut.
Just kidding about the doughnut — although, if you go that route, let us know how it comes out.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Easter (April 16)
Philip Gulley has a funny story on how the vacations he used to take as a kid around Easter have really changed.
Patriots’ Day (April 17)
The holiday is only officially celebrated in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Maine, though the way it’s celebrated in each state is different. And to make it even more confusing, the punctuation on the holiday name is slightly different in Maine.
Newspaper Columnists Day (April 18)
You can celebrate this day in many ways. You could read your favorite columnists, buy a subscription to a newspaper, or support The National Society of Newspaper Columnists. You could even buy an expensive gift for your favorite Saturday Evening Post columnist. Even though it’s not technically a newspaper, it still counts.
Tax Day (April 18)
Because the 15th falls on a Saturday this year, and Emancipation Day will be observed on the 17th in Washington, D.C., we have an extra three days to get our taxes in the mail. If you’re like Homer Simpson, you’ll get them to the post office just before the doors close:
Three Movies You Should Watch
Yes, it’s December, and the holiday season has officially begun. We all know what the greatest Christmas movies are. They’re the ones we’ve all watched a million times and watch every year: It’s a Wonderful Life (my favorite movie of all time), Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, Holiday Inn, the 97 versions of A Christmas Carol, and all of those TV specials where noses glow red and grinches steal. But I’d like to point you to three Christmas movies that are pretty terrific that you might not be aware of:
- Christmas in Connecticut (1945). This film, like all of the films on this list, is starting to become more known and popular thanks to annual showings on Turner Classic Movies. It stars Barbara Stanwyck as a Martha Stewart-ish columnist who actually knows nothing about the home or cooking and is only pretending to be married with a child. When her boss (Sydney Greenstreet) and a war hero (Dennis Morgan) come to her home for Christmas, chaos ensues! A really fun film.
- Holiday Affair (1949). A Christmas movie with hard-boiled Robert Mitchum might not scream “festive” at first, but he’s actually quite good in this comedy-drama. He plays a department store salesman who falls in love with customer Connie (Janet Leigh), which is a problem because she’s engaged to someone else. (Gordon Gebert, who plays Leigh’s young son, talked about his role at a screening in 2014).
- It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947). Wouldn’t it be fun to break into a mansion owned by a millionaire who spends the holidays someplace else and have complete run of the place with your friends and your dog? That’s the premise of this comedy starring Don DeFore, Victor Moore, Ann Harding, and Alan Hale, Jr.
You can find out when these movies will be shown this month by checking out TCM’s schedule.
In This Corner …
I’ve been keeping you up to date on what’s going on with former America’s Test Kitchen host Christopher Kimball and his new venture, Milk Street Kitchen. The latest news is a plot twist to say the least.
The company that owns America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated has filed a lawsuit accusing Kimball of many things since he left to form the new company, including the poaching of employees and transferring to himself relationships with vendors. Now, lawsuits happen every single day, and it’s not really surprising. What is surprising, however, is that ATK has created an entire website devoted to the lawsuit! It explains why they’re suing, has the text of the complaint, and even has a chronology of what transpired, with copies of Kimball’s emails that supposedly show he did something illegal. This is all pretty stunning (I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it before), and like a lot of people I’m curious about how the site will affect the legal proceedings. It must be doubly odd because Kimball still hosts the weekly ATK radio show.
By the way, if you noticed, the URL of the lawsuit’s site is WhyWeAreSuingChristopherKimball.com. It can’t be a good feeling to see a website address that has your name and the word suing in it.
RIP Ron Glass, Fritz Weaver, Ralph Branca, Grant Tinker, and Jim Delligatti
Ron Glass had a lot of roles over the years but is probably best known for playing nattily dressed Detective Ron Harris on Barney Miller. He also had roles on Firefly, All Grown Up, Mr. Rhodes, Amen, and an ’80s reboot of The Odd Couple. He also guest-starred on shows like Murder, She Wrote, Friends, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Glass passed away last week at the age of 71.
Fritz Weaver was an acclaimed actor on the stage, in film, and on television. He appeared in such stage plays as Baker Street (playing Sherlock Holmes), Child’s Play, The Chalk Garden, and Angels Fall. He made his film debut in 1964’s Fail-Safe and also appeared in Marathon Man, Black Sunday, Creepshow, and the Pierce Brosnan remake of The Thomas Crown Affair, along with TV shows like Armstrong Circle Theatre, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Mission: Impossible, The Twilight Zone, Gunsmoke, Mannix, The X-Files, Law & Order, and the miniseries Holocaust. He passed away last weekend at the age of 90.
Bobby Thompson hit “The Shot Heard ’Round the World” in the final game of the 1951 National League championship series in which the New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers. The pitcher who gave up that famous home run, Ralph Branca, passed away last week. He was 90.
Grant Tinker was the head of MTM Enterprises in the 1970s. MTM stands for Mary Tyler Moore, whom Tinker was married to for several years. As head of the production company, he was responsible for shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, and Phyllis.
As if that wasn’t enough, in the 1980s he helped save NBC by bringing us The Cosby Show, Cheers, Family Ties, The Golden Girls, Miami Vice, Remington Steele, and Night Court. He was also in charge of the TV department of the advertising agency McCann Erickson (which you might remember from Mad Men) in the ’50s and later was an executive with Benton and Bowles, where he got a sponsorship for his client Procter & Gamble on The Dick Van Dyke Show, where he met Moore. I should add that over the last five decades, he also had a hand in shows like Marcus Welby, M.D., I Spy, It Takes a Thief, Dr. Kildare, and Get Smart. That’s quite a track record.
Tinker passed away Wednesday at the age of 90.
Jim Delligatti? He invented the Big Mac! He passed away this week at the age of 98.
What Does Your Smartphone Say about You?
Do you use an iPhone? You might be a liar.
That’s one of the findings of this study from England’s Lancaster University. Researchers concluded that iPhone users tend to be female, younger, and extroverted, while Android users tend to be male, older, more honest, and more agreeable.
In related news, an ex-Google exec says that we’re all addicted to our phones and it might be time to kick the habit. If any of these cartoons look like a scene from your life, you might have a problem. Another good way to check if you’re addicted: Do you keep your phone with you all the time, even when you’re eating holiday dinner with your family? There you go.
La La Land
Sometimes a film comes along and people say, “They don’t make movies like this anymore.” But it’s usually not true. Whatever movie they’re talking about has probably been done a dozen times recently.
La La Land, the new film starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, can really be described that way, though. He plays a pianist who falls in love with an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. That makes the film sound rather dull, so here’s a trailer that shows what the movie is all about. It seems to be a modern-day homage to the musicals of the ’40s and ’50s. I can imagine this being shown on Turner Classic Movies in 40 years.
I’m looking forward to this more than I am any Star Wars or Marvel movie. It opens in selected cities on December 9 and elsewhere later in the month.
This Week in History
Samuel Clemens Born (November 30, 1835)
Was the young Clemens — a.k.a. Mark Twain — an amusing scoundrel, a storytelling genius, or both?
Rosa Parks Arrested (December 1, 1955)
The National Archives has a fascinating record of the arrest of the civil rights icon after she refused to move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
Senate Votes to Censure Joseph McCarthy (December 2, 1954)
The senator’s attack on the U.S. Army was too much for his Congressional colleagues.
National Comfort Food Day
Comfort food is a form of nostalgia. It’s the food that reminds us of our childhoods or a good time in our lives. It’s a memory that figuratively warms us and foods that may literally warm us (even if those foods happen to be cold). Music and movies and TV shows and relationships can take us back to certain times in our lives, and so can food.
This Monday is National Comfort Food Day, and since it’s the holiday season, it’s a food holiday whose placement on the calendar actually makes sense. I don’t know what your personal favorite comfort foods are, but maybe they could include this Cowboy Beef and Black Bean Chili or this Rich Roasted Tomato Soup. Or maybe it’s a Red Velvet dessert that warms your heart. Or maybe a Classic Chicken Soup is all you need.
I like all those things. Which probably says a lot more about me than any smartphone could.
Next Week’s Holidays and Events
Pearl Harbor Day (December 7)
It’s the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Here’s an excerpt from a feature that ran in The Saturday Evening Post in October 1942, part of our Pearl Harbor special edition available in bookstores now.
Christmas Card Day (December 9)
Facebook may be hurting Christmas card sales, but maybe it’s something you should start doing again. I still send them out every year. So go out and buy some real cards and actually mail them to those you love, instead of sending a text or social media post to wish someone happy holidays.
Widely considered one of Agatha Christie’s best who-dunnits, “The Ten Little Indians” first appeared in the Post on May 20, 1939, and ran as a six-part serial before it was published in book form in 1940.
The murder-mystery tale featuring ten strangers who are slowly picked off, one by one, by a mysterious killer made a gripping story for the big screen. Starring Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, and Louis Hayward, the film adheres to the ending of the Ten Little Indians play rather than the novel, which had a considerably darker ending that audiences disliked, and which Christie re-wrote herself to include a romance and a happier resolution. In fact, only the 1987 Soviet film version kept the novel’s original ending.
The 1945 incarnation is the most true to the book, however, and is typically the most popular film adaptation, earning a four-star rating from Leonard Maltin and Turner Classic Movies.
While none of the seven film versions has ever attracted Academy attention, the story’s plotline has been referenced more than fifteen times in popular media, including episodes of Gilligan’s Island, Golden Girls, Supernatural, and in horror flick Friday the 13th.