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Agatha Christie's Poirot

Season 9 Episode 2

Sad Cypress

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Dec 26, 2003 on ITV
out of 10
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40 votes

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Episode Summary

Sad Cypress
Young Elinor Carlisle, engaged to marry the dashing Roddy Winter, finds herself charged with the fatal poisoning of Mary Gerrard, her rival in love. Poirot has the job of saving Elinor's skin, but unfortunately, the evidence against her is overwhelming. If Elinor has been framed, someone has been fiendishly clever.moreless

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  • Good adaptation of the Christie mystery, with David Suchet's usual excellent portrayal of Poirot.

    As does the novel on which it is based, this episode begins with Eleanor Carlisle in the dock being convicted of murder and sentenced to death, the main body of the story being told in flashback. This involves a rich aunt with a will, a niece and her fiancee, two deaths and the classic Christie device of someone who is not exactly who he or she appears to be. Yes, all these elements are stock characters and cliches; Christie’s ’unique selling point’ is that she has at least some ability to breathe at least a semblence of life to cliches, and these adaptations usually manage to bring the characters to life convincingly for at least the length of time it takes to watch them. This episode is no exception.

    David Suchet is the perfect Poirot, and in this story he shines as always, from patent leather shoes to slicked back hair. There’s also good work from David Pirie and the rest of the cast.


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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Rupert Penry-Jones (Roddy) was in a play where he had shaved his head. The producers wanted him so badly for the part that they made a wig for him, which took three weeks to make!

    • The location for Aunt Laura's house was an elderly people's home. The lift seen in the film was built especially for this episode.

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (1)

    • This episode is based on Agatha Christie's book Sad Cypress (1940).

      Interviewed by Francis Wyndham a quarter of a century later, Agatha Christie said: "Sad Cypress could have been good, but it was quite ruined by having Poirot in it. I always thought something was wrong with it but didn't discover what until I read it again some time after."