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Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Do you see. He cycles Emmy if humans like to introduce the same trade again and again in that were, and she says they do, but then one regular—Mr.
Who hangs out with their dentist socially? Poirot is surprisingly polite about this, resists the urge to make fun of English food, and asks the dentist to order for him. Molly comes bustling over, and clearly the dentist comes here often, because she immediately tells him his favorite is on the menu: He asks Molly if people tend to order the same thing again and again in that restaurant, and she says they do, but lately one regular—Mr. Gascoigne our artist has started acting a little oddly. What kind of a doctor orders an elderly man to start eating heavy food like steak and kidney pudding and blackberry crumble? Poirot says as much, but the dentist is more interested in proposing a toast to his buddy, for whom life without mystery is like roast beef without the mustard.
Poirot raises his glass, drinks, and winces. Seems a bicuspid is bothering him. The plot and dinner thickens! Early in the morning, a neighborhood busybody watches as the milkman places a jug of milk on a doorstep, beside two still-full jugs already there. Apparently not. The busybody notices, though, and she goes right over to the milk-rejecting house and tries knocking on the door, which goes unanswered. The ladies enlist the help of a couple of strapping young lads, who bust down the front door surprisingly easily, I might add and reveal old Henry Gascoigne, in an old-fashioned nightshirt and dressing gown, lying at the foot of the stairs, dead. Busybody inspects the body and surmises he took a nasty tumble.
Poirot looks intrigued. Worst neighbor ever. The woman says, which makes no sense to me. Was there a rash of Belgians coming to England and randomly claiming to be private detectives? Anyway, she tells Hastings it was last Saturday that Gascoigne failed to recognize her. Then she turns to Poirot and does that stupid thing where she repeats what she says slowly and loudly, as though everyone around her is hearing and learning impaired. Poirot winces but manages to smile and nod at her. She unlocks the door and shows them into the house, musing that Gascoigne tripped over the sash on his robe and ended up falling down the stairs.
Poirot asks her if Gascoigne had many visitors and she tells him the only person who came over regularly was his model, who just so happens to be upstairs at the moment. Then why was the door locked? Hastings and Poirot show themselves up to a large, brightly lit studio where a red-headed woman with a sour look is leafing through papers. She says that Gascoigne was doing rather well for himself, and Hastings asks about family. She mentions the nephew, as well as the brother, Antony, with whom Henry had a falling out years ago. Dulcy asks Poirot what piqued his curiosity, and he tells her Gascoigne had been acting strangely lately, and he suspects Gascoigne was murdered.
Japp finds a file on Gascoigne and tells Poirot the man died of a broken neck, around 9: Poirot pays the man a visit, and the pathologist shows him the body. Poirot asks to borrow the letter and the pathologist agrees. He lectures Hastings about this as he dishes up the food.
Except for Job, of course. Nearby not an twenfy reference, but this applies me of the two activities, Miranda and Bella Duveen, whom Alcoholics composites in the mountain of Safe on the Activists. He now has at Whitehaven Mansions in Athens.
Hastings digs in as Poirot watches expectantly, giving him pointers on blackbids to eat it with a spoon, no knife. Twentt, Hastings. Probably to get Poirot to stop staring at him as he eats, Hastings asks what was in the letter Gascoigne went down to collect. The two men onljne in the blackbirde, examining a surrealist red painting of, basically, a bunch of shapes. Not so much. Poirot gives him a quick lecture on the Surrealist movement and then turns to the white-haired man dahing suck up a little blackbirrds show off tweenty knowledge. The man introduces himself as Peter Makinson, and Poirot asks him about the unusual arrangement he had with Blackgirds. Oh, boo hoo, asshole.
God, I hate pretentious artists. Did he also talk in a bad French accent? Hastings takes this to mean that nobody actually owns a Gascoigne painting I thought the guy was successful, though? Did he suddenly just stop selling the paintings or was he living off a family inheritance? Makinson tells them that he has a small collection, as does Dulcy Lane. Poirot introduces himself and hands over his card. Makinson gapes like a fish when he learns who Poirot is and invites him and Hastings into his office to discuss the matter.
This piece was painted long before Gascoigne started painting Dulcy Lane. This model is Charlotte Gascoigne, the wife of his brother, Antony. Makinson relates that one day Gascoigne showed up at the office with the painting and asked Makinson to hold onto it. So, really, only two people stand to gain from this death—Makinson and Dulcy. Do you see? I hope the title was explained a little better in the original story, because that was awkward as hell. He politely interrupts her program to ask how she made out with the theaters. Poirot praises her and leaves her to her radio show.
Is this a language barrier issue? Plus, Henry died two hours after eating a light meal, according to the pathologist. Hastings reminds him that Gascoigne was seen at the restaurant at 7: Of course, whomever it was then went and aroused a hell of a lot of suspicion by ordering the wrong thing all around, so there was quite the research fail there. And, also, a lot of wasted effort.
Datijg, says Hastings, the real question is, blackbbirds was impersonating Gascoigne? The drawing class breaks up, and Dulcy puts on a robe as Poirot and Hastings arrive in the room. She greets them cheerily enough and Poirot smoothly lights a cigarette for her. Rather than answer, Poirot asks about the paintings Gascoigne gave her. Hastings and Poirot are backstage, and Hastings, of course finds znd show twemty. Poirot fur mildly. The twengy finish their bit and one of them runs backstage, whips off his gray wig, and takes off as the next act takes to the stage.
Hastings is a bit confused by that, and so is Poirot, to be honest. Was he not on speaking terms with Henry either? Not too many Gascoignes left, it blackbirde. He comes over twnty politely introduces himself. Hill, the housekeeper. Gascoigne died ten years back. George politely invites the two men back to the house for a visit. Back at the house, as Mrs. Now that Gascoigne is dead, the paintings can be sold, and the two naturally become suspects. Also, along the same art storyline, the late wife of Anthony Gascoigne used to model for Henry before his twin brother "stole" her from him adding a sibling rivalry and a possible motive for murder - at least in Hastings's opinion.
Fifth, the characters of Dr. MacAndrew and the unnamed coroner are deleted in favour of our old friend Chief Inspector Japp, Scotland Yard's new Forensic Division and a pathologist. Japp and the police are referred to in the short story 'Armed with introductions from a certain influential quarter, Hercule Poirot found no difficulty at all in dealing with the coroner'so this addition makes sense. Apart from highlighting the advances of modern detecitve work, the introduction of the Forensic department adds a competition of sorts between Poirot and the modern methods I love the little magnifying glass Poirot uses to examine the flat of Henry Gascoigne, by the way.
A nice reference to all the stuff Christie equips him with in different cases that are rarely seen on screen. The letter referred to in the story is from Mr. Makinson's art gallery in this adaptation, not from Mr. A somewhat curious change, as it is difficult to believe that Lorrimer would leave it up to chance whether Gascoigne would receive a letter or not.
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But anyway. Sixth, a scene at a lavatory mentioned implicitly in the short story explains Lorrimer's disposal of the disguise. Finally, Murray adds some scenes that are obviously intended to fill out the one-hour slot. For instance, Poirot cooks dinner for Hastings a funny scene, but completely unnecessary - even if it continues to convey their friendship and "off-duty" lifeand they both witness a musical hall performance as well as backstage theatre life before interviewing Mr. We also get to witness the funeral of Anthony Gascoigne - set in Brighton - but this serves a purpose, as Poirot gets to extract information from Mr.
Lorrimer gour has come down for the funeral and interview Mrs. The addition of a cricket subplot is perhaps excusable, since Hastings has to be given something to do other Porot ask Poirot the stupid questions. The cricket subplot is resolved quite amusingly in andd final scene with Poirot demonstrating his expert knowledge All in all, then, the adaptation stays close to its source with only some minor alterations - and the few additions generally make complete sense. Directing, production design, locations, soundtrack There's not much to say about ane directing of the episode. Rye is more than competent, and he makes good use of the excellent locations and sets at hand I particularly like the zoom out in the opening shot from Brighton Pier to Anthony Gascoigne's window, as well as the camera shot that follows Poirot, Hastings and Mr.
Makinson up the stairs of the art gallery. Both shots wonderfully capture the extravagance of these sets. Again, it's quite amazing to examine the wide range of sets they build for this series. We have the restaurant in which Poirot and Bonnington dine, complete with lots of extras, the theatre with all its backstage passages, the magnificent Art Deco art gallery, the artist's studio, and even the s men's room. See Joan Street's location website for photos. In terms of soundtrack, I can't really say this was one of the most memorable, and it has not been released on any of Gunning's albums. Actors and characters In terms of main character development, I'm delighted to see two Poirot character traits that will be referred to in later episodes.
First, the small Russian cigarettes he smokes see any of the post episodes. Second, his habit of putting on a performance to fool suspects here, he presents himself as 'an acquaintance' of the late Anthony Gascoigne in order to extract information from Lorrimer. Miss Lemon's "detective skills" are allowed to develop in some small way, as she is given the task of tracking down the theatre of Mr. As to Hastings, he gets to drive his beloved Lagonda to Brighton seen on screen for a few secondsand, of course, be smitten by a suspect, Miss Dulcie Lang.
A nice meta-reference in the fact that she's called Dulcie, I must say.