Film series reflects Agatha Christie’s ties to the Near East

A four part film series will feature several of Agatha Christie's famous murder mysteries that were set in the Near East. These films are being offered in conjunction with the Hallie Ford Museum of Art exhibition “Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections.” The film series starts Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. All showings will be held at Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

Christie (1890 – 1976) has thrilled readers with her popular stories and mysteries since her first Hercule Poirot book debuted in 1920. Since then, her books have sold approximately 4 billion copies.

A lesser known aspect of Christie’s life is that she was married to archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan and for more than 20 years, she actively participated in her husband’s archaeological digs. While working at these sites Christie was photographing finds, creating labels, and cataloging and conserving objects. At the same time she was also writing her novels. This series reflects how her travels and archaeological adventures with Mallowan inspired these four mysteries that feature David Suchet as the famous character Hercule Poirot.

“Death on the Nile” (2004) showing Oct. 1 at 7:30 pm.
Location: Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art

While on vacation in Egypt, Poirot observes a newly married British heiress and her husband being stalked by the husband’s jilted former fiancee. Piorot then finds himself in the middle of a murder mystery on a boat full of people. He must sift through the baffling clues to find the truth.

“Murder in Mesopotamia” (2001) showing Oct. 15 at 7:30 pm.
Location: Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art

While Poirot is on holiday in Iraq and visiting an archaeological dig, the wife of the head scientist confides to him that she is receiving threatening letters. Adding to the mystery, they appear to be from her previous husband who has been dead for years.

“Appointment with Death” (2008) showing Oct. 29 at 7:30 pm.
Location: Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art

It is 1937 and few people can stand the overbearing Lady Boynton who is accompanying her husband on an archaeological dig in Syria. When it is discovered that she has been stabbed to death, Poirot must carefully search through an extensive group of potential suspects.

“Murder on the Orient Express” (2010) showing Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art

While on board the Orient Express, Poirot is approached and asked for help by an American who believes his life is in danger. Recognizing the man and knowing his questionable past, Piorot refuses. While the train is caught in a snowdrift strange things begin to happen during the night and by morning Piorot is left with another twisting and deceptive set of clues and a murder to solve.



09-25-2013