Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nice Weather For a Mystery

Actually, it was gorgeous when I went to work this morning at 11. That explains why we were dead for most of the afternoon. I spent the day standing around, bored. By the time it was starting to pick up, I was almost done. They sent one of the college kids in so I could get out on time.

It was still really nice when I got out, sunny and warm but not hot, with no humidity. I was a little worn out after all the running around yesterday, though. I ended up going straight home. I spent the evening making broiled lime-spiced chicken with sauteed Chinese beans and brown rice while watching the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express. I just finished the book, and I hadn't watched this in a while, so I figured, why not? Inspector Hericule Poirot (Albert Finney) finds himself in the midst of a mystery when a murder is committed on the title train going to Calais...and every one of the suspicious characters on board, from a loud-mouthed American mother (Lauren Bacall) to a shy Swedish missionary (Ingrid Bergman) to a blustery Scottish colonel (Sean Connery) to the dead man's secretary (Anthony Perkins) seems to have an alibi. Or do they? While Poirot questions the passengers, he learns most of them were involved in a notorious kidnapping scandal from a few years ago that may just hold the key to solving the case.

Sidney Lumet's tribute to old-fashioned all-star movies is a lush piece of escapism that still holds up quite well today. Bergman won an Oscar as the sweet missionary, but everyone seems to be having a good time, especially Perkins as the neurotic secretary and Bacall as the annoying American woman who may be the most important player of all.

As clouds moved in and the wind picked up, I switched to the equally spooky East Side Kids title Boys of the City as I cleaned up from dinner. The second movie in the series and the first to feature Leo and David Gorcey, Ernie "Sunshine Sammy" Morrison and Bobby Jordan is a surprisingly atmospheric mystery despite the low-budget trappings. The "boys" of the title are being taken to a summer camp in the mountains when they pick up a judge, his daughter, his valet, and his bodyguard. Turns out the judge was put on trial for fraud in New York and is trying to out-run the gangsters who accused him. They don't get far when their car breaks down and they find themselves trapped at a spooky mansion with a cemetery next door. When the judge is murdered and his daughter vanishes, the Kids have to get to the bottom of the mystery...before they end up being the next victims!

Much to my surprise, we had a huge rain storm shortly after I got online. It was so nice all day, the last thing I was expecting was storm. It seems to have passed now; all I hear are crickets.

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