Agatha Christie dies of natural causes in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England, 1976. Her death at age 85 would come 14 months after her final appearance at a public event—the premier of Murder on the Orient Express (1974), an all-star movie version of her novel Murder in the Calais Coach. The staggeringly popular mystery writer lauded the performance of Albert Finney as detective Hercule Poirot as well as the film itself, calling it the only big-screen adaptation of one of her works that she found completely satisfying.
The Big Sleep completes filming, 1945. Raymond Chandler, who authored the book on which the movie is based, allowed screenwriters William Faulkner and Leigh Brackett to come to their own conclusions about the murder mystery, since Chandler admittedly had no clue of his own. Who Faulkner and Brackett identified as the killer was included in the 1945 version of the film, which was screened for American servicemen that year. As World War II was drawing to a close, Warner Bros. saw fit to release their inventory of war-related movies throughout 1945, thereby delaying the release of the Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall crime drama. This gave them a chance to rethink, rewrite and reshoot a few key scenes between the two in order to infuse them with the innuendo and attitude that made their work in To Have and Have Not (1944) crackle. The movie’s newer version was released to general audiences in August of 1946 with Bogart and Bacall’s chemistry assured and the mystery left unsolved.