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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 1, Episode 10 - The Dream - full transcript

Hercule Poirot is puzzled when Benedict Farley summons him to a late night meeting. Farley is known as the king of pies as his company manufactures a well-known brand of meat pies. At their meeting, he tells Poirot of a recurring dream where he takes a gun from his desk drawer, walks to his office window and commits suicide. His only question for Poirot is whether someone could be manipulating him psychologically. When Farley is found dead the next day - in circumstances that appear to match those in his dream - Poirot and Captain Hastings find themselves assisting Inspector Japp in a case that involves false identities and an affair. It is Miss Lemon, however, who provides Poirot with the vital information that allows him to solve the case

British pies are famous
the world over,

and last year, Farley's Foods
produced five million of them,

everything from

to Cornish pasties.

But that's not enough
for old man Farley.

He wants to double the score.

Work's been pushing ahead

on the new extension
to his factory,

and this week,
the great day dawns.

My friends --

I hope I may call you
my friends.

After all, I pay your wages.

In 1935, we sold more pies

than at any time in our history.

Yet there are those among you,
politically motivated,

who still try to say
that you are not doing well.

Don't listen to them.

And now let us move on
to happier things.

Once more
I stand before you here

to open yet another new wing
of our great enterprise.


Why didn't you call me

You mustn't come here.

I've got to see you.

It's no good, Joanna.

What isn't?
What do you mean?

I've been given
two weeks' notice.

By my father?

Well, not directly, but, yes.


Because he's found out about us,
of course.

I've got to go.

Oh, God.

"I'd like to think
that it's been a partnership,

a partnership
between the Farley family

and we humble mortals
in the municipality."

There are other jobs, Herbert.

Not with your father's
bad opinion following me

wherever I go.

I could kill him!

I could really kill him!

Talking like that
doesn't do any good.

A-And now it gives me
great pleasure

to declare this new wing
well and truly open.


"This is your chance."


"This is your chance
to invest in a pair

of Home Phit
real leather shoes."

Oh, that's clever.

"Fit" spelled with a "P-H."

"Just return this card,

and our representatives
will call on you."

Made-to-measure shoes,

Seem awfully reasonable.

Don't suppose they have any
made-to-measure typewriters

in there, have they?


Ever since last Easter,

I've been asking Mr. Poirot
for a new typewriter.

Mr. Poirot isn't mean,
but he is careful.

He found this typewriter
in the flat when he moved in.

Someone had left it.

Jolly useful.


Who's Benedict Farley?

No idea.

Oh, isn't he Farley's pies?



"Dear, sir, Mr. Benedict Farley

would like to have the benefit
of your advice.

If convenient to yourself,

he would be glad
if you would call upon him

at the above address

at 9:30 tomorrow,
Thursday evening.

Yours truly,
Hugo Cornworthy, Secretary.

P.S. Please bring this letter
with you."

Repeat that, if you please,

"Dear sir --"

No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

Just the postscript.

"P.S. Please bring this letter
with you."


Why, Hastings?

An interesting letter.

Is it?

I thought it was rather dull.

Miss Lemon says he makes pies.

Makes pies?

Hastings, to say
that Benedict Farley makes pies

is like saying
that Wagner wrote semiquavers.

They're good pies, are they?

No, horrible, but there are
a great many of them.

The fonts and oracle of Benedict
Farley's wealth, I surmise, eh?

And that, Hastings,

is where he makes his sausages,
his pies, his hams.

Useful, eh,
living above the shop?

I suppose from here Farley likes
to keep an eye on his employees.

No doubt, but it is a pity
that such diligence

does not improve the quality
of his so-called delectables.

Good evening.

Good evening, sir.

M. Poirot and Captain Hastings
to see Mr. Farley.

I'm sorry, sir.

I was instructed to admit
only one.

Oh, come, now.

I was instructed
most positively, sir.

I'm sorry.

You know,
this is most inconvenient.

You'll excuse me, sir.
I was told to ask for a letter.


Oh, yes, uh...


Thank you, sir.


The gentleman you are expecting,


You're Hercule Poirot, eh?


Sit down.

Sit down.

Merci, m-monsieur.

What is it that you wish to
consult me about, M. Farley?

I have the same dream,
night after night.

I'm sitting in my room
next to this,

sitting at my desk, writing.

There's a clock in there.

I look up at it.

I see the time.

It is exactly 28 minutes
past 12:00,

always the same time.

You understand?

When I see that time, Poirot,
I know I've got to do it.

At 28 minutes past 12:00,

I open the second drawer down
on the right of my desk.

I take out a revolver,

I load it,

and I go over to the window.

And then?

I shoot myself.

I just lift the gun to my head

and shoot myself.

What do you make of that?

I've already consulted
a specialist in Harley Street.

And what does this specialist
tell you?

He was preposterous!

He asserted my life
is so unbearable to me,

I deliberately want to end it.

He is a fool.

Why should I
want to kill myself?

One of the richest men
in the country,

I have everything
I could possibly want.

I am a happy man.


So, where do I come in,
M. Farley?

Supposing someone
wants to kill me.

Could they do it this way?

Hypnotism, you mean?

You see what I'm getting at.

Who is it that you suspect of
wanting to kill you, monsieur?

Nobody, nobody at all.

You had no one specific in mind?

Certainly not.


I should like to see
the scene of this drama --

the desk, the clock,
the revolver --


I've told you all there is
to tell.

There's nothing to see
next door.

Nevertheless, I should like
to see for myself --

There is no need.

I just want your opinion.

But I can hardly have an opinion
on such skimpy evidence.

There's an end of it, then.

I've told you the facts.
You can't make anything of it.

That closes the matter.

You can send me in your bill
for the consultation fee.

I shall not fail to do so.


That letter -- I want it.

The letter from your secretary?




Thank you.

A thousand pardons, monsieur.


I have committed a folly, eh?

The letter I handed to you
just now --

it was a letter
from my landlord.

This is your letter.

Why the devil can't you watch
what you're doing?


Au revoir, monsieur.

How'd you get on in there?


Not well, I'm afraid.

There is something wrong in that
house, Hastings, badly wrong.

And I haven't the faintest idea
what it is.

Get off, boy.

I want these documents
in Leadenhall Street by 1:00.

Well, go on, then!


Uh, excuse me, sir.

Mr. Cornworthy said
you might spare us a moment.


What's going on?

12:00, he said.

All right, all right.

He's a very busy man.

Now, let's just sit down.

And relax.

Mr. Cornworthy.

Mr. Tremlett,
are you still here?

We've been here an hour, nearly.

Over an hour.

Well, I'll go and see
what he's up to.

He's got to sign these, anyway.

Bloody nerve.

That's our dinner hour gone.
I know that.

He'll see us now.

Good God!

For God's sake, someone...

send for the police!

I can't go on like this,
Mr. Poirot.

That machine is more than
flesh and blood can stand.

But you have never complained

I've done nothing but complain
for the last six months.


It has been mentioned, Poirot.

Kindly do not band together
against Poirot.

I wasn't.

Do I not do my best
to keep us all happy?

I don't want to be happy.

I just want to --


Ah, Inspector Japp,
my old friend.

I'm at Northway House, Poirot,
Benedict Farley's place.

I'd like you to come over here
if you'd be so kind.

Mr. Farley has shot himself.

Most peculiar story
I ever heard.

I've never heard such poppycock.

Father had no use for dreams
and such rubbish.

that is what he told me.

Yes, he -- he mentioned it
to me.

It upset him very much.

I told him it was indigestion,
I'm afraid.

I suggested his calling in
Dr. Stillingfleet.

He never did.

From M. Poirot's story, I gather
he went to Harley Street.


Yes, he told me he consulted
a specialist,

but is it known
who this specialist was?

None of us had any idea
that he'd consulted anyone.

And he never spoke to you
about the dream?


And you, M. Cornworthy?

No, he said nothing about it
at all.

I took down a letter to you
at his dictation,

but I have no idea
why he wanted to consult you.

I thought it might have
something to do

with some business irregularity.

Hmm. I see.

Inspector Japp, can you tell me

the events leading up to
the death of M. Benedict Farley?

Well, Mr. Farley had agreed
to see two representatives

from the works.

There was
a proposal for forming a union.

Some hoped.

Yes, quite so.

A little before 1:00,

Mr. Cornworthy here came
out of his room

and went in to Mr. Farley.

He couldn't see him at first
and thought the room was empty.

Then he caught sight of a boot
sticking out

from behind the desk.

And what happened then?

I ran out of the room,

and I told the butler
to call Dr. Stillingfleet.

And... he did.

The body was found down there.

Thank you.

At what time did he die, Doctor?

I examined the body
at 32 minutes past 1:00.

Mr. Farley had been dead
at least one hour.

So, he could have died at this
12:28 he told you about.


Were there any fingerprints
on the revolver?

Only his own.

And please tell me
about the revolver itself.

Well, it was the one he kept
in the drawer of his desk,

again, just as he told you.

Mrs. Farley has identified it

I see.

What's more, that's the only
entrance to the room.

Well, apart from the windows,
I suppose.

I cannot see how anybody
could climb up there.

It's a funny room for a rich man
to choose as his study,

isn't it,

with that great ugly blank wall
right outside?

I think it is important,
that wall.

You mean psychologically?


At 28 minutes past 12:00,

I open the second drawer
down on the right of my desk.

I take out a revolver... load it.

I go over to the window.

And then?

And then I shoot myself.

I just lift the gun
to my head...

and shoot myself.

I should not have thought

that there is any reason
for you to doubt

the accuracy of the dream's
prediction, Inspector.

In fact, there is every reason
to suggest

that Benedict Farley
committed suicide.

Well, there would have been
no doubt about it at all,

but for one point.

And what was that?

The letter written to you.

Ah, I see.

So, where Hercule Poirot
is concerned,

there arises immediately
the suspicion of murder?



Hello, M. Poirot.

Fancy your chances?

Ah, no, no, no, no, no.

Thank you very much,

but essentially Hercule Poirot
is, uh, a man of peace.

But perhaps, though,
I could ask you a few questions.

Ask away.

Did you know that your father
kept a revolver in his desk?



Where were you
and your mother -- Ah, pardon.

That is to say,
your stepmother --

That is correct?

Yes, Louise is
my father's second wife.

She's only eight years older
than I am.

So, where were you and she
on Thursday night of last week?


We went to the theater
to see "Thumbs Up."

And your father did not suggest
accompanying you?

He never went out to theaters.

He was not a very sociable man?

My father had a singularly
unpleasant personality.

That is a very candid statement,

I'm saving you time, M. Poirot.

I realize quite well
what you're getting at.

I live here because I have
no money to live elsewhere.

There is a man that I wish
to marry -- a poor man.

My father saw to it
that he lost his job.

He wanted me, you see,
to marry well --

an easy matter
since I was his heiress.

So, your father's fortune passes
to you?


Well, that is to say,
he left Louise, my stepmother,

250,000 free of tax,

and there are other
few small legacies,

but the residue of it
goes to me.

So, you see, M. Poirot,

I had every reason to desire
my father's death.

I see, also, mademoiselle,

that you have inherited
your father's intelligence.

Father was clever.

But yet it all turned sour.

There was no humanity left.

Is there anything more?


How poor
was your father's eyesight?

He could scarcely see at all,
and not without his glasses.

His sight had always been bad,
from a boy.

But with his glasses?

Oh, he could see all right then,
of course.

Thank you.

All right, Constable,
tell Sergeant Ball

this is gonna take longer
than expected.

Right, sir.

Ah, Mrs. Farley.

There's something
I'd like to ask you.


Had your husband
ever been hypnotized?

Never, to my knowledge.

Was he interested in that sort
of thing -- hypnotism?


Oh, that horrible dream.

It's uncanny, to dream that same
awful dream, night after night.

It's as though he were hounded
to his death.

Had it ever occurred to you

that your husband might be
tempted to do away with himself?


Well, sometimes he --
he was rather queer.


Father was far too fond of
himself ever to commit suicide.

You don't know everything,

I know that much.

Pardon, Mme. Farley.

How many pairs of glasses
did your husband own?


Uh, well, spectacles.

I have no idea -- three, four?


Hmm. Thank you.

Come in.

Ah, mon Dieu, how different
this room looks in daylight.

Can I do something for you?

Ah, and I see, monsieur,

that you share
the same inspiring view

as your late employer.

Oh, yes.

On the other side of that wall

are the fools who made
Mr. Farley's wealth for him.

I think that's why he chose
to have his study

this side of the house.

I see.

You know, I feel sure,
if that wall could talk,

it would tell us something, no?


M. Cornworthy, when I arrived
last Thursday evening,

I was not shown
into M. Farley's own room.


I was told to tell Holmes
to show you in here.

Why was that, do you think?

I never questioned
any of Mr. Farley's orders.

No, no, no, no.

Did he usually receive
the visitors in here?

Quite often...

particularly if people hadn't
come to the house before.

I see. Mm.

Thank you, M. Cornworthy.

Inspector, this dream
of Benedict Farley

is very important.

He dreamed, he said,
of committing suicide.

And later on,
he did commit suicide.

Now, when I say "suicide,"

he was alone in his room

and was found with a gun
in his hand.

And no one entered or left the
room at the time he was shot.

So, what does this mean,
Chief Inspector?

Well, that there's
no other possibility --

that it must be suicide.

Au contraire.

It means a very unusual

and very cleverly planned

Planned how?
Planned by who?

Well, it is no good, is it,
Chief Inspector,

if I just give you the answer?

Well --


We must give the little gray
cells time to do their work, eh?

And give Poirot time to work out
who did it and how.

This is not like you, Poirot.

Well, this is not like
the gray cells, Hastings!

I have given them every chance.

They have been cosseted.

I have slept to allow them
to do their work.

I have eaten fish for breakfast.

Result -- nothing!

It'll come, Poirot.

The little gray cells
have never let you down yet.


But is this not an indication,
perhaps, of what is in store?

A sign that they are weakened
by old age and the fast living?

Fast living, Poirot?

I wouldn't call your life
exactly fast.

Well, not now, perhaps,
Hastings, but... in my youth.




You see, one pays, Hastings.

Eventually, one is called to
settle one's account.

I say.


I shall have another tisane.


Mr. Poirot, I --

What is it, Mr. Poirot?

Another tisane,
if you please, Miss Lemon.

Oh, dear.

You had your 9:00 one.

Well, serious measures
are called for, Miss Lemon.

Mon Dieu.

Do you have the time, please,
Miss Lemon?

Of course, Mr. Poirot.


What are you doing, Miss Lemon?

It's 5 to 10:00, Mr. Poirot.

But what were you doing
out there?

If I lean right out,
I can just see the church clock.

But would it not be simpler
to wear the watch?

I can't, M. Poirot.

My magnetism upsets them.

I say.

All my life, I've been looking
for a watch that won't go wild

as soon as I put it on,
but I've never met it.

What ever is the matter,
Mr. Poirot?

Miss Lemon, you are beautiful.

Now, would you please be so kind

as to telephone
the Chief Inspector Japp

and ask him to assemble the
whole Farley household at noon?

In the hall, hein?

Come, Hastings.
We have work to do.

All has become clear.

Then they're brought in here
from the pastry room

and loaded into the ovens.

The ovens have got to be sealed
and closed by 12:15

because we start the bake
at 12:30 sharp.

If we hadn't done that,

Mr. Farley was on the telephone

quicker than you can say
"three little piggies."

Did he come regularly
to the factory?

Oh, no.

No, he hadn't done that

for, uh --
oh, six or seven years.

Well, not regularly,

but he seemed to know if we
hadn't started the bake on time.

In the office, we used to say
he had second sight

as far as a pork pie
was concerned.

But that was just
by way of a joke.

Then after the bake,

which takes
about an hour and half,

we take them out of the ovens,

and then they go
around the corner...

Now, remember what I told you.


Is it loaded?

Oh, yes.

Here he comes.


I wonder -- what is
the most extraordinary thing

about this case, hmm?

Well, the dream, I'd say.

If we hadn't got your word
for it, Poirot --

Exactement. The telling
of the dream was vital.

But, mes amis, there is more
to it than that.

Where did this telling
of the dream take place?

M. Benedict Farley received me
here in his secretary's room

and refused, point-blank,
to let me see into his own room,

just a few feet away.

Why did he do that, hein?

Because there was something
in that room

he could not afford
to have me see.


We will come to that.

When M. Benedict Farley asked me
to return his letter to him,

by inadvertence, I handed to him
the correspondence

from my landlord.

One glance should have told him
it was a wrong letter.

Didn't he have his glasses on?

Oh, yes, he had on his glasses.

So, why did M. Benedict Farley
not realize the difference

between two totally dissimilar
letters, hein?

Because, mes amis,

I was in the company of a man
with normal eyesight

wearing powerful glasses.

And such powerful glasses

would render a man of normal
eyesight practically blind.

Is that not so, Doctor?

If they were
very powerful spectacles, yes.

Eh bien!

So, why was I not allowed to go

into M. Benedict Farley's room
that night?

What was in
M. Benedict Farley's room

that I was not allowed to see?

Mesdames et messieurs,
shall I enlighten you?

I wish you would, Poirot.

Very well.

Poirot shall enlighten you.

What was in M. Benedict Farley's
own room

that M. Benedict Farley
did not allow me to see was...

M. Benedict Farley.

Good God.

Yesterday afternoon,

there are three witnesses
to swear

that no one comes in or out
of M. Benedict Farley's room.

M. Cornworthy is in his room
next door,

and as 12:28 approaches,
he readies himself.

You see, M. Cornworthy
knows something

that very few other people know,

He knows that
M. Benedict Farley, every day,

after all these years,

still interested

in the day-to-day running
of his factory,

checks up on his employees.

Let us see how he does this.

How can this king of pies
observe his workers

without ever leaving this house,


You see, the uninviting delicacy

is first steamed for one hour
before it is baked,

and the release valves
on the vast ovens,

which are situated
beyond that wall,

are briefly tested
as soon as the ovens are loaded.


Eh bien.

If one leans out of this window,

one can readily confirm
this fact.

Now, if you please,

I want you all to come to
these two windows, lean out,

and look to your right.

M. Cornworthy,
why don't you lead the way, hmm?

Oh, this is nonsense.


But humor me?


Alors, viens, viens, viens.

Mme. Farley?

Oh, very well.

Now, one can readily see

that spurt of steam issuing
from the chimney or pipe

at the eastern end
of the building. Voil?

All the same, I don't see
where that gets us.

M. Farley comes to the window.


He leans out to make sure that
the bake is starting on time.

All right.

And then...

M. Cornworthy shoots him,
and Farley falls to the floor.

Remember -- there is
a blank wall opposite,

so there can be no witnesses.

Lies, ridiculous lies.

All has the appearance
of being above the board, yes?

M. Tremlett and the other men

see M. Cornworthy go
into M. Farley's room,

but rush out again

with the announcement
of M. Farley's suicide.

What they do not, of course, see

is M. Cornworthy press the gun
into M. Farley's hand.

Slanderous rubbish.

It was M. Cornworthy
who wrote to me the letter,

M. Cornworthy who gave
instructions to the butler.

It was he who went up to his
bedroom, applied the makeup,

and played the part
of Benedict Farley.

But there were two people
who carried through this fraud.

M. Cornworthy was one,

and the other...

Mme. Farley.

How dare you?!

In due course, the happy ending
would have been achieved.

250,000, and two hearts
that beat as one.

Hastings, stop him!


Stop him, Herbert!
Stop him!


Oh. Right.

I say!

Well done, sir!

That's Herbert.

I've come to elope.
It's still on, is it?

It's not, strictly speaking,
necessary anymore.


Well, we could do it, anyway,
though, if you like.


What shall I do with him?

I'll deal with him, sir.
Thank you very much.

Au revoir, Mme. Farley.

You foreigner.

Good afternoon, sir.

Good afternoon.

Can I assist you in any way,

-Thank you.
-Thank you.

Can I give you a breather
with that?

No, no, no, no.
Thank you, Hastings.

I'm sure I can manage
the last five paces.

Mr. Poirot, let me help you.

No, no, no, no, no, no,
Miss Lemon.

This is for you.

Oh, Mr. Poirot,
you shouldn't have.

No, no, no, no, no, no,
nonsense, Miss Lemon.

Hastings, if you please --
the knife.


Et maintenant... voil!

Well, what do you think,
eh, Miss Lemon?

-It's --
-Wonderful, eh?

It's --

Now we shall have...

no more leaning dangerously
out of the window

to tell the time, yes?

It's just what I wanted.

Hastings... there are two reasons

why I should never become
the millionaire.

What are they, Poirot?

The first --

that I should never make
the detestable pork pies, hein?

And the second.

I am too understanding
towards my employees.