Deadly Stalker not included.
Romance on the Orient Express (1985): 4 out of 10: Cheryl Ladd rekindles a romance with a deadly stalker while on the titular train.
The Good: Despite having no ass (I am so sorry, there is no other way to put that. Ladd ain’t got no motor in the back of her um Honda.) Cheryl Ladd looks fantastic in every scene both as her younger self and as a bitter ancient thirty-year-old.
Romance on the Orient Express also has a couple of great songs for a TV movie from 1985. (Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle.) The actual soundtrack however is maudlin sugary classical guaranteed to give one diabetes.
There is also some great scenery, though the mid-eighties tv movie production does it few favors. (No wide screen here.)
Sir John Gielgud is excellent in a small role.
The Bad: Ruby Wax plays the wisecracking man hungry, slutty New Yorker friend to Cheryl. She is hardly the worst example of this trope (Catwoman’s Alex Borstein) but she is an example still. Honestly, in the first ten minutes of the film it is perfectly reasonable to expect that she and Cheryl were in a lesbian romantic relationship… that would have made more sense and made for a better movie.
This is a lightweight bad because Ruby Wax is fine in her role. It is just the trope I cannot stand.
The Ugly: Stuart Wilson as the male lead gives off a Stepfather vibe for almost the entire movie. By Stepfather vibe, I am referring to Terry O’Quinn in the 1987 movie (and its sequels). He might as well be wearing a “I killed my whole family ask me how” T-shirt.
His younger version is an asshole… his older version is a stalking asshole. Ladd keeps telling him in no uncertain terms to go away, but he pursues her as if he was wearing a hockey mask and carrying a machete. I cannot even describe how honestly scary this character is. Red flags are everywhere, to say the least.
Romance on the Orient Express of course takes his side because romance movies apparently hate woman. And violent stalking men are sexy. Safe men who don’t assault and stalk are boring. (Cheryl is supposed to marry one that is patient and a good family man… boring…)
In Conclusion: Romance on the Orient Express is fun to riff with loved ones and I can easily watch two hours of Cheryl Ladd wandering around pretty European locations in various outfits. Even if she is being pursued by a serial killer/ love interest.
The entire movie has been sitting on YouTube for the last seven years. Also can be found on Amazon Prime as of this posting.
Lots of Cheryl Ladd shots. Most of her not looking as if she is in a happy romance. It is a shame that the film quality is so eighties TV movie because they really do visit some nice areas.