Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond brings Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi.
Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) is called in to investigate a case for an insurance company regarding a dead woman's body found on a moor, and then an important diamond sent to the company to be insured, turns out to be a fake. Poirot discovers that the diamond was bought for Arlena Marshall (Dame Diana Rigg) by Sir Horace Blatt (Colin Blakely), and Arlena is on her honeymoon with her husband and stepdaughter on a Mediterranean island hotel. He joins them on the island and finds that everybody else starts to hate Arlena for different reasons, refusing to do a stage show, stopping a book, and for having an open affair with Patrick Redfern (Nicholas Clay), another guest, in full view of his shy wife. So it's only a matter of time before Arlena turns up dead, strangled, and Poirot must find out who it is.Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
The kingdom of Tyrania in this movie is a fictional land which was based on the country of Albania. The isle setting of Daphne's Island (in Tyrania) was also fictional. See more »
When Patrick wants Myra to take the speed boat back, she says that she doesn't know how to drive it. He gives her a very quick lesson. When he discovers that Arlena is dead and asks her if she can go get help, she is suddenly quite proficient. See more »
[a little too solicitously, about Linda's step-mother, Arlena]
And how is your lovely mother, this morning?
She's not lovely and she's not my mother!
See more »
The opening credits feature watercolors by British architect and artist, Sir Hugh Casson, who taught Prince Charles to paint. The titles for each actor feature an item of costume, prop or setting relevant to their character and those for the production team are similarly themed. See more »
Absolutely terrific whodunit, by far one of the better Agatha Christies out there
Death On the Nile is definitely the best of the Peter Ustinov outings, with its sumptuous scenery and costumes, fine performances and an overall successful attempt to do justice to the book. Evil Under the Sun is not quite as good, it does start off a little slow and it does drag in places. But other than that, it is a hugely enjoyable film that is in my opinion one of the better Agatha Christies out there.
The scenery in this film is absolutely breathtaking as are the colourful costumes, captured perfectly by the magnificent cinematography. Arlena Marshall's dresses are amazing, and I admit when I first saw the movie I was like I want a dress like that. The soundtrack by Cole Porter is wonderful, and a real treat to the ears. One of the film's highlights was the song Arlena(marvellously played by Diana Rigg) sings, it somewhat reminded me of Marlene Dietrich.
The film also benefits from a very clever plot, that is definitely among Agatha Christie's best. Throughout, it is beautifully constructed, with some clever and not at all confusing subplots. The dialogue is very inspiring, sometimes flowery and at other times witty. My favourites were the bitching of Arlena and Daphne Castle, they were so funny and original, and by far one of the highlights of the film. Another highlight was the final solution, a truly ingenious one, one of my favourite denouncements of all time.
And what about the acting? Superb from all involved! Peter Ustinov while not looking exactly like Christie's dapper detective in the books seems to be enjoying himself enormously here and it really shows. As I've said already, I loved Diana Rigg as Arlena, quite frosty and very detestable in terms of character, but in terms of a truly talented actress like Rigg, it was a marvellous performance. Jane Birkin is great, as is Nicolas Clay, both of whom are under-appreciated actors and put everything into their characters. Other than Rigg, the other standout for me was Maggie Smith as Daphne. Then again, Smith never disappoints in anything she's in, and being one of my all-time favourite actresses, she gives one of her more understated performances here. James Mason was fine, though he could have done with more screen time.
All in all, one or two minor flaws, but overall an absolutely terrific film. And I do admit, I prefer it over the David Suchet version. 8.5/10 Bethany Cox
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