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 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.
Based on the Agatha Christie novel, our favourite Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, is on a cruise up the Nile. He is surrounded by an interesting assortment of characters, including a wealthy heiress and her husband, on their honeymoon. It appears that everyone hates the heiress... Written by
Filthy rich Lois Chiles is killed on a ship traveling down the Nile River in Egypt. Good thing that detective Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) is aboard. Unfortunately, everyone on board had a reason to kill her. Poirot tries to figure out who did it while the bodies start to pile up....
Visually beautiful and totally fascinating adaptation of an Agatha Christie mystery. It was a deserved Oscar Winner for Costume Design--all the clothing was in period and looks truly beautiful. Also they shot on location in Egypt which helps. The cast went through hell though--it was very hot and the clothes they wore were heavy and uncomfortable. Bette Davis especially complained loudly about the clothes and tore into Olivia Hussey for playing loud music in her cabin--at 6:30 in the morning.
The cast, however, is very good in their roles. Ustinov is perfect as Poirot--much better than Albert Finney in "Murder on the Orient Express". Bette Davis does wonders with next to nothing in her role as a jewel thief. David Niven just tags along with Ustinov helping him solve the mystery. Mia Farrow is (sadly) miscast--she struggles in a very difficult role. Angela Landsbury (obviously enjoying herself) runs away with the movie as an alcoholic novelist. George Kennedy barely registers--he's very underwritten. Maggie Smith, playing Davis' maid, is a treat--the sparring insults between her and Davis are VERY funny. Jack Warden is OK faking a fairly convincing German accent as a doctor. Lois Chiles looks absolutely stunning...but is killed off. Olivia Hussey is sadly underused. Simon MacCorkindale is very good as Chiles' husband. And Jon Finch is very wooden as a revolutionary. Still, everything works.
I saw it back in a theatre in 1978 and loved it. Over 20 years later, I STILL love it. Much better than the overrated "Murder on the Orient Express". A definite 10 out of 10.
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