Death on the Nile (1978) Poster


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Aboard ship, no one was allowed his or her own dressing room, so Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, and Angela Lansbury all shared a room.
Albert Finney was initially asked to reprise his role as Poirot from Murder on the Orient Express (1974). However, he had found the make-up he had to wear for the first movie very uncomfortable in the hot interior of the train, and on realizing that he would have to undergo the same experience, this time in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, he declined the role.
David Niven as Colonel Johnny Race boards the Karnak wearing a straw boater hat with a Royal Green Jackets hat band, and later in the film wears a Royal Green Jackets necktie. The Royal Green Jackets (formed in 1966) were, at the time the film was made, the descendant regiment of Niven's wartime regiment the Rifle Brigade.
Cybill Shepherd turned down the role of Linnet Ridgeway which was later cast with Lois Chiles.
Filming had to be stopped every day at noon for around two hours because temperatures reached around the 130 degrees Fahrenheit mark at that time. To accommodate this, make-up calls were scheduled for 4 am with filming starting at 6 am. On this, veteran actress Bette Davis once quipped: "In the older days, they'd have built the Nile for you. Nowadays, films have become travelogues and actors stunt men".
The movie was shot aboard the paddle steamer 'Memnon' (in the movie named 'Karnak'), one of the few paddle steamers remaining on the Nile.
Accommodation problems were rife whilst location filming in Egypt. No hotel reservations were made for some of the crew, some of whom had to be shuffled from one hotel to another, sometimes every day.
According to producer Richard Goodwin, Bette Davis brought her own makeup, mirrors, and lights to Egypt, just in case they did not have any there.
Producer John Brabourne said no telephones were available while on location in Egypt. They had to communicate by telex.
In this Agatha Christie story, Angela Lansbury plays the author Salome Otterbourne; in of Murder, She Wrote: Death 'N Denial (1995) (also whodunits, where Lansbury is the heroine sleuth), playing in Egypt, a character is called Sally Otterburn.
The poem from which Jackie is reciting lines in the saloon is "The Sons of the Suburbs" by Rudyard Kipling.
This movie was made and released about 41 years after Agatha Christie's source novel of the same name was first published in 1937.
The location shoot in Egypt went for seven weeks of which four were spent on the steamer riverboat 'Karnak' and three filming in places such as Luxor, Cairo, Aswan and Abu Simbel.
First of six appearances playing Detective Hercule Poirot by actor Peter Ustinov. Though Ustinov made the character famous on the big and later small screen, Ustinov was actually the tenth actor to play Poirot in film & TV. This was also Ustinov's only outing as Poirot during the 1970s, all other five appearances were made during the 1980s.
Visitors were barred from the set by director John Guillermin so as to preserve the secrecy of the whodunit plot.
Michael York was attached to this project at one stage.
First of three produced screenplays from novels by Agatha Christie written by Anthony Shaffer. The others were Evil Under the Sun (1982) and Appointment with Death (1988).
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Second Agatha Christie movie in the Brabourne-Goodwin series. The picture was originally titled 'Murder on the Nile' so as to connect with the first Agatha Christie movie in the series, Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Some of the film's poster artwork was even designed to evoke the earlier movie.
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Under orders from the producers, director John Guillermin and the cast and crew were barred from seeing the dailies. The rushes were sent directly to the production office in London.
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The exterior of "Wode Hall" the Ridgeway estate in the film was later used in the opening credits of the TV series "Silver Spoons."
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A number of "Who's who in the cinema"s say that Gerald Sim and Victor Maddern are in this film but both actors are nowhere to be seen at all.
Barbara Hicks who has a blink-and-you-miss-it role as a schoolteacher turned up in Evil Under the Sun (1982) made by the same producers. She also features in a couple of Joan Hickson 's Miss Marple television programs as Miss Hartnell.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The song Jackie is singing in the lounge just before she shoots Simon is "Frankie and Johnny," a folk song about a woman who shoots her lover after discovering that he is cheating on her.
Body count: 5.

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