Evil Under the Sun (1982)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  5 March 1982 (USA)
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Reviews: 71 user | 27 critic

Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond brings Hercule Poirot to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Blakely ...
Nicholas Clay ...
Denis Quilley ...
Emily Hone ...
John Alderson ...
Paul Antrim ...
Cyril Conway ...
Barbara Hicks ...
Flewitt's Secretary


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Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


While vacationing in the Greek Isles, famous detective Hercule Poirot spotted a beautiful woman on the beach. Realizing that she was dead, he did not ask her out to dinner. See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

5 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El diablo bajo el sol  »

Box Office


$4,659,287 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Second of three produced screenplays from novels by Agatha Christie written by Anthony Shaffer. The others were Death on the Nile (1978) and Appointment with Death (1988). See more »


In the film, Patrick Redfern was wearing swim briefs ("Speedos") on many occasions (suntanning on the beach, steering a motorboat with Myra Gardener on board), and it is suggested that, since the film was set in the 1930s or 1940s, that the male "overall" swimsuit was "norm", and the "Speedo" type suit was an anachronism. This is not true; by 1936 (after the Olympics) men started wearing one piece and much tighter fitting "Speedo" suits. The film is probably set before 1939 (the book was written in 1941), and by this time, fashionable and daring men would have worn this type of swimsuit, particularly to secluded getaways, such as the setting for the movie. See more »


Arlena Stuart Marshall: [to Linda Marshall] Linda do stop standing there like a coughdrop and say good morning to Monsieur Poirot!
See more »


I've Got You Under My Skin
Written by Cole Porter
Heard as a theme
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User Reviews

Entertainment Under The Sun
25 May 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

With its humor, great scenery, stylized period clothes, wonderful music, complex whodunit puzzle, and deliciously hammy acting from Peter Ustinov, James Mason, Sylvia Miles, Diana Rigg, and Maggie Smith, "Evil Under The Sun" is an absolute delight.

There are a couple of different ways to watch this film. You can focus on the murder mystery story. It's not one of Agatha Christie's best, but it's good enough to invest a couple of hours to try and solve. As with other whodunits, the plot here is wildly improbable, with some rather unlikely coincidences in timing.

Alternately, you can focus on the cinematic goodies that make this film such a pleasant diversion. The Mediterranean scenery is gorgeous, with towering cliffs that rise from a sparkling blue sea. The 1930's clothes and production design are opulent and lavish. Men's formal attire, women's colorful dresses and flamboyant hats, and the showy jewelry that only the idle rich could afford, are all quaint by today's fashion standards. The island resort is cozy and expensive looking, with elegant furniture, and balconies and windows that overlook the sea. Throw in lots of 1930's music by Cole Porter, especially "You're The Top", and you've got a relaxing, enjoyable cinematic experience that's pleasing both to the eyes and the ears.

Arguably, the best elements of this film are the acting and the amusingly flowery dialogue. All the actors ham it up, in grand camp style. Performances may not be realistic. But they sure are lots of fun. I liked Ustinov's word pronunciations: "You remember 'zee' false diamond ... on 'zee' beach"; "Incidentally, I accept your 'hallie-by'"; "If you would care to confide in me, I should be most 'honn-erd'".

The bitching between vain Arlena Marshall (Diana Rigg), a prima donna actress, and the resort's hostess, Daphne Castle (Maggie Smith) is also amusing and fun. At an opulent cocktail party, guests mingle. Then, in dramatic style, Arlena, elegantly dressed, makes a glamorously staged entrance, and vainly confesses: "Oh my, I'm the 'laust' to arrive". To which hostess Daphne, with hors d'oeuvre tray in hand, walks over and greets Arlena with a sly smile: "Have a sausage, dear."

"Evil Under The Sun" is pure diversionary entertainment. There's no profound message. Nor are there any deep, subtle themes on the human condition that viewers can later ponder. The film is shallow, effervescent, animated ... fluff. But it is very high quality fluff.

46 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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