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Evil Under the Sun (1982)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  5 March 1982 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 7,818 users  
Reviews: 70 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

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

Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate a case for an insurance company regarding firstly a dead woman's body found on a moor and then a 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 by Sir Horace Platt and Arlena is on her honeymoon with her husband and step-daughter on a tropical 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, 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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Evil is Everywhere. Even in Paradise. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

5 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mord på ljusa dagen  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,659,287 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The female character of Emily Brewster in Agatha Christie's novel 'Evil Under the Sun' book was changed for this film to a man, Rex Brewster (played by Roddy McDowall'). See more »

Goofs

The first corpse (found in the moor at the beginning of the film) can clearly be seen breathing. See more »

Quotes

Daphne Castle: [notices Poirot in lobby] Oh, you - you must be Sir Horace Blatt's friend; perhaps - perhaps you'll sign in?
Poirot: [signs hotel register]
Daphne Castle: Oh, so you're the famous Hercule Poirot eh?
Poirot: Ah you are too amiable madame.
Daphne Castle: [sternly] Perhaps - I hope you haven't come here to practice your sleuthing games on my guests - they've all got far too many skeletons in their cupboards to join in with enthusiasm.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Appointment with Death (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Begin the Beguine
Written by Cole Porter
Heard as a theme
See more »

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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.


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

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The most underrated film ever? f-berlivet
Don't you just love Maggie Smith in this? mcgonagall_fan
Patrick Redfern bstarra
What's up with that dead rabbit? afabbro
Why is Arlena killed? lurkaholic
Sylvia Miles to James Mason:'If you were a man, I would divorce you!' f-berlivet
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