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Evil Under the Sun (1982)

PG | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 5 March 1982 (USA)
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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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:

Holidays can be murder. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

5 March 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El diablo bajo el sol  »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,659,287 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After The Mirror Crack'd (1980), this was the second and final Agatha Christie adaptation directed by Guy Hamilton. Hamilton directed the films consecutively and, prior to the first film, had not been "totally enamored" of the Christie books. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Daphne Castle: Couldn't we make this a private investigation? You know how peculiar people can be about a spot of murder.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Followed by Dead Man's Folly (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

I've Got You Under My Skin
(uncredited)
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.


47 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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