19 user 6 critic

Ordeal by Innocence (1984)

PG-13 | | Mystery, Thriller | 17 May 1985 (USA)
Dr Calgary returns home from an expedition and goes looking for a hitchhiker whom he gave a lift to two years previously in order to return the man's address book. He discovers the man has been executed for his mother's murder.


, (uncredited)


(based on the novel by), (screenplay)


Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Arthur Calgary
Rachel Argyle
Leo Argyle
Mary Durrant
Philip Durrant
Gwenda Vaughan
Kirsten Lindstrom
Inspector Huish
Archie Leach
Valerie Whittington ...
Hester Argyle
Tina Argyle
Micky Argyle
Maureen Clegg
Anita Carey ...
Martha Jessup
Ron Pember ...


Paleontologist Dr. Arthur Calgary visits the Argyle family to give them an address book that belongs to Jack Argyle. But he is told that Jack has been executed for the murder of his wife. But the address book can prove that Jack was innocent, so Dr. Calgary starts the investigation all over. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Once the murder was solved, the real mystery began...


Mystery | Thriller


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 May 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Forca para Um Inocente  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


| (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The scene with Christopher Plummer shooting a rabbit in the woods was filmed in New Jersey and not Devon, where the rest of the film was shot. This was a scene added after principal photography had been completed--and Plummer could not return to work in England for tax reasons. See more »


Version of Agatha Christie's Marple: Ordeal by Innocence (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Dreary and muddled despite good cast.
13 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

The film begins with some style with the viewer taking a leisure boat ride to a small village in England with a pleasant Dave Brubeck score in the background. Brubeck's score continues through the movie and by the first half hour becomes annoying due to its over use. Donald Sutherland is layed back as an American doctor who after a two year expedition to Antarctica learns he was the only alibi to a hitch hiking stranger accused of murder and ultimately hung. True to Agatha Christie Sutherland becomes a sleuth and we are introduced to the stranger's family and associates. All the actors do a good job but are given little to do. Rarely do we see them interact with each other and nearly the entire film Donald Sutherland is interviewing each of the cast one-on-one...including the police! It doesn't seem any of the suspects get much screen time at all. Mid-way the director makes a truly terrible decision to replay some of the audio from previous scenes over present scenes (to represent Donald Sutherland thinking) including muddled whispering under more of Dave Brubeck's score. The plot is such a boring mess and impossible to keep up with. We never meet anyone long enough to remember their name! By the end of the film it becomes clear it really doesn't matter. At the beginning the police tells Donald Sutherland not to get involved that it is not worth it and at the end Donald and the viewers agree. THEN WHY MAKE THE FILM?????? The one joyous spark to the entire film was Cassie Stuart (Isabella in BBC's "Northanger Abbey") as the innocent stranger's wife. Her face and voice literally lit up the dark and damp film in her two scenes which occur in the last twenty minutes of the movie. She has such fun with her topless scene she should have won a special award just for attempting to bring some entertainment to an otherwise dreary movie.

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