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Ordeal by Innocence (1984)

 -  Mystery | Thriller  -  17 May 1985 (USA)
5.0
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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. ... See full summary »

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Title: Ordeal by Innocence (1984)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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George Innes ...
Archie Leach
Valerie Whittington ...
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Cassie Stuart ...
Anita Carey ...
Martha Jessup
Ron Pember ...
Ferryman
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Storyline

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

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

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Mystery | Thriller

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PG-13 | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 May 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Forca para Um Inocente  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Trivia

The film was made and released about twenty-six years after its source novel of the same name by Agatha Christie had been first published in 1958. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mediocre rendition based on Agatha Christie novel with big name cast and atmospheric setting
18 July 2013 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

In this realization of yet another Agatha Christie novel there is a good cast who gives average acting , nice set design , a twisted intrigue and logic absent . An American Paleontologist called Dr. Arthur Calgary (Donald Sutherland) visits Mister Argyle (Christopher Plummer) to give him an address book that belongs to his son Jack Argyle (most of the scenes featuring Jacko Argyle were cut because of budgetary reasons) , but the latter has been executed , condemned for murder his mother (all of Faye Dunaway's cameo is a black and white flashback) . Calgary has proof that the convicted killer is innocent , but no one , neither Police (Michael Elphick's police inspector, modeled to some extent after a harder-nosed American-style police officer) , nor villagers wish to reopen the case . Once the murder was solved , the real mystery began and Calgary learns that justice has been ill served in a small British community . After the clues have been shown we will get a chance to give the answer with Calgary finding out about the culprit at a twisted finale with outstanding surprises . Who is the killer? , can he find the true guilty?

The film is a detective story with Sutherland as an amateur sleuth , in which you are the detective ; being middlingly shot , though filmmaker conjures up some atmospheric scenes . Too much red herrings it makes a little bit boring, pedestrian , endless and overlong . Stellar cast , but frankly wasted and interpretations are almost all phoned in . In the picture there are mystery , emotion , murders , suspense , pointless scenes and gorgeous outdoors . It packs a very good British support casting such as Sarah Miles , though miscast as Faye Dunaway's daughter , Ian McShane as Philip Durant , Diana Quick as Gwenda Vaughan , Annette Crosbie as Kirsten Lindstrom , Michael Elphick as Inspector Huish , George Innes as Archie Leach , and a young Phoebe Nicholls as Tina Argyle in some nudism scenes . The movie gets a lush costume design and acceptable production by known Cannon films , Yoram Globus and Menahem Golan , being well set in 1950s England .

Colorful and glowing cinematography in Eastmancolor by excellent cameraman Billy Williams . Filmed on location in Dartmouth, Devon, England, UK ; the scene dealing with 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 Christopher Plummer could not return to work in England for tax reasons . The inappropriate and anti-climatic soundtrack was not by Dave Brubeck but by Pino Donaggio, who wrote his typical , lush and beautiful score ; when the film didn't test well, they decided to jettison the Donaggio score and replace it with Dave Brubeck music. Brubeck included an obtrusive jazz score seems to belong to some other film , but was told he'd have two weeks to write an original score , he said no ; they then agreed that they'd use already existing Brubeck tunes and newly record them . The picture was a Box office flop , though received a Royal Premiere in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip . The motion picture was regularly directed by Desmond Davis though contains some flaws and poor edition . Davis is an an expert on TV movies and episodes , he also filmed some movies such as the notorious ¨Clash of titans¨, ¨Girl with green eyes¨ , ¨Smashing time¨, ¨The uncle ¨and a Sherlock Holmes flick , ¨The sign of four¨.


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