While on their honeymoon in Egypt, newlyweds Simon Doyle and Linett Ridgeway are constantly harassed by Simon's ex-fiancée Jackie De Bellefort who feels her ex-best friend has stolen the love of her life. A holidaying Hercules Poirot counsels Jackie to put an end to her antics, fearing that all of this can only end in tragedy. When one of the passengers is killed while on a cruise down the Nile, Poirot must sift through an odd assortment of passengers, all of whom may have something to hide. There is Linett's financial advisor from the US, her French maid who clearly has something to hide, the Austrian doctor who keeps mostly to himself and the left leaning philosopher who despises the rich. Written by
One of the best Christie books, "Death on the Nile" has again been made into a TV movie, this time with David Suchet as part of the Poirot series. Previously there was a 1978 version with Peter Ustinov. I'll admit that one was a lot more fun. Ustinov's Poirot was his own creation and fabulous, and that particular film had a fantastic cast including Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Mia Farrow, Olivia Hussey, Simon McCorkindale, Jack Warden, David Niven, and George Kennedy. Hello. Talk about star-studded.
A couple of people on this site said the way this particular episode was set up, you knew who the culprit was immediately. Actually I found both versions easy to figure out.
The story concerns a happy couple, Jacqueline de Belfort and Simon Doyle, whose relationship falls apart when Simon meets the wealthy, gorgeous Linnet Ridgeway, Jacqueline's soon-to-be-former friend. In the next scene, Linnet and Simon are married, and they're basically being stalked by Jacqueline, whose life's work is to drive both of them crazy and ruin everything they do.
So it's no surprise when Jacqueline shows up on the couple's honeymoon cruise. Hercule Poirot and his friend, Colonel Race (Edward Fox) are also on the cruise. One night, Jacqueline has a fight with Simon and shoots him. Then Linnet is found dead, though Simon was only shot in the knee and survives. Jacqueline has made no secret of wanting Linnet dead, but she was busy shooting Simon. It's up to Poirot to sort out where everyone was and what everyone heard.
Who killed Linnet? When another passenger is murdered, the situation becomes even more desperate. No dearth of suspects, including Andrew Pennington (David Soul) who has been using his position to mess with Linnet's money. We also have a thief on board, and Linnet's pearls are missing, as well as a blackmailer.
It was mentioned on the reviews here that the actress playing Jacqueline seemed to be playing her as someone who was spiteful, rather than a woman in love. I think the spite/revenge is a good choice, having known a few scorned women in my life and having been one of them myself. One does harden, one does feel betrayed especially if your fiancé takes off with your best friend.
Terrific story, still intriguing, with Suchet in top form, surrounded by a good cast. This is a dark episode. I know some people don't like the Ustinov TV adaptations, but I do. It's worth seeing just how the plot is handled, as well as being delightful.
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