Based on the Dame Agatha Christie novel, our favorite Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov), is on a cruise up the Nile. He is surrounded by an interesting assortment of characters, including a wealthy heiress and her husband, on their honeymoon. It appears that everyone hates the heiress.Written by
Filming had to be stopped every day at noon for around two hours because temperatures reached around 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius) by that time of day. To accommodate for this, make-up calls were scheduled for four a.m., with filming starting at six a.m. On this, veteran actress Bette Davis once quipped: "In the older days, they'd have built the Nile for you. Nowadays, films have become travelogues, and actors stuntmen." See more »
At the beginning, while Linnet and Jackie are in Linnet's master bedroom, a crew member crawling across the floor is reflected in the mirror. See more »
An heiress is murdered while honeymooning on a Nile cruise. Fortunately, the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is holidaying on the same paddle steamer, and begins an investigation. However, it would seem that all of the other passengers on board have clear motives for committing the murder.
This was the second of Agatha Christie's novels featuring Hercule Poirot to be filmed, after the success of 'Murder On The Orient Express' a few years earlier. The great Peter Ustinov, who so recently passed away, took on the role this time, and injected it with his own droll humour. Indeed the whole film seems rather tongue in cheek, with the all star cast having fun with their roles. Bette Davis, Maggie Smith and Jack Warden all enjoyably ham it up, but Angela Lansbury manages to outdo them all with a delightfully over the top performance as the perpetually drunk author of erotic novels. David Niven, ever the archetypal British gent, proves a good foil as Poirot's partner in the investigation.
Where the film really scores is in the locations and photography. Egypt proves a stately backdrop to proceedings and veteran Cinematographer Jack Cardiff makes the most of it. The 1930's setting also gives an air of genteel opulence to the surroundings. While the film couldn't claim to be a classic tension filled mystery, it is a pleasant, laid back and enjoyable entertainment, that's clever enough to keep you guessing until the end.
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