An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
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>
The film relocates the provincial North Devon, England setting on Smuggler's Island off the Devonshire Coast from the Agatha Christie source 'Evil Under the Sun' novel to an island in the Adriatic Sea "somewhere west of Suez", a setting played by the exotic Spanish island location of Majorca. The film's screenwriter Anthony Shaffer once said of this: "The location is important. The island should be a star. Just as the Nile steamer [in Death on the Nile (1978)] and the Orient Express [in Murder on the Orient Express (1974)] were stars". Majorca also was at the time the home of the film's director Guy Hamilton. See more »
As the Gardeners sit on the terrace watching Arlena's arrival, Odell calls Myra "Myrna." See more »
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 »
In a time when people consider the likes of Vin Diesel, Jack Black, and various three name actors as underated actors, people should realize what a brilliant talent Sir Peter Ustinov is. Ustinov, a two-time Academy Award winner, has done it all, whether it would be Kubrick films, children's programs, teleplays, feature films: you name it, he's done it. He also plays the definitive Hercule Poirot, the Agatha Christie creation.
Evil Under The Sun is done almost like a play, but a good play. Poirot is vacationing at a posh resort as the fee for helping a millionaire find out who stole his expensive diamond. Poirot meets up with plenty of the usual types that would be at these places in the mid-30's, including an ex-actress named Arlena Marshall (Diana Rigg) who is pretty much hated by everyone. As in all cases with murder mysteries, Mrs. Marshall is murdered, and Poirot uses his abilities to solve the crime.
This movie was great. It drew me in because Ustinov and the all-star cast work brilliantly together to make the film a joy. The acting and the story are superb. Also, despite the fact that it's an 80's movie, you won't see any of the trappings of that decade. Hey, any film with an English-speaking Jane Birkin is a must watch for me. I don't know if it's available on DVD, but I'm sure A&E or some other similar channel will air it. Recommended.
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