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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.

Directors:

Desmond Davis, Alan Birkinshaw (uncredited)

Writers:

Agatha Christie (based on the novel by), Alexander Stuart (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Dr. Arthur Calgary
Faye Dunaway ... Rachel Argyle
Christopher Plummer ... Leo Argyle
Sarah Miles ... Mary Durrant
Ian McShane ... Philip Durrant
Diana Quick ... Gwenda Vaughan
Annette Crosbie ... Kirsten Lindstrom
Michael Elphick ... Inspector Huish
George Innes ... Archie Leach
Valerie Whittington Valerie Whittington ... Hester Argyle
Phoebe Nicholls ... Tina Argyle
Michael Maloney ... Micky Argyle
Cassie Stuart ... Maureen Clegg
Anita Carey Anita Carey ... Martha Jessup
Ron Pember 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

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Taglines:

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

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first of two adaptations of Agatha Christie novels in back-to-back years for Faye Dunaway. The second was Thirteen at Dinner (1985), which was a TV adaptation of "Lord Edgware Dies" (1933). See more »

Connections

Version of Ordeal by Innocence (2018) See more »

User Reviews

Dreary and muddled despite good cast.
13 October 2000 | by SanDiegoSee 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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Горе невинным See more »

Filming Locations:

Dartmouth, Devon, England, UK

Company Credits

Production Co:

London-Cannon Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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