6.4/10
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23 user 6 critic

Dead Man's Folly (1986)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | TV Movie 8 January 1986
During a murder hunt game at a country house, to which Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) is invited as an "expert", a real murder occurs.

Director:

Clive Donner

Writers:

Agatha Christie (novel), Rod Browning (teleplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Ustinov ... Hercule Poirot
Jean Stapleton ... Ariadne Oliver
Constance Cummings ... Amy Folliat
Tim Pigott-Smith ... Sir George Stubbs
Jonathan Cecil ... Captain Arthur Hastings
Kenneth Cranham ... Detective Inspector Bland
Susan Wooldridge ... Amanda Brewis
Christopher Guard Christopher Guard ... Alec Legge
Jeff Yagher ... Eddie South
Nicollette Sheridan ... Hattie Stubbs (as Nicolette Sheridan)
Ralph Arliss ... Michael Weyman
Caroline Langrishe ... Sally Legge
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Storyline

Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) is called in by his crime writer friend, Ariadne Oliver (Jean Stapleton) and discovers that she is troubled. She has been asked to create a "Murder Hunt" game for a fair at Nass House and she is puzzled with all the help she is getting. Poirot and his assistant, Captain Arthur Hastings (Jonathan Cecil) arrive at the fair to see what is going on. They find a couple on the brink of divorce, a rich Lord and a dizzy Lady, an old lady, trapped in the horrors of the past and a womanizing architect. Things take a turn for the worse when during the "Murder Hunt", the girl playing the "dead" body is murdered for real, an old man's body is pulled from the local lake, and the Lady of the manor goes missing when a face from her past shows up. It is clear to Poirot that someone is playing the game for real, and he sets out to discover who it is. Written by Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 January 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agatha Christie's Dead Man's Folly See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a reference to another Dame Agatha Christie Poirot case: Detective Inspector Bland (Kenneth Cranham) tells Poirot he "was present when you solved the ABC Murders" fifteen years earlier. See more »

Goofs

The title of Ariadne Oliver's latest novel, "Hatchets Blood and a Parakeet", is - dependent on how you read it - incorrect in either grammar or punctuation, something which would be picked up at the proof-reading editorial stage by her publishers. See more »

Quotes

Amanda Brewis: Men are such fools.
Hercule Poirot: And why should you make such an observation, madamoiselle?
Amanda Brewis: They can be so shrewd, and then they go off and marry the wrong woman...
See more »

Connections

Follows Murder on the Orient Express (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not as Agatha Christie imagined!
31 August 2006 | by benbrae76See all my reviews

There has been (so far) only one definitive screen Poirot and that is David Suchet. As much as I admired the art of the late Sir Peter Ustinov, he was always completely miscast in this role. He was nothing like the character that Agatha Christie envisaged, i.e. an over-fastidious dapper little man who had a mincing walk, a bald egg-shaped head and a dark waxed moustache. Peter's rotund shape, with crumpled clothes and a crumpled moustache to match, would make her, and indeed Poirot himself, turn in their graves. However, Ustinov, as he usually does in this role, and probably deliberately, hams it up (likewise the entire cast) with enthusiastic gusto, but again I suspect, not entirely as Miss Christie would have imagined it.

Jonathon Cecil plays Capt Hastings as if he was a complete moron. Although not blessed with the same "little grey cells" as his companion, Hastings was not written as a fool, and in fact had supposedly been in Military Intelligence, which (although suggested in the film), is not a place for idiots.

Overall this movie (as with all Ustinov's portrayals of the character) is to Poirot, as burlesque is to the legitimate theatre, but so what? It's enjoyable to watch, and that's what entertainment is all about.


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