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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Amy Folliat (Constance Cummings) quotes sixteenth century poet Edmund Spenser's work "The Faerie Queene": "Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas,/ Ease after war, death after life, doth greatly please." This verse is inscribed on Dame Agatha Christie's tombstone. 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

Michael Weyman: Mrs. Folliat may not be mistress of the manor any more, but when it comes to survival skills, she could teach the marines.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Lukas: Hasch mich (1998) See more »

User Reviews

 
The best of the Poirot made for TV movies, but not as good as Death On the Nile and Evil Under The Sun
20 October 2009 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I haven't read the book Dead Man's Folly, and this TV movie is the only one of the 6 movies Peter Ustinov did as Poirot, where that is the case. Now Dead Man's Folly I found to be very entertaining, with very good performances and a fine denouncement. However the script was weak and underdeveloped in places, the music didn't really stand out unlike Death On the Nile(the music was absolutely superb in that movie) and I found the overall film to be a tad too broad. I don't think it is as good as Death on the Nile or Evil Under the Sun, which are the best of the Ustinov outings. On a positive note, for a TV movie, it looks beautiful, with wonderful period detail, pleasant scenery and very nice photography. And the clothes were lovely to look at too. The denouncement is very unexpected and cleverly done, and I wouldn't have guessed it in a million years. But what makes the film so enjoyable is the cast. While I still consider David Suchet to be the definitive Poirot, Peter Ustinov was still a joy to behold and is clearly enjoying himself. Jean Stapleton positively brings life to the proceedings as Ariadne Oliver. Both Kenneth Cranham and Tim Piggott-Smith give good performances, if playing it safe. Jonathan Cecil is very entertaining as Hastings and Nicollette Sheridan is lovely as Hattie. But other than Ustinov the standout was indeed Constance Cummings as Amy, a truly delightful performance. All in all, while not the best of the Ustinov Poirot outings, it is a glossy and entertaining one, and actually one of the better ones. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox


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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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