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Death on the Nile 1978

A murder is committed on a Nile steamer, but Hercule Poirot is on board...

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Imdb rating: 7.2

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My fascination with Egypt slants this whodunit score to more exalted territory than it probably deserves. But it is easy to look at, the excellent cast is a big help, and I just love the way Ustinov plays Hercule Poirot.

"Oh! Never have I seen such a reptile in a first class cabin!"

All the 'what if he/she did its' get played out until the final denouement. In the meantime the characters amuse you with their grotesque personalities, Angela Lansbury being especially terrifying.

The DVD is anamorphic and looks good, with a bit of grain and dirt here and there that betrays the film's age. Sound is mono but this is mostly dialog anyway and it sounds good enough for that. It surprised me to see a making of a sort, with some cast and crew talking about the shoot and finding an old Nile paddle boat and then building a mockup of it for shooting in a tank. It gets an 8/10.
and his supporting cast. Well worth the time spent.
11-08-06
Death on the Nile
Starring: Peter Ustinov, Mia Farrow, Olivia Hussey, Simon MacCorkindal, Maggie Smith, Jane Birkin,Angela Lansbury, Jack Warden, Bette Davis, David Niven, and George Kennedy
Director: John Guillermin


When the very rich and very obnoxious Louise Bourget (Birken) is murdered while on her honymoon cruise on the River Nile, master detective Hercule Poirot (Ustinov) must pick through a ship full of clues (and suspects, each with solid motives for murdering Louise). But what are the motives for the other murder that soon follows? Is is even connected to the first? Will the great detective finally be stumped?

"Death of the Nile" is one of the very best Agatha Christie adaptations to ever be filmed. It's beautfully filmed, with an all-star cast who are all excellent in the roles--with Ustinov as Proirot and Mia Farrow as a one-time best friend of the victim, now turned stalker of her and her husband (MacCorkindale) giving particularly fine performances.

The film is also noteworthy for its shocking violence. It's not that the movie is gory, but it's the fact that nearly every violent act comes without warning and is bound to make the viewer jump, even if you're intimately familiar with the novel upon which the film is based.

It's a film worth checking out by anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery.
Bette Davis and Angela Lansbury shine in this thoroughly entertaining adaptation.
Death on the Nile is entertaining and recommendable to watch, mainly because of its first class cast, the performances are terrific. The other reason to watch this film is the location: Egypt, it has amazing scenes at the Temple of Karnak and the Pyramids of Gizeh. It isn't perfect because the visual effects aren't very good and the way Poirot solved the crime wasn't convincing to me.
I understand that if the director had done this film exactly by the book, that the movie would have taken ages, but I feel the cutting down on characters made the story a bit weaker. Still, a solid 8 for what was on screen.
***1/2 (out of four)

While the screen version of "Murder on the Orient Express" is more true to the source material, I actually enjoyed "Death on the Nile" more.

A young heiress steals and marries her best friend's fiancee. While honeymooning on the Nile she is brutally murdered by one of the passengers.

This hits just the right tone of drama, intrigue, and comedy. The all-star cast offers memorable performances from a bunch of hammy actors like Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Peter Ustiniv, David Niven, Maggie Smith, and several others.