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Death on the Nile
     

Death on the Nile

4.2 4
Director: John Guillermin, Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles

Cast: John Guillermin, Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles

 

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Peter Ustinov began his long association with the Hercule Poirot character of murder mystery novelist Agatha Christie with this lavish but financially disappointing follow-up to the popular Murder on the Orient Express (1974). During a luxurious pleasure cruise down the Nile aboard a lavish vessel populated with wealthy passengers, widely despised heiress and

Overview

Peter Ustinov began his long association with the Hercule Poirot character of murder mystery novelist Agatha Christie with this lavish but financially disappointing follow-up to the popular Murder on the Orient Express (1974). During a luxurious pleasure cruise down the Nile aboard a lavish vessel populated with wealthy passengers, widely despised heiress and home wrecker Linnet Ridgeway (Lois Chiles) is murdered. Also aboard is famed Belgian detective Poirot (Ustinov) and his taciturn traveling companion, Colonel Race (David Niven). Poirot undertakes an investigation into Ridgeway's killing. Among the colorful suspects are Salome (Angela Lansbury) and Rosalie Otterbourne (Olivia Hussey), Doctor Bessner (Jack Warden), Mrs. Van Schuyler (Bette Davis), Miss Bowers (Maggie Smith), and Jacqueline De Bellefort (Mia Farrow). As more bodies pile up, however, it appears that nearly everyone aboard has a motive. The script for Death on the Nile (1978) was adapted by Anthony Shaffer, the writer of Sleuth (1972) and the identical twin brother of Amadeus (1984) author Peter Shaffer.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Agatha Christie’s bombastic Belgian sleuth, the inestimable Hercule Poirot, returned to the screen after a four-year absence in this star-studded, lushly appointed, old-fashioned murder mystery. Following the surprise success of 1974’s Murder on the Orient Express, the first of the handsomely produced Christie adaptations, Nile found Peter Ustinov replacing Albert Finney as Poirot, a role he would reprise in several more sequels. Director John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno), no stranger to lavish productions and big-name casts, hewed closely to the formula: exotic locations, a dastardly murder, secretive suspects, multifarious motives, and the inevitable drawing-room climax exposing the killer. Anthony Shaffer’s script remains impressive in its wit, cleverness, and intricacy, while Ustinov's Poirot has just the right touch of condescending arrogance. On the basis of star power alone, this is clearly the best of the sequels. The players include Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, David Niven, Mia Farrow, Maggie Smith, George Kennedy, Jack Warden, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, and Jane Birkin. Ustinov discusses his interpretation of Poirot (among many other things) in a contemporaneous interview added to the DVD, which also includes a making-of featurette and an interview with supporting player Birkin. If you’re a fancier of traditional whodunits, Death on the Nile should be at the top of your DVD must-have list.
All Movie Guide - Dan Friedman
A prototypical Agatha Christie adaptation, Death on the Nile is a classic mystery with an all-star cast of recognizable names and faces. Continuing in the vein of Murder on the Orient Express, a murder has occurred during a river cruise, making everyone onboard a suspect, and, as the eminent detective Hercule Poirot observes, everyone had either an opportunity or a motive to do the dastardly deed. Death on the Nile features Peter Ustinov in the role of Poirot and he gives an uncharacteristically subtle, low-key performance, leaving the histrionics to the rest of the cast which features David Niven, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Maggie Smith, and George Kennedy, among others. This is Ustinov's first appearance as Poirot and he seems to be feeling out the role and leaving the plot to carry the film. Like most works by Agatha Christie are on some level, the plot is somewhat formulaic. However, the mystery is well-constructed as one would also expect from a Christie story, but there is a lot of information to digest in order for the viewer to be able to participate in the solving of the crime and the resolution of the story. By necessity most of the action takes place on the ship, but the other Egyptian locations lend an exoticism to the film and set the period well.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/27/2009
UPC:
0031398104827
Original Release:
1978
Rating:
PG
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
2:20:00
Sales rank:
597

Special Features

"The Making of Death on the Nile"; Interviews with Peter Ustinov and Jane Birkin; Talent bios; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Ustinov Hercule Poirot
Jane Birkin Louise Bourget
Lois Chiles Linnet Ridgeway
David Niven Colonel Rice
Bette Davis Mrs. Van Schuyler
Mia Farrow Jacqueline De Bellefort
Angela Lansbury Mrs. Salome Otterbourne
Jon Finch Ferguson
George Kennedy Andrew Pennington
Olivia Hussey Rosalie Otterbourne
Simon MacCorkindale Simon Doyle
Maggie Smith Miss Bowers
Jack Warden Dr. Ludwig Bessner
Harry Andrews Barnstaple
I.S. Johar Manager of The Karnak
Sam Wanamaker Rockford

Technical Credits
John Guillermin Director
Brian Ackland Art Director
Brian Ackland-Snow Production Designer
Terry Ackland-Snow Art Director,Production Designer
John Brabourne Producer
Jack Cardiff Cinematographer
Dan Carlin Art Director
Chris Carreras Asst. Director
Malcolm Cooke Editor
Richard Goodwin Producer
Peter Murton Production Designer
Anthony Powell Costumes/Costume Designer
Nino Rota Score Composer
Anthony Shaffer Screenwriter
Ted Sturgis Asst. Director
Agatha Christie Source Author

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Death on the Nile
1. Program Start / Main Titles [2:16]
2. Life of Luxury [4:21]
3. "Isn't He Perfect?" [3:28]
4. Pyramids of Egypt [4:37]
5. The Famous Hercule Poirot [7:15]
6. Tiny But Lethal [5:08]
7. "Welcome Aboard the Karnak..." [4:38]
8. Grudges and Ill Will [8:04]
9. The Temple [4:25]
10. A Close Shave [5:30]
11. Hell Hath No Fury... [4:38]
12. A Shooting In the Parlor [7:10]
13. Emergency Medical Attention [4:29]
14. Death On the Nile [6:06]
15. Quizzing the Communist [6:31]
16. Widower & Servant [5:49]
17. Skewered Serpent [3:18]
18. Purloined Pearls [5:22]
19. Murder, She Wrote? [6:30]
20. Apology Accepted [4:21]
21. Another Murder [7:53]
22. "The Game Is Over" [4:21]
23. Evidence Points To [4:07]
24. Truth Revealed [6:01]
25. Witness and Complications [4:26]
26. One Way Out [4:33]
27. "This Place is Beginning to Resemble a Mortuary" [2:24]
28. End Credits [1:48]

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Death on the Nile 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just purchased Death On The Nile,this was my first time watching a film adaption of an Agatha Christie book.I absolutely loved it,its star-studded and it keeps you guessing from the moment the murder takes place.The beautiful costumes and Egyptian scenery keep you wanting more and more.I'm addicted.
Brigit More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this film. The cast, the characters, the script, the locations, the flow and mood of this film are all wonderful. How could you go wrong with a cast that reads like an A-List Hollywood gala? I think Peter Ustinov did a superb job of portraying Hercule Poirot. He is clever, witty and just arrogant enough but still approachable. Poirot is on vacation and taking a cruise down the Nile along with a wealthy, disliked heiress on her honeymoon and nearly everyone else on board has a good reason to want to see her dead. When she is found murdered, Poirot has his hands full trying to sift through all the facts, clues and questioning the passengers.
R2S More than 1 year ago
This is a very funny film with famous actors. The English version is a much better movie. But for a "camp who-done-it" it is a great summer relief film. Now to just get ALL Peter Ustinov Agatha Christie films on DVD. I still want to see the one with the Wicked Mother who rules her children with an iron hand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago