Death on the Nile

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Overview

Death on the Nile contains an impressive amount of extras, but these features are fairly light on compelling content. The highlight is a 24-minute behind-the-scenes documentary that covers various aspects of the production. Much of the material here comes from interviews with stars such as Peter Ustinov and David Niven. The information presented is mildly interesting, but it merely covers the surface of the story. The disc also includes brief interviews with Ustinov and Jane Birkin. The eight-minute conversation ...
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Peter Ustinov, Mia Farrow, Simon MacCorkindale, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles 02/27/2001 DVD New 1978 Run time: 140. Still Sealed in Plastic. Never used! Buy with ... confidence-Satisfaction Guaranteed! Read more Show Less

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George Kennedy, I.S. Johar, Olivia Hussey, Jon Finch, Bette Davis, Lois Chiles, Jane Birkin, Simon MacCorkindale, Mia Farrow,... 02/27/2001 DVD New 1978 Run time: 140.

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Overview

Death on the Nile contains an impressive amount of extras, but these features are fairly light on compelling content. The highlight is a 24-minute behind-the-scenes documentary that covers various aspects of the production. Much of the material here comes from interviews with stars such as Peter Ustinov and David Niven. The information presented is mildly interesting, but it merely covers the surface of the story. The disc also includes brief interviews with Ustinov and Jane Birkin. The eight-minute conversation with Ustinov occurs in Spanish, but is available with subtitles. The four-minute interview with Birken is difficult to follow because it mixes English questions by the reporter with a Spanish translation. The "Talent Bios" section lists the actors by their character names under the heading of "Suspects, Victims, and Innocent Bystanders." The Ustinov biography is very extensive, covering his lengthy film career. Smaller biographies and film lists exist for the other major actors in the story. The final special feature is the theatrical trailer, which exists in a grainy widescreen transfer. The 1.85:1 widescreen anamorphic transfer presents the exotic locales of Egypt in a bright and colorful manner. The blue skies look wonderful, and the dark waters of the Nile are impressive. The print does contain a significant level of grain, but this is understandable considering the age of the film. The 2.0-channel mono audio transfer emanates clearly from the front speakers, but it suffers from the limitations of its format. No real depth exists in the transfer, lessening the effect of several suspenseful scenes.
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Special Features

DVD includes a making-of featurette, interviews with cast members Peter Ustinov and Jane Birkin, a theatrical trailer, and talent bios.
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/27/2001
  • UPC: 013131142891
  • Original Release: 1978
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:20:00
  • Format: DVD

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 Sr. 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
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
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. Witnesses 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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Menu

Side #1 --
   Chapter Selections
   Extras
      Trailer
      Featurette: The Making of "Death on the Nile" (24 Mins)
      Talent Bios
         Hercule Poirot - Peter Ustinov
         Suspects, Victims and Innocent Bystanders
            Barnstable - Harry Andrews
            Louise Bourget - Jane Birkin
            Linnet Ridgeway - Lois Chiles
            Mrs. Van Schuyler - Bette Davis
            Jacqueline De Bellefort - Mia Farrow
            Jim Ferguson - Jon Finch
            Rosalie Otterbourne - Olivia Hussey
            Andrew Pennington - George Kennedy
            Salome Otterbourne - Angela Lansbury
            Simon Doyle - Simon MacCorkindale
            Colonel Race - David Niven
            Miss Bowers - Maggie Smith
            Doctor Ludwig Bessner - Jack Warden
      Interview With Peter Ustinov With English Subtitles
      Interview With Peter Ustinov With No Subtitles
      Interview With Jane Birkin
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A must see!

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A trip down the Nile on the Death Boat

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Death on the Nine summer fun to guess "who done it!"

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews