Agatha Christie’s Death On The Nile (EMI 1978, Peter Ustinov, David Niven)

The sequel to Murder on the Orient Express again features an all-star cast, with Peter Ustinov as the fourth actor to take on the role of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian wonder detective. Here he is called on to solve the case of the murder of bitchy heiress Lois Chiles, who is slain while on a luxury cruise down the Nile. A thoroughly bitchy character, Chiles is a fiance-stealer who lacks most of the social graces and Ustinov investigates the potential suspects from a cast that includes Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith, Mia Farrow, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, Simon MacCorkindale, Jack Warden and Jane Birkin.

Dressed in period costumes by Anthony Powell (who won an Oscar for his work), the cast wander both the pleasure cruiser and the sights of Egypt as Ustinov puts together the story of the assassination and, in typical Christie style. Said Variety : “[it} is a clever, witty, well-plotted, beautifully produced and splendidly acted version of Agatha Christie’s mystery. It’s an old fashioned stylised entertainment with a big cast and lush locations” and “In a time when so many pictures are carelessly plotted, it’s a pleasure to see on where the pieces fit together so well. Shaffer deserves high marks here.”

Death on the Nile

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

crew details
Director: John Guillermin
Screenplay: Anthony Shaffer
Novel: Agatha Christie

production details
Country: UK
Studio: EMI
Year of Release: 1978
Duration: 140 minutes

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