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4 Reviews

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1978 Ustinov's 1st Poirot; B. Davis, M. Smith, D. Niven

When Anthony Shaffer adapted Agatha Christie's novel for this movie, he knew it was Christie's best murder mystery. The plot is so simple on the surface: one woman steals her best friend's fiancé. The scorned one stalks the friendship-betraying couple onto the Nile cruise ship. True to Christie's form, though it seems logical when one of the partners is murdered that the scorned friend & lover had the motive, a host of other character's motives are developed to thicken the plot considerably. Conveniently, Poirot is on-board ship when the murder occurs. The burden falls upon him to solve an incredulous knotted & twisted, premeditated murder.

If it weren't for the cast being a collaborative collective of silver screen royalty, the film footage of the sets on location in historical parts of Egypt (instead of created by computer graphics) would be enough to make this movie a vintage collectible.

As if these elements weren't enough to make this motion picture worth owning, there's an alchemy between the lead actors & supporting ones that makes for an unusually well balanced set of performances. Peter Ustinov clearly becomes Christie's Poirot; Angela Lansbury's performance earns her a television series as a sleuth & is Oscar worthy; Bette Davis' performance elevates the cast's status to the level of royalty, especially when interacting with Maggie Smith delivering uppity wisecrack lines; there's no getting around the fact that great actors like Mia Farrow, Jack Warden, David Niven, George Kennedy, in addition to the one's already noted, are fantastic as a great acting collective of peers.

As if these elements weren't ample reason to enjoy the movie more than once, when Poirot presents the facts that crack the murder case, viewers are not simply surprised, we're shocked, to find out "who done it." It's because every aspect of the filmmaking has successfully & steadily built up the necessary tension that sets up the shock factor. Why "Death on the Nile," has been underrated remains a real mystery.
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Classic Agatha Christie w/Master Actor Cast Bette Davis

My favorite part of this murder mystery has to be the relationship between Bette Davis and Dame Maggie Smith. The one-liners they sling at each other are priceless. Christie at her finest with an all pro master actor cast to deliver major impact lines.

Angela Lansbury plays one of the most lunatic characters I've ever seen her do and she's good at it too.

Mia Farrow is also quite berserk.

Peter Ustinov is Hercule Poirot, Christie's sleuth after Miss Marple, for the 1st time. David Niven interacts with him quite a bit.

But, as usual, Bette Davis and Maggie Smith steal this show with cutting quips that never let up, delivered in perfect rhythm. I am so glad to have seen these two great actresses playing off of one another in the same scenes. That's worth owning the film.
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Time Treats This Mystery Well

It had been years since I had seen this Agatha Christie mystery, and I was concerned that it might not have that spark that makes a movie entertaining any longer. Much to my satisfaction, the humor, acting, and luscious scenery still hold ones attention. Yes, at times Mia Farrow does tend to overdo it, but all in all this classic from the early 70's remains relevant.Read full review...

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Death on the Nile

Loved the story (without a lot of bloody/scary gore); was a good mystery with an unanticipated ending. I decided to buy it because of all the great actors. A lot of good scenery.

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