“Death on the Nile” DVD (Peter Ustinov)

This is the first and best Poirot movie Ustinov made back in 1978. Ustinov is in high gear as his nuanced humorous self and so this adaptation never gets as serious as its predecessor Albert Finney’s Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express. But the three murders keep viewers long in suspense and the solution is fairly complicated and well worth waiting for.

The movie was shot on location in Egypt and has a cast chock full of old stars: Bette Davis, David Niven, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith, Mia Farrow, George Kennedy, Olivia Hussey, Jack Warden, Jon Finch, and Lois Chiles. Anthony Shaffer who wrote the original Sleuth play and movie does a good job balancing all elements of suspense, nastiness, irony, and humor. The look of the film is also quite satisfying; this movie deservedly won the AA for Best Costume Design and has a strong atmospheric style.

If you’re looking for an entertaining whodunit with numerous stars and a funny Poirot, this movie is definitely for you. I highly recommend it for cold winter evening viewing.

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