Friday, October 21, 2011


(March 1982, U.S.)

I've said this before and I'll gladly say it again - I'd love to see another star-studded Agatha Christie film on the big screen. EVIL UNDER THE SUN was the last one to be released in 1982 and my entire family went to see it at a small movie theater in Roslyn, New York. We all loved it. Like DEATH ON THE NILE preceeding it four years earlier, it was shot on location in exotic locales and featured the glorious cinematography and costume designs that would give it its lavish experience to the viewer. The character of Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (played again by Peter Ustinov) returns to entertain us with his unigue brand of sleuthing. However, this time, unlike DEATH ON THE NILE, there is only one body, and the deceased in questions probably deserved her fate just as much as the others have in the past.

The murder victim (and a real bitch, too!) is the glamorous actress Arlena Marshall (played by Diana Rigg) on an Adriatic island in the fictional kingdom of "Tyrania" while on holiday with her new family, other assorted characters who each have individual reasons and motives to hate and kill her, and of course, the great Hercule Poirot (he just happens to be there). Arlena's been found alone on the beach strangled to death, but by all practical and logical purposes, NOBODY seems to have had the time or the opportunity to actually commit the murder. So we undeniably have a body, a list of viable suspects and yet it appears that no one did it (Hmmmmmm!). This sort of confusion and illusion of facts serves to be the perfect set up for what will ultimately become the great payoff when Hercule Poirot reveals to the entire cast not only who did it and why, but also the step-by-step process in which HOW they did it and how they were able to deceive not only the other suspects, but the audience, as well. It's the type of mysterious deception that can puts a big smile on your face in the end when you say to yourself, "Wow, I can't believe that's how they did it!"

Of course, don't expect me to tell you who did it and how. Not only would that be a real shitty thing to do to those who haven't seen the film and want to, but I also don't think I could explain it all with any reasonable justice. EVIL UNDER THE SUN is one of those entertaining film experiences you have to give to yourself. So enjoy it!

Favorite line or dialogue:

Arlena Marshall: "Linda do stop standing there like a coughdrop and say good morning to Monsieur Poirot!"


  1. I never watched Murder She Wrote, but I got the impression that it co-opted most of these kinds of stories for TV. Opulent and fun, these movies were straightforward family based entertainment (even if they did feature a murder).

  2. I never watched that show, either. Come to think of it, I still need to see THE MIRROR CRACK'D (1980), too.