Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Evil Under the Sun|
Actors: Peter Ustinov, James Mason, Maggie Smith, Jane Birkin, Colin Blakely
Director: Guy Hamilton
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Mostly for Poirot completists and admirers of then-trendy, all-star ensemble casts from the 1970s and early '80s, Evil Under the Sun finds Peter Ustinov in his second outing as Agatha Christie's famous Belgian detective (t... more »
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Campy Christie Classic
Francis M. Hough Jr. | Charlotte, NC USA | 03/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"EVIL UNDER THE SUN contains perhaps the campiest dialogue and most over-the-top performances of the four sparkling, big budget adaptations of Agatha Christie mysteries (ORIENT EXPRESS, NILE, MIRROR, and this one) made by the same producers. Somehow, it all works better here with its exquisite locations, lyrical Cole Porter score, and knockout Anthony Powell costumes which are truly breathtaking.As always in a Christie mystery, no one seems able to have done the crime (despite everyone having a viable motive), and it's up to Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov who plays with the part more than ever in his broadest interpretation of the role in five tries - two films and three made-for-TV movies) to sort things out. He does so in a beautifully played denouement at the film's conclusion which makes everything clear.The new DVD release is to be treasured for its very saturated colors (the VHS tape seemed washed out and vaguely unfocused) and clear sound (though mono, it seemed wonderfully rich and full). It's a terrific addition to anyone's mystery library and remains my favorite of the Christie adaptations. (I would like to see MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPESS get a widescreen DVD release some day, however.)"
Off to summer camp
Michael M. Wilk | Howard Beach, NY | 08/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am very grateful to my dear, multi-talented friend Sun for introducing me to this delightful, extremely campy film. Based on the Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot whodunit, it makes for an enjoyable 2 hours. "Evil" boasts a terrific cast, a witty script, lovely Majorca locations, a delightful Cole Porter score, and some of the funniest costumes seen on film. The suspense factor is practically nonexistent, but who cares? The story takes place at a resort isle in the Adriatic, run by ex-chorus girl Daphne Castle, played by Maggie Smith. One of the guests is Smith's old rival, Arlena Marshall, a bitchy, Gertrude Lawrenceish musical comedy stage star, played by the gorgeous, fabulous Diana Rigg (that's Dame Diana Rigg to you, nowadays). Arlena has made a lot of enemies, many of whom happen to be staying at the same resort. There's Odell and Myra Gardner, theatrical producers that Arlena left in the lurch when she left a show they had produced, due to "health" problems; Rex Brewster, a flamingly effeminate columnist whose biography of Arlena she will not allow him to publish; her stepdaughter Linda; Sir Horace Blatt, from whom she accepted a fabulous diamond and then jilted him; Daphne, who has carried a torch for Arlena's husband; and Christine Redfern, the plain-Jane wife of studly Patrick Redfern, with whom Arlena is having an affair. Arlena is found strangled to death on the beach, and it is up to Hercule Poirot to find out who the murderer is. The performances, as I said before, are a lot of fun. Roddy McDowell lets it ALL hang out, complete with Tallulah Bankhead voice, James Mason and Sylvia Miles are great as the bickering Gardners, Ms. Miles particularly hilarious as a shrill-voiced harpy (her voice could shatter glass). Maggie Smith, Peter Ustinov as Poirot, and Nicholas Clay and lovely Jane Birkin (so frumped-up in this film, you wouldn't know her), Colin Blakely, Denis Quilley, and Emily Hone as Arlena's stepdaughter round out this wonderful cast. The score, made up of well-known and not-so-well-known Cole Porter tunes, is a delight, and then there are the costumes! Anthony Powell, with a strong sense of camp, designed the outrageous, black, white, red, and navy blue costumes that are a homage to legendary MGM designer Adrian, known for his exaggerated silhouettes, oversized decorations, and stark contrasts. The direction, by Guy Hamilton, who also has the James Bond classic "Goldfinger" to his credit, is capable. The picture and sound quality on the DVD are great, the colors crisp and clean, the sound fine and clear. I highly recommend this film to anyone who has a good sense of "camp"-it's like being at a catty, 2-hour-long cocktail party!"
Murder is 'just one of those things'
C. J. Hormann | Wellington, New Zealand | 12/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Agatha Christie's murder mystery, 'Evil Under The Sun' is brought gloriously to life, in this movie from the early 80's. It features Peter Ustinov in his second showing as the legendary Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot along with a cast of actors who camp it up for all they are worth.The plot follows the classic Christie template (see Death on the Nile, Murder on the Orient Express) of a group of people gathered together, with one being particularly nasty and unlikeable and (surprise, surprise!!) is murdered, with all of the remaining characters having a motive for putting this person out of the way. While this movie doesn't move too far away from the template, it rewards the viewer with an intriguing yet fun couple of hours.The performances from all of the actors on board are excellent - yes they are over the top (especially Roddy McDowell's bitchy Rex Brewster and Sylvia Miles's droning Myra Gardener) but that makes them all the more endearing. Maggie Smith is obviously having loads of fun as the hotel proprieter, Daphne Castle, and her scenes with Ustinov have great energy. However Diana Rigg all but steals the film as the "ageing" actress, Arlena Marshall, a prize and completely ostentatious vamp. Ustinov is again on fine form as Poirot and relishes the chance to add his stamp to a character already memorably portrayed on screen by Albert Finney.This film offers a great opportunity to actors out of their normal milieu (the aforementioned Smith and Rigg, as well as the luminous Jane Birkin) and is almost worth watching for that alone. Added to that is a great soundtrack of Cole Porter numbers which indelibly places this movie in the 1930's. While it does deviate from the setting and characters of Christie's source novel, that doesn't detract it from being an superb addition to the canon of Christie films."
"critics" don't know CRAP!
JadeRain | Juneau, AK United States | 10/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The guy who wrote the "official" Amazon review once again proves that the "critics" don't know anything. What does he think he was trying to prove? That he can make a name for himself by bashing the top-notch actors and screenplay? Come on! We all know that the book is better 99% of the time!! That being said, this movie is a CLASSIC, pure and simple. The setting on the beautiful island of Majorica, Spain, is incredible! The villa/resort where the story takes place is magnificent, and the interplay of the actors is just great. Ustinov rules in his portrayal of the famed detective. I have watched and will watch this movie until I die, how do we delete the official bash, uh, I mean review of this film??"