Murder novelist Agatha Christie has sold over 2 billion books worldwide and made household names of characters such as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. The AGATHA CHRISTIE MYSTERIES COLLECTION features three gripping film a... more »daptations of favorite Agatha Christie tales. In DEATH ON THE NILE, Poirot (Peter Ustinov) investigates a murder on board a cruise ship sailing down the Nile. Poirot travels to a posh island resort in EVIL UNDER THE SUN, where he discovers that murder never takes a holiday. And in THE MIRROR CRACK'D, even Hollywood actors find it hard to hide their crimes from amateur sleuth Miss Marple (Angela Lansbury). Loaded with classic movie legends such as Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Kim Novak and more, the Agatha Christie Mysteries Collection offers hours of thrilling fun for the entire family!« less
"As of this writing, there isn't any indication as to what three movies are packaged together as "Agatha Christie's Mysteries Collection." While it isn't much of a mystery, let's solve it, anyway. Per the packaging I saw for the item, these are the three films: Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot in 1978's "Death on the Nile" and its 1982 follow-up, "Evil Under the Sun;" and Angela Lansbury in her only outing as Miss Marple in 1980's "The Mirror Crack'd."
It makes logical sense to consider these three movies as a trilogy, since the producers essentially released them as such. Of the three, the big budget "Death on the Nile" still holds up as a terrific Egyptian whodunnit with all-star cast members including David Niven, Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, Jack Warden, Mia Farrow, and Angela Lansbury at her most vampish. To his credit, Ustinov nimbly glides his way through the film as a most formidable Poirot with a comic touch unlike his predecessor, Albert Finney, in the superior "Murder on the Orient Express," which would have been a wonderful added attraction here (if not for the fact that a different studio owns it).
Four years later, Peter Ustinov then moves on to the Mediterranean in "Evil Under the Sun," which also stars Diana Rigg, Roddy McDowall, Maggie Smith (in a different role), among others, in a leisurely paced murder mystery at an exotic resort. The film and its Cole Porter musical score have aged fairly well on their own merits, but the movie, which indulges more than its share of dragging moments, has been surpassed by David Suchet's subsequent, more faithful adaptation.
Lastly, "The Mirror Crack'd" at least foreshadows why Angela Lansbury would later deftly fit the role of Jessica Fletcher in the "Murder, She Wrote," television series four years later. The film also stars Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, Elizabeth Taylor, among others, including a briefly seen Pierce Brosnan, in a plot involving a murder attempt on a high-strung actress at a lavish party. Overall, the movie isn't bad (boring might be a better word), but it stands up better if you are more interested in star watching, particularly if you are an Elizabeth Taylor fan.
Overall, our grade is the following:
"Death on the Nile": A- "Evil Under the Sun": B- "The Mirror Crack'd": C The Whole Package: B."
Evil Under the Sun
Fran Behnke | Taylorsville, Utah, USA | 09/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed the story line and the humor in this movie. Peter Ustinov's character of Hercule Poirot is so entertaining to watch and I loved Maggie Smith as well. It is one of those movies that I could watch many times (and have done so)."
5 Stars For *Death On The Nile* And *Evil Under The Sun*
Alex Honda | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The AGATHA CHRISTIE'S MYSTERY COLLECTION: DEATH ON THE NILE/ THE MIRROR CRACK'D/ EVIL UNDER THE SUN three DVD set is a good buy.
I remember seeing "Death On The Nile" on television on "the late show" when I was a kid and I really loved it so that brought me here to Amazon and this set.
Since "Death..." was the only one I saw the other two were a treat. If you haven't seen any of these Agatha Christie movies they're pretty cool. Each feature has a star studded cast and takes place in exotic locales, with many of the characters British and very memorable.
The plots are basically the same where one character is a despicable person and everyone has good reason to want that character dead. Naturally they end up dead and it's up to Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) to figure out which person out of the group is the actual killer.
Anyway, both "Death On The Nile" and "Evil Under The Sun" push this set into the 5-star category.
"The Mirror Crack'd" was OK and Kim Novak was hilarious as "Lola Brewster," Elizabeth Taylor's character's nemesis, and though the setting was a quaint English town and it was charming, Angela Lansbury as Jane Marple seemed only to be in the background helping her nephew solve the case. Although it's not bad it's not on the same level as the other two.
The picture quality on all three movies is pretty good and have been formatted for widescreen, so it looks great on widescreen televisions. There are some special features on "Death..." and "Evil..." which are as follows:
***** EVIL UNDER THE SUN SPECIALS *****
"THE MAKING OF EVIL..."--about 16-minutes Cool behind-the-scenes of the movie, reminds me of those old fashioned newsreels, where the director and the cast including Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, and Diana Rigg among others discuss the film and their respective characters. The featurette is a little foggy, but viewable, and was filmed back then.
TALENT BIOS--text info on the actors.
***** DEATH ON THE NILE ******
"THE MAKING OF DEATH..."--about 24-minutes Behind-the-scenes where producer John Brabourne discusses the movie and the production designer talks about the ship that had to be built as well as filming on the actual Nile River in Egypt. Actors Peter Ustinov, David Niven, and Jon Finch talk about their roles and actor George Kennedy talks about working with Bette Davis. Again, the footage is a little foggy and I wish this featurette were longer and had more information about filming in the other locations throughout Egypt, especially the famous ones, because those were really spectacular in the movie. The featurette was filmed back then.
INTERVIEW WITH PETER USTINOV--8:46-minutes--Spanish with English Sub-titles (or no sub-titles option). Ustinov is interviewed for Spanish TV and he speaks fluent Spanish! I believe this interview was done for the London Premiere of "Death..."
INTERVIEW WITH JANE BIRKIN--4:28-minutes--English with some Spanish. Taken at the same time and place as the Ustinov interview with the same reporter, Birkin is teased for carrying a "pig basket" as a purse, which is ironic because she is now the designer for the very expensive Birkin Bag (made famous on HBO's "Sex & The City"), and he asks her about her role in the movie and her singing career with Serge Gainsbourg (Jane Birkin et Serge Gainsbourg).
Even though I know how the mystery ends, I'll still watch these flicks over and over again because the cast, especially Ustinov, is great and the locations are just beautiful. If you like whodunits this set is a definite for your collection! "
Death =5 / Evil = 5 / Crack'd = waste of space
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 07/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good adaptation from the book. After watching "Evil under the Sun" ASIN: B000059LGF and "Appointment with Death" ASIN: 0790741318 you naturally think of Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. The whole movie is packed with great actors, yet even thought you recognize them they do not distract from the characters that they play.
I thought that it was a nice touch when the kids along the shore mooned Mrs. Van Schuyler (Bette Davis) as kids would do everywhere.
Simon (Simon MacCorkindale) and his new bride Linnet (Lois Chiles) are being perused by Jacqueline De Bellefort (Mia Farrow) the girl he jilted. Once onboard a boat down the Nile bodies are dropping like flies. Everyone is a suspect. Everybody could have done it. And yet nobody could have done it. Only Hercule Poirot can figure this out. Naturally Hercule Poirot is in the right place at the right time to hear everything and extract the truth.
[Evil] Hercule Poirot shows proper swimming techniques Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot is challenged to locate a missing jewel. To do this he must go to a small island. Guess who has a tendency to get seasick? He requests his fee in guineas (a guinea is equivalent of 21 shillings.)
Naturally someone/s is unexplainably dispatched. Of course the island is loaded with the usual suspects. Everyone has a motive and an alibi. By this time you have completely forgotten how the movie started. Speaking about the movie, they pulled out all the stops with expensive locations, costumes, and actors. And Cole Porter tossed in for ambiance. There was even an appearance of Roddy McDowall who played Alan "Mollymauk" Musgrave in "Lord Love A Duck" ASIN: 6304237707
[Crak'd] The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side, The later version of this movie, based on a novel, Christie, "Agatha. Mirror Crack'd, The", the film Miss Marple: The Mirror Crack'd From Side to Side (1992) (TV) (UK: series title) ASIN: 6303111580. Stays true to form. Joan Hickson is Miss Marple. Agatha Christie always considered her as the ideal Miss Marple; she shows this through her reserve savvy. Jane takes an interactive interest in the mystery and yet each character as part of the discovery, stands on their own. The ending of the story is as is in life, it is appropriate for the situation and not black and white judgmental.
This version of this movie "The Mirror Crack'd (1980) ASIN: 6302990149" was made with a lot of glitzy characters. Some of them were quite good such as Rock Hudson (Jason Rudd). Others were distracting as they let their real personalities overwhelm the characters. One of the worst was Angela Lansbury's portrayal of Miss Jane Marple; she was much too cutesy. Jane has this way of looking at you like she knows something.
This film was to Americanize (black and white, judgmental.) and half the characters were combined for brevity.
A slew of sleuths!
Robert | Fresno, Ca. | 05/12/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not going to read any of the reviews to this product as I write this review because I want to be honest without being annoyed or furious at other reviews. This is a magnificent box set, make no mistakes. For three tales involved in murder they are also quiet walks into decision, fact finding, and who done it hunting. The back drops are anything from a royal blue boat, quaint cottages, or a sunny beach resort. All three, to me, are of the same quality, none exactly the same. Peter Ustinov in two tales, Angela in one, none better than the other. All three rely alot on an angle of comedy, and over acting by the major cast, and even supporting cast. I am glad Albert Finney was not included as Peter is the prime detective incarnate. Angela is not to be compared to any other Miss Marple ever done before. This is strictly Angela's interpretation of the role, and once you get by that, you can totally accept it. Everyone looks like they are having fun doing these roles no matter how exasperated the role demands them to be. There is still a long way to go with classic movies being released on dvd formats or dvd sets, but this is one for the books. This is a very good box set, there is no clunker. And at least they provide these fabulous films in the entire form. Something you will not get if you intend to watch these on cable channels with commercials. Edited versions always bother me, especially when involving who done its. Like Miss Marple clearly states, "Solving a mystery is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You can't see the whole picture unless you have all the pieces." This set has all the pieces, and a good excercise in putting together a jigsaw puzzle, of mystery."