In a classic 1930s country house francesca annis & james warwick portray another delightful crime solving couple created by agatha christie. Amateur sleuths bobby jones & lady frankie derwent his aristocratic childhood fri... more »end solve a tale of murder suspense & fake identities. Studio: Acorn Media Release Date: 04/08/2003 Starring: Francesca Annis Sir John Gielgud Run time: 188 minutes« less
Three hours of twists and turns in a Christie whodunnit
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 08/13/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"In 1981 London Weekend Television presented a three hour adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel WHY DIDN'T THEY ASK EVANS? (starring two actors who would go on to play Tommy and Tuppence in another series of Christie mysteries) James Warwick and Francesca (DUNE) Annis. In this adventure the two play amateur sleuths Bobby Jones and Lady Frankie Derwent in a 1920s murder investigation caper. The story opens with Jones tackling a game of golf on the Welsh coast. Playing his ball onto the edge of a cliff he comes across the body of a man lying on the rocks below and his companion (the local doctor) goes to fetch help (seems a little backwards, but no matter). Regaining consciousness briefly the man utters the cryptic words `Why didn't the ask Evans?' and then passes away. Jones finds a copy of a ladies picture in the man's pocket - a woman he feels an obvious attraction towards. Passing on the role of watcher over the dead body to a passing man so he can keep an appointment, Jones takes of without thinking anything of it but that it was a tragic accident. However his suspicions are raised when the man's body is identified by means of the police tracing the girl depicted on the photograph they find on his body. However, this girls photograph is of a different person than that which he discovered. What follows is an intriguing and well acted made-for-television feature. I did not notice any particular problems with the picture as was noted in other reviews, but the sound level did fade in and out and was at times distracting. This is not the best DVD transfer I have seen, but it also is far from the worst either. Overall this comes recommended for Christie fans, not the best of her stories, but certainly one with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very end."
Top notch Agatha Christie mystery thriller.
D. R. Schryer | Poquoson, VA United States | 05/06/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why Didn't They Ask Evan's? is a terrific Agatha Christie mystery story (based on Christie's novel The Boomerang Clue) made into a terrific mystery movie. The plot, though a bit convoluted, is well developed and the excellent cast carries it out superbly. Although this is not one of Agatha Christie's biggest hits, it definitely is one of her best stories and as fine a Christie-based movie as I've ever seen. Now that it's available on DVD I hope it will achieve the recognition it amply deserves. Highly recommended."
Is there really an Evans?
bernie | Arlington, Texas | 11/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bobby Jones (James Warwick) is pitifully attempting to play golf on ground above the cliff to the sea. He would most assuredly hit someone if the ball just gets that far. He hears a cry but just plays on. That is until the search for the ball takes him to the edge of the cliff where it appears that a hiker fell on the rocks below. Bobby rushes to the aid of the fallen man. The fallen man come conscious just long enough to say "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" then expires.
From here characters pour in from all sides and you need to keep a score card and there are several doctors and mysteriously guilty looking people. You may guess some of the story but not all as they hold back most of clues until the last moment.
Once again Britton has excelled in bringing a great Agatha Christie story to life. They did not try to overstate or rush through the story. Also true to Christies writing they left in the characters instead of trying to homogenize them into fewer numbers for TV's sake.
We recognize the actors for other such stories:
James Warwick who trained at the Central School in London also played Tommy in Agatha Christie's "Partners in Crime" series. Francesca Annis was Tuppence in the "Partners in Crime" series. But where I remember her most as Lady Jessica in "Dune" (1984). Sir John Gielgud, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic arts in London played Hamlet on the stage. The big surprise is the late Joan Hickson who made her stage debut in prudential theater in 1927 and played the best Miss Marple in the Agatha Christie series of movies. You may not recognize her but she was also the landlady in "The Man Who Never Was" (1956) "
A Fun Mystery Movie
kakcent | Cold Spring, KY USA | 07/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"And why indeed didn't they? While this long, made for T.V. movie could have been much shorter if they simply had asked Evans, it would not have been nearly as enjoyable. The script, adapted from an Agatha Christie novel of the same name, mimics the pace and rythem of the original quite well. While the quality of acting was good, the picture quality of the DVD was grainy and the sound faded in and out at times. The attempts at action and/or suspense via fights or late night escapades also did not come off very well partially due to the bad picture quality. These scenes did not in any real way hinder the movie since the real fun is trying to solve the mystery before Bobby and Frankie do. (If you find out who Evans is before they do, my hat is off to you!) The last scene with the villain is a clumsy and implausable plot device (how many times is Frankie going to fall for the same ruse?) to the viewer to get a detailed description of the plot from the villain himself but if you like mysteries in the Agatha Christie style, then you will enjoy this movie."
James, Francesca, and Agatha Christie have done it again!!
Gavin Prynee | Powder Springs, GA, USA | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Playing badly at golf witht the local doctor, starry-eyed Bobby Jones (James Warwick)discovers a body on the rocks below them. Before he dies, the man quietly says "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" Bobby passes the job of waiting for the doctor and some men to carry the dead one back into town to a passerby so that he can play the piano for his father's sermons.
While helping out a friend with a stuttering problem and love of 1920 cars, Bobby meets up with old friend, and secret love interest, Lady Francis "Frankie" Derwent (Francesca Annis). When both join the trial to see if the dead man's death was accidental or not, Bobby points out that a picture isn't the one he saw in the dead man's pocket. Thus, the adventure of a lifetime begins for the three friends (Bobby, Frankie, and Bobby's friend)as they meet up with a crazy doctor, a dashing young man that sweeps Frankie off her feet, a drug addict and his nervous wife, and the doctor's equally crazy wife.
Agatha Christie's made for TV movie is a wonderful adaptation of the book. What I mostly like about it is that you never get bored and it makes you keep guessing right up until the last scene of the movie (which is really a surprise no one would've guessed). James and Francesca have the most interesting and real chemistry I've ever seen. I've seen them in Tommy and Tuppence some years ago, and I feel in love with the characters as well as the actors protraying them. A perfect example is when both are tyed up by the "murderer" in a locked room and Bobby's friend saves them, Bobby becomes upset that Frankie has feelings for another man, but Frankie says "But, Bobby. I did miss you and I do care for you." And the way they look at each other...it's magical. I couldn't even tell if they were acting sometimes.
My favorite short scene in the movie is when Frankie and Bobby, when trying to save someone and have little time to do it, fly to Frankie's estate and borrow her father's car. It's funny because you just see the father and than Frankie and Bobby run by with Franie screaming, "Hi dad. Bye dad. Can't talk now, going to borrow the car."
Anyway, "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" is a wonderful film to me becasue of an interesting story with fake ID's and many twists and turns, thanks to Dame Agatha Christie, and the leads played by James Warwick and Fransesca Annis who play Bobby and Frankie, as well as Tommy and Tuppence, picture perfect. This is a good film to watch if you love Britsh movies or a huge Agatha Christie fan."