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LOIS CHILES DEADLINES AGATHA CHRISTIE'S 'DEATH ON THE NILE'

Lois Chiles must die for a DEATH ON THE NILE Year: 1978
DEATH ON THE NILE, directed by the underrated John Guillermin, who surprisingly exceeds the often-brilliant MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS auteur, Sidney Lumet, chugging across the ORIENT...

While on the NILE, the opening scenery in England, as a doomed and ridiculously gorgeous Lois Chiles rolls through the landscape of jealous laborers, sets a beautifully shot stage that spreads out to good if subtle eclectic ensemble performances. The only awful acting belongs to Mia Farrow as the spurned lover of Lois's brand new husband, Simon MacCorkindale. Mia speaks each line so loud and, while fitfully angered and borderline crazy, her voice, weighted-down with a noticeably faux British accent, strokes the proverbial cat backwards. Yet she's made up for by the likes of, for starters, David Niven as a... get this... sophisticated, classy, dapper and charming gentleman aiding Poirot...

Lois Chiles on board
Despite being a cliché for Niven, the role flows well along with more purposefully awkward characters like Jack Warden as a questionably progressive German and our personal favorite Alfred Hitchcock Wrong Man from FRENZY, Jon Finch, spouting talking points for Communism while seeming as guilty as one of those begrudged workers in the prologue...

Location shot in Egypt
Despite the grand fun and chemistry among them, not many characters have worthy overall motivation to slay the heiress...

Including millionaire Bette Davis and her tough yet defeated assistant Maggie Smith (as if the sisters got along just-well-enough sans the crippling from WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE) and, best yet, Ustinov's Poirot makes his way affably around the ship of fools with style, wit, charm, and a neat dash of unpredictability for the suspense to infect the others, and not just work for the aspect of the mystery genre...

This one is almost completely character-driven, and what a view: Like its predecessor, the turnout is kind of a letdown but not on as immense a scale. The cinematography gets more and more sublime throughout the Pyramids and especially while coasting down the title location... Also of note is Angela Lansbury, as a mystery writer herself albeit more Harlequin than Christie — her own solo-film mystery, THE MIRROR CRACK'D, two years later as sideline snoop Miss Marples, is the worst of a foursome while ending nicely with EVIL UNDER THE SUN, previously reviewed.
This is a rather hackneyed picture, serving as the DVD and Blu Ray Cover, but here's Peter Ustinov as Poirot
Jack Warden being shown some ram cool idolatry
Introducing the characters in the one full canvas shot by...
I.S. Johar MURDER ON THE NILE juxtaposition: he played Gasim in the greatest motion picture ever, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
Now, isn't this more relaxing and much cooler than the inside of a stinking train?
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