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SECOND PETER USTINOV POIROT MYSTERY 'EVIL UNDER THE SUN'

Title: EVIL UNDER THE SUN Director: Guy Hamilton Year: 1982 Rating: ***1/2

Surprisingly EVIL UNDER THE SUN, the least known and least popular of the Agatha Christie Mystery films featuring Hercule Poirot beginning with MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and sustaining with DEATH ON THE NILE, is the best adaptation simply because there's not a distracting all-star cast and every character is a worthy suspect...

Which doesn't mean it's not a great cast, including Broadway-producing older couple James Mason and Sylvia Miles; polar opposite younger couple Jane Birkin and Nicholas Clay as a mousy rich girl and her playboy husband; a Clifton Webb LAURA-style flamboyantly vengeful writer in Roddy McDowall; and Denis Quilley as a millionaire father of gloomy teen (and the edgiest character) Emily Hone, paired with a gold-digging actress played with fashionably formidable zest by Diana Rigg, who everyone wants dead...

Emily Hone and Roddy McDowall in EVIL UNDER THE SUN

Of course that inevitable murder eventually happens, all within and around a mountaintop hotel run by Maggie Smith on an island where director Guy Hamilton provides an even more lavish backdrop than John Guillerman's NILE since our eyes never stray from the splendid Spanish Balearic locale, putting this British production in a class by itself...

Meanwhile Peter Ustinov's Hercule Poirot perfectly fits within this group of equally eccentric characters that keep the audience... maybe not "on the edge of their seats" since the production has a lightweight TV-movie aura within a cinematic milieu... but seated comfortably nonetheless, funny invested in the outcome.

Opening Credits from EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Roddy McDowall and Maggie Smith in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Nicholas Clay in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Denis Quilley and Diana Rigg in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Maggie Smith and Peter Ustinov in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Nicholas Clay in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Diana Rigg & Emily Hone
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Dennis Quilley
Diana Rigg and Denis Quilley in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Maggie Smith
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Denis Quilley
Peter Ustinov and Colin Blakely in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Peter Ustinov
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Peter Ustinov
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Peter Ustinov
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Peter Ustinov
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Peter Ustinov
Jane Birkin in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Emily Hone in EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Nicholas Clay in EVIL UNDER THE SUN with Jane Birkin
Poster for EVIL UNDER THE SUN
Blur Ray cover for EVIL UNDER THE SUN

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