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Evil Under The Sun

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VHS | SP | Slipcase
108 mins (NTSC)
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Evil Under The Sun (1982)

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Additional Information
Evil is Everywhere. Even in Paradise.

Holidays can be murder.

While vacationing in the Greek Isles, famous detective Hercule Poirot spotted a beautiful woman on the beach. Realizing that she was dead, he did not ask her out to dinner.

Peter Ustinov makes his second appearance as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in this adaptation of the popular Agatha Christie mystery. When noted stage star Arlena Marshall (Diana Rigg) is found murdered while visiting a posh island resort, Poirot is called upon to find the culprit, but given Marshall's shrewish personality and propensity for making enemies, the question isn't "Who wanted to see her dead?" but "Who didn't?" The suspects include Rex Brewster (Roddy McDowall), a writer penning a biography of Arlena that the actress tried to stop; Odell and Myra Gardener (James Mason and Sylvia Miles), theatrical producers who were financially shafted when Arlena refused to appear in a show; Arlena's husband, Kenneth (Denis Quilley); Kenneth's lover, Daphne (Maggie Smith); Patrick Redfern (Nicholas Clay), who was having an affair with Arlena; and Christine (Jane Birkin), Nicholas' wife. Ustinov would play Poirot again three years later in the made-for-TV feature Thirteen at Dinner.

The screenplay was written by Anthony Shaffer (who had worked on previous Christie films) and an uncredited Barry Sandler. The adaptation stayed fairly close within the plotlines of Christie's work, but truncated scenes for time constraints, removed minor characters and added certain humorous elements that were not present in the novel. Additionally, the novel is set in Devon, but the film is set on an Adriatic island in the fictional kingdom of "Tyrania" (based on Albania). The character lineup is also slightly different. Whereas the characters of Rosamund Darnley and Mrs. Castle are merged, the characters of Major Barry and Reverend Stephen Lane are omitted, and the female character of Emily Brewster is now a man named Rex Brewster, played by Roddy McDowall.
Ustinov was making his second film appearance as Hercule Poirot, having previously played the Belgian detective in Death on the Nile (1978), with Maggie Smith and Jane Birkin in that cast as well. Denis Quilley and Colin Blakely had appeared in the earlier Brabourne-produced Murder on the Orient Express, with Albert Finney in the starring role. Guy Hamilton had previously directed another Agatha Christie story, The Mirror Crack'd, in 1980.

Release Date: March 5, 1982

Distrib: Universal

Boxoffice: $6,110,000 2013: $16,501,200

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