"Agatha Christie's Poirot" Death on the Nile (TV Episode 2004) Poster

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10/10
A bold, vibrant, classy production.
Sleepin_Dragon14 August 2015
I waited years for this to get made, I always assumed that due to the success of the Ustinov version, this would always follow, quickly. Wrong, it took a good few years, I'm sure budget restraints were the issue. Boy was it worth the wait, it's a stunning production, it's beautifully written, gloriously acted and visually jaw dropping.

Initially I couldn't get over how good the casting was, Emma Griffiths Malin had an almost passionate Latin look to her, JJ Feild was very hunky and perfect for Doyle, then came Linnet Ridgeway, I love Emily Blunt, but she was not right for this role, she didn't fit somehow, that was really my only gripe of the production, and it was only a miner. The rest of the cast was flawless, Frances de la tour, Barbara Flynn, Daisy Donovan etc, and I thought a stunning performance from Zoe Telford.

It had an epic feel to it, but it was never overdone, it stayed remarkably true to the book, although some characters were omitted, sadly no Bowers.

The actual shooting of Simon scene I thought was very well done, you could sense the mood shift when Jacqui enters singing 'love is the sweetest thing,' very well done and directed.

The costumes were incredible, how sad we don't get to see much of Zoe Telford's red costume in the scene when Jacqui rushes in late for dinner, from a distance it looks stunning, she has a red dress and fantastic red head gear, out of interest Francesca Annis wore it in Partners in Crime.

The music is outstanding and helps build tension in the right places, it works really well, the scenery of course is magical, they couldn't fail could they.

The conclusion is hugely satisfying, I love how they did it, so dramatic, exactly as it was written, and the use of flashbacks was brilliant.

All in all a perfect adaptation, as good as Ustinov's. 10/10
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7/10
Colorful episode in which a murder takes place when Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile
ma-cortes13 February 2018
Suspense and intrigue with Hercules Poirot on board a cruise in Egypt . This is is a fine episode , as the flick will appeal to mystery lovers and Agatha Christie-Poirot novels buffs .The set design and costumes are riveting , the tale is magnificently set by that time . Very good chapter in which Poirot investigates the killing of a mysterious person stabbed in his compartment and aboard a luxurious Nile cruise steamer . This whodunit deals with Hercules Poirot (David Suchet) as the Belgian sleuth man in he case of killing a rich heiress honeymooning on a Nile cruise ship , being found murdered, shot through the head . Poirot investigates the travelers and numerous suspects , all the support cast , such as : Linett's financial advisor (David Soul) from the US, her French maid , the Austrian doctor , a wealthy aristocrat , a left wing philosopher , among others . Who is the killer? , can he find the guilty? . Along the way Hercules is helped by Colonel Race (James Fox, Edward Fox's brother) . After the clues have been shown we will get a chance to give the answer with Poirot finding out about the culprit at a twisted finale with outstanding surprises . Then are taken the murders from different viewpoints of everyone aboard which it makes a little bit boring , endless and overlong .

The film is a detective story in which you are the detective . In the picture there is mystery , emotion , a twisted love , suspense and wonderful outdoors just like : the pyramids Keops , Kefren , Micerinos , sphinx Gyze , temples : Karnak , Luxor and the rout of river Nile in the cruise ship . The premise is simple : a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board , can Poirot identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its journey? . As Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, who is also a passenger aboard the cruise, is about to uncover a murder so carefully planned that even he must admit that the murderer has thought of everything .The pace is deliberate , slow and relaxed . And while the dialogue is in English, the film has a deliciously international flavor , with a mix of interesting accents and word pronunciations . Actors's interpretations are wonderful and including sunny outdoors . At the beginning of the film talks about a rich British heiress who is stalked by a former friend, whose boyfriend she had stolen before making him her new husband , this one will be related with the subsequent death .This movie was made and released about 67 years after Agatha Christie's source novel of the same name was first published in 1937 . Filming had to be stopped every day at noon for around two hours because of the high temperatures . Nice acting by the great David Suchet , his acting is similar to Albert Finney (Murder on the Orient Express) and Peter Ustinov : Evil under the sun (Guy Hamilton), Appointment with Death (Michael Winner) and Death on the Nile (Guy Hamilton) . Interpretation of the support actors are first-rate , such as Emma Griffiths , Zoe Telford , JJ Feild , Judy Parfitt , Barbara Flynn Alastair Mackenzie , Frances De la Tour , Daisy Donovan and the ravishing Hollywood actress Emily Blunt and the American TV star David Soul .



Martin Fuhrer' s cinematography is atmospheric and colorful ; being shot at Pinewood Studios and Egypt with nice production design by Michael Pickwoad . The movie gets a lush costume design and magnificent setting and art design. Evocative and suspenseful musical score by Christopher Gunning . This Hercule Poirot episode was efficiently directed by Andy Wilson .The TV movie will appeal to suspense enthusiasts and thriller lovers . There is another famous rendition based on this known novel by Agatha Christie ¨Death on the Nile¨(1978) by Guy Hamilton with Peter Ustinov , George Kennedy , Bette Davis , Lois Chiles , Angela Lansbury , Jane Birkin , Olivia Hussey , John Finch.
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10/10
Vibrant, tense thriller that captures the spirit of Christie
jonescw26 February 2006
Given the wide variety of Agatha Christie adaptations out there, this has to rate somewhere at the top.

While some adaptations (especially some recent adaptations of Marple) seem determined to show 'what a jolly good wheeze' it is to be producing an Agatha Christie - and then proceed to show no respect for her meticulous characterisations and plot lines, this version of Death on the Nile shows a gratifying amount of respect for the book, while retaining the inherent humour of Christie's writing (largely thanks to a wonderful script by Kevin Elyot). The use of music is great - both adding to the tension and building upon the already immaculate period effect of the lavish costumes and breathtaking settings. And the cast are equally spot on - each a vibrant contribution to the whole but none surpassing David Suchet's wonderful Poirot.

If only they were all like this.
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10/10
Love Murder and Betrayal
sexy_pisces_gal1 July 2005
David Suchet returns to the small screen as Agatha Christies, Hercule Poirot, in a dramatically glamorised version of Death On The Nile.

Following her betrayal to her friend Jacqueline De Bellefort (Emma Malin). Linnet Ridgeway Doyle (Emily Blunt) a beautiful young American heiress, and the husband she entranced, honeymoon in Egypt, closely followed by a devastated Jacqueline, hell bent on reclaiming the love she and Linnets new husband Simon (JJ Feild) used to have. When Linnet is found shot dead in her cabin, aboard a luxury cruise liner, there is no shortage of suspects. Her husband who stands to gain her fortune. Jacqueline, for the betrayal Linnet did to her when they were friends. Andrew Pennington, (David Soul) the American trustee who found himself in a spot of bother upon Linnets sudden marriage. And the mysterious passenger whose father was ruined by Linnets fathers irresponsibleness at the stock market.

As the clues begin to unfurl, Poirot discovers that nearly everyone aboard the liner have secrets to hide. Colonel Race (James Fox) replaces Captain Hastings as Poirots crime busting partner. As they close in two more murders the reason behind Linnets murder becomes all the more important to solve. With an all star cast including Alistair McKenzie, Barbara Flynn, Zoe Telford, Daisy Donovan, and Frances De La Tour. Death On The Nile is truly a magical rework. With beautiful scenery and enchanting views over the Pyramids and Deserts, you can enjoy the beauty of Egypt without leaving the country.
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8/10
Worth the wait
seandirector19 February 2005
Death on the Nile, one of Agatha Christie's best Poirot stories, finally gets the David Suchet treatment. And contrary to what others say, it's been worth the wait.

The plot involves Jaqueline de Bellefort's fiancée, Simon Doyle . When he leaves her for the rich, beautiful Linnet Ridgeway, Jackie follows them around wherever they go. Soon, Linnet is murdered on board a boat while honeymooning in Egypt. But Jackie has an alibi. Leave it to Poirot to discover the truth.

The mood for this film is darker than many other episodes of the series, and that is a good thing for this story. The writing is terrific (especially Colonel Race's entrance), and the cast is wonderful (with the exception of Emily Blunt as Linnet Doyle.) It's also refreshing to not have Hastings, Japp, and Miss Lemon in the story, and let Poirot work with someone else (in this case, Colonel Race.) This episode also explores another aspect of Poirot: less the comical side, and more the serious side. You feel truly sorry for him when he mentions to Jackie "all that I have missed in life", referring to love.

Altogether, Death on the Nile has great writing, acting, and costume and set design. And it surpasses the 1978 Peter Ustinov version.
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Better than the Original
sirius_asriel20044 August 2004
I was a little shocked to see this given a bad rating. Death on the Nile is one of the my most favourite books and compared to the original, this version was FAR more dedicated to the book and the the casting was very good.

HOWEVER! I can understand on some accounts that in certain areas it did appear a little dry. But apart from that it was brilliant!

David Suchet plays a very convincing Poirot and is more suited than the late Peter Ustinov, who in my opinion played Poirot as if he were stern and highly sarcastic.

This was VERY enjoyable!
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10/10
Another perfect episode!
tml_pohlak_1328 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Ah, "Death on the Nile". One of my favourite Agatha Christie novels. I did not like the Peter Ustinov version. It took too many liberties with the plot, and Ustinov, despite his great acting abilities, did not look or act like the Poirot from the novel. This version was acted out better, and took fewer liberties with the plot. Of course, it took some liberties, mainly: - making Timothy Allerton gay; his relationship with Rosalie Otterbourne fails at the end - Colonel Race comes onto the ship because he wants to be with his old friend Poirot, not to track down a spy - Richetti is absent, no one filling in his role, and Miss Bowers is absent, Cornelia filling in her role This version is amazing. It makes up for some of the dreary episodes we've had in the past.
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10/10
One of the top 4 best Poirots!!!! Bravo for this Death on the Nile!
mckavitt4 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This ITV version of Death on the Nile is, in my opinion, right up there with Sad Cypress, Taken by the Flood, & Five Little Pigs, each one a masterpiece of televised Agatha Christie fiction, all w David Suchet, the best Poirot on film.

First of all, this is a real film, nothing like a TV movie. As for the Ustinov version w its "star-studded cast", bah, humbug! That version has no heartbeat at all. One couldn't care less about the future of any of its characters, much less their pasts. Here, we have splendid British actors, some of them young & not yet famous, others well-established stars.

In this version of Death on the Nile, the cast couldn't be better: the tragic couple, Emma Malin & JJ Field, as Jacqueline DeBelfort & Simon Doyle, respectively, are fabulous. Emily Blunt is marvelous as the spoiled but not completely hateful American heiress, Linnet Ridgeway.

I will venture an opinion unvoiced thus far, that is, that the lovers' planning of Linnet's murder precedes Simon Doyle's marriage to her. In the very first scene, he bemoans being "broke", but Jackie's reassurance: "I'll think of something, I promise you, my darling, 'll think of something" elicits an immediate smile & revival of his sexual prowess.

This is something, it is true, Poirot could not know, but we do, being witness to this seminal scene. And it turns out to be true. She does indeed think of something! As we see this in the v. next scene when she turns up at Linnet's palatial door w a suggestion that immediately places a v. sexy smiling Simon at Linnet's intimate disposal.

Immediate shift to 3 months later & what has happened? Linnet has become Mrs Simon Doyle! How can we not believe this to be the plan of Jacqueline DeBelfort? As Poirot says: "She has the brains" & Simon Doyle is "the man of action to carry it (her plan) out."

During the genesis of the shift to Egypt, we meet literally all the characters, one after the other, & get a pretty accurate glimpse of who they are... we are vastly amused, but also moved.

It is here that Poirot's entrance is also made... & what an entrance it is! Commented as "... that dwarfish figure mincing down the stairs?" it sets the tone for the ironic or humorous scenes to follow. And a more true to life picture we could not hope for! Every character has a reason for being there... for existing!... from beginning to end.

And all through this film, we get an even fuller picture of who Hercule Poirot is... a fine mind, but an unfulfilled life, lacking love ("Oh, Mademoiselle, how terrible it is, all that I have missed in life" to Jackie for whom love is everything) & one who is constantly buffeted by the willful ways of humanity...

Performances by the rest of the cast are stellar! Nothing less than perfection. Each character is fleshed out, given depth, particularities, tics, overall personality, so that, unlike the prior Ustinov version, we are made to care about every one of them. Even the pathetic, heinous, not always PC characters.

The interactions are so delightful, whether menacing or grotesque at times, that we are caught in Christie's net before we know it.

That Judy Parfitt & Frances De la Tour play absolute but often comic horrors of the female species says something for the Thespian dedication we see at work here. But everyone is rich in character & worth every minute of the time devoted to them.

Of particular note is the fact that the murdered Linnet Doyle elicits little or no sympathy from the other people present, the viewers &, most remarkably, from Poirot himself, from whom the wealthy heiress asked help & was uncharacteristically refused. Simon Doyle's cold-blooded murder is a chilling character study in itself, given what an amiable gent he seems to be... on every other occasion.

The dramatic heart of the film, the murder, is the real climax of it all ~ handled w a suspenseful rhythm rarely surpassed, aided & abetted by the musical score, perfect throughout, though there are others to follow ~ such as the investigation itself, headed by Colonel Race, splendidly portrayed by James Fox.

The brief exchange between him & Poirot: "Well don't be discouraged, Poirot, we'll get to the bottom of this", followed by Poirot's trenchant & hilarious response: "Oh, I know I will" is typical of the film's mood, though dark & ultimately tragic for several of its protagonists.

And, of course, he does. And we are held by every moment of it, by the additional greased-lightning murders, after v. professional interrogations, cabin searches, more private face to face challenges by Poirot ~

The final climax & denouement are superb... w only Jacqueline DeBelfort's absence causing a little scratching of the head. Why on earth, since in all the other Poirots, everyone, including the guilty, is present? Followed by Poirot's also typically crystalline explanation of the crime.

In his private interview w Jacqueline, she denies nothing & even manages to squeeze out a last few drops of compassion, not only from us the viewers, but also from Poirot, which explains his subsequent less than professional action in the ending scene. "Love makes you do many things, Monsieur Poirot" reveals some of the complexity here.

The last glimpse of the lovers dancing in Jacqueline's poor but romantically candle-lit bedroom, before the drama, confirms the love & "life is unfair" themes reiterated throughout the film.

So, speaking for myself, this is a top-notch Poirot episode, a thriller & romance, rarely if ever paralleled in a televised work of fiction & only by the 3 other Poirots, featuring David Suchet, mentioned at the beginning. Especially a whodunit. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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7/10
Very well done adaptation of a complicated and superb book, but I prefer the Peter Ustinov film only marginally
TheLittleSongbird19 January 2010
The book Death on the Nile is long and complicated, but superb all the same, and one of my favourite Christies. The Peter Ustinov film is one of the better outings of his as while it wasn't completely faithful, it boasted a superb cast and it was sumptuous to look at. This adaptation for me is slightly inferior to the Ustinov film, and the only one of two to make me feel that way (the other is Evil Under the Sun). Starting with the pros first, it is breathtaking to look at. The Egyptian scenery and the costume and set designs were top draw, the script captured the style of the book perfectly and the music was excellent. And the acting was great, David Suchet is impeccable as Poirot, and Emma Malin is a superb Jackie, gorgeous and expressive. Frances DeLa Tour gives a first rate performance as Salome Otterborne, the same character that Angela Lansbury overplayed so deliciously in the 1978 film. In fact the only weak performance came from Emily Blunt as Linnette, she looked the part (more than Lois Chiles I'd say) but she wasn't quite bitchy enough. As a matter of fact, neither Blunt or Chiles quite nailed Linnette quite right. And there are slight improvements over the 1978 film too, one is that the pacing is faster, the other is that it is more faithful to the book, the murders are closer to the ones in the book and the ending done in Romeo and Juliet style is closer too. However, there are one or two flaws, namely the direction from Andy Wilson, it wasn't absolutely abysmal, but it wasn't quite as efficient or as suspenseful as it could've been. Also there were times where I felt that I had been told too much too early, and this was a similar problem I had with Murder on the Links. All in all, this is a very good episode. 7.5/10 Bethany Cox
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10/10
Love is the sweetest thing
cjconnoy18 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
*** This review contains spoilers ***

Death on the Nile is my favorite Poirot so far. 10/10.

A desperate love affair, timeless Egypt, and Hercule Poirot.

We see Jacqueline's fateful love for Simon drive her to manifest their perfect life together - they are beyond the world.

It felt so intimate to see Poirot's vulnerability when he admits to Jacqueline that he's missed out on ever knowing true love. It was even better when this was paid off during his interaction with Colonel Race at the end of the story. Great non-verbal acting.

It's easy to end up feeling sorry for Jacqueline and Simon while also blaming them for throwing their lives away. You feel both haunted and grateful to see them happily dancing in the final flashback scene (or maybe they're together forever in the hereafter).

Dialog, acting, costumes, locale, and music - it all comes together in Death on the Nile.
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9/10
loved it
blanche-218 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
One of the best Christie books, "Death on the Nile" has again been made into a TV movie, this time with David Suchet as part of the Poirot series. Previously there was a 1978 version with Peter Ustinov. I'll admit that one was a lot more fun. Ustinov's Poirot was his own creation and fabulous, and that particular film had a fantastic cast including Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, David Niven, Maggie Smith, Mia Farrow, Olivia Hussey, Simon McCorkindale, Jack Warden, David Niven, and George Kennedy. Hello. Talk about star-studded.

A couple of people on this site said the way this particular episode was set up, you knew who the culprit was immediately. Actually I found both versions easy to figure out.

The story concerns a happy couple, Jacqueline de Belfort and Simon Doyle, whose relationship falls apart when Simon meets the wealthy, gorgeous Linnet Ridgeway, Jacqueline's soon-to-be-former friend. In the next scene, Linnet and Simon are married, and they're basically being stalked by Jacqueline, whose life's work is to drive both of them crazy and ruin everything they do.

So it's no surprise when Jacqueline shows up on the couple's honeymoon cruise. Hercule Poirot and his friend, Colonel Race (Edward Fox) are also on the cruise. One night, Jacqueline has a fight with Simon and shoots him. Then Linnet is found dead, though Simon was only shot in the knee and survives. Jacqueline has made no secret of wanting Linnet dead, but she was busy shooting Simon. It's up to Poirot to sort out where everyone was and what everyone heard.

Who killed Linnet? When another passenger is murdered, the situation becomes even more desperate. No dearth of suspects, including Andrew Pennington (David Soul) who has been using his position to mess with Linnet's money. We also have a thief on board, and Linnet's pearls are missing, as well as a blackmailer.

It was mentioned on the reviews here that the actress playing Jacqueline seemed to be playing her as someone who was spiteful, rather than a woman in love. I think the spite/revenge is a good choice, having known a few scorned women in my life and having been one of them myself. One does harden, one does feel betrayed especially if your fiancé takes off with your best friend.

Terrific story, still intriguing, with Suchet in top form, surrounded by a good cast. This is a dark episode. I know some people don't like the Ustinov TV adaptations, but I do. It's worth seeing just how the plot is handled, as well as being delightful.
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6/10
Nice but the 1978 version is much better
johnbol18 May 2005
I have just seen this movie and have the 1978 one on DVD. I do like Suchett as Poirot a lot but this remake can't stand up to the 1978 original. As a film the first one works much better. You just can't help but missing the likes of Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury and Maggie Smith. Not that i think a film needs an all star cast but here they provided us with a lot of good acting and humor. Francis De La Tour seems to do her best as Salome ( Lansbury in the 1978 version) but it's almost as if she does not have the freedom to let herself go. The same goes for the actress who plays the Bette Davis part. There is not as much humor in this version and the characters simply do not seem to come to life. I have only seen 3 full length Poirot TV movies with Suchett but they seem to lack something that IS there in the short Poirot stories he has made for TV. Maybe the makers should have a look at them again to see where they've gone wrong.
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Not bad...
dac8720 September 2004
Warning: Spoilers
This review contains spoilers!

I was so excited when I learned that A&E were airing a new version of Death on the Nile with David Suchet; it is the best of the Poirot novels in my opinion. This movie, while not at all a bad movie, disappoints, especially to fans of the older film. This movie starts out with a passionate love scene between Simon Doyle and Jackie de Bellfort... We learn right away of their financial problems and it seems all too neat when Simon dumps Jackie for the rich beauty, Linnet Doyle. I was rather disappointed in the characterization of Linnet... I simply didn't imagine her as a platinum blonde... Anyways, Jakcie hounds the newly weds during their honeymoon... then, while on the nile, Linnet is shot while sleeping.

I have to admit that this was a good made-for-TV-production, however there are too many give aways to who the murderer was... in the old movie, Jackie and Simon were the last ones we suspected, as they had a cast iron alibi... In this one, one knows right away that they were in it together. Prolonged camera shots on facial expressions, reactions to certain incidents, and the fact that Poirot all but said that the fake shooting scene that gave the murderers their alibi had to have been planned! The one thing that I liked about this production, more than the older one, is the ending, which has a Romeo and Juliet quality to it... After being found out, Jackie and Simon (on a stretcher because of a gun shot on his leg) exit the boat, Jackie kneals down to kiss Simon muttering "I Love yous" and so-forth, when she pulled out a gun and shot him and herself. Poirot admits having known the gun was in Jackie's possession and was almost as if he was finally letting them escape to find peace together... We see their bodies laying on the pavement, and then a flashback to them dancing, happily and lovingly, in Jackie's thread bare flat.
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8/10
Good, but not great
ontheedgeever3 March 2012
First of all, this is an Agatha Christie must. Reading the book is the most effective thing you could do if you really want to take part in the story. Now about the movie, I must say I'm not exactly thrilled about it and here are the positive and negative features.

POSITIVE: the script was well written (with only small flaws), the music was appropriate, the scenery was amazing (I have to say I was even taken away from the story by the wonderful views of Egypt), and there were some wonderful actors in this episode. Suchet is brilliant as always and I really enjoyed seeing the likes of James Fox and Frances de la Tour. I think Emily Blunt/Linett did OK and i loved the acting of JJ Feild as Simon Doyle as he gave the character a certain subtlety and substance unseen before.The ending was truly magnificent: with the departure from the boat and the flashback.There was also a lot of emphasis on Poirot's feelings, and i think this was amazing as we don't usually see this coming from him.

NEGATIVE: I really, really didn't like the actress playing Jacqueline de Bellefort. She seemed way too cold and hard and in my opinion she tried to hard. Never have i felt that she could do what she did out of love, but out of pure sadistic pleasure.I just didn't think she was the Jacqueline Agatha Christie had in mind. Another negative aspect was that, unlike other episodes, it tried to make obvious from the beginning who the culprit was, so as to probably let the viewer to digest the information more easily, without finding it hocus-pocus, but that's the main point of Hercule Poirot' mysteries.

All in all, it was pretty good, that's why I'm giving it an 8. But if you want the real Death on the Nile, then read the book.
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5/10
A little disappointing
joel9344216 November 2004
As another reviewer has pointed out we all know who dies, why, and who kills them. Therefore I won't go into that. I'll only say that I was pretty disappointed in the overall quality of the movie. I found it rather brooding and ponderous. I felt that everyone was trying to create a serious work. Ech. I found the entire production rather oppressive. These are people on holiday yet no one smiles at any time. Where's the old clever and wryly humorous Poirot? I still love this series. The use of the art deco settings and the rather jaded and decadent characters is always a pleasure to watch. The Egyptian scenery is truly breathtaking. My real problem is that I didn't really like or care about any of these characters.
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7/10
Good but not brilliant
Iain-21529 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the few Suchet Poirot's to have some competition as an all star, big budget movie was made of 'Death On The Nile' some years ago with Peter Ustinov. This earlier film was one of the first screen adaptations of a Christie novel I ever saw and I retain a real affection for it. Perhaps its not surprising then that the first time I watched this new version I was really disappointed. I re watched it again very recently and enjoyed it much more.

POSSIBLE SMALL SPOILERS BELOW The style is very different from the earlier movie of course and once you tune into that you can enjoy it in its own right. Suchet is wonderful as always and plays the knowing humour in this version of Poirot very well. There is a generally excellent supporting cast (applause especially for Frances de la Tour, Alistair McKenzie and Daisy Donovan) but (and its a big but) the crucial central trio of Linnet, Jackie and Simon were a big let down for me. We all see things differently of course but I found the performances here quite wooden and unmoving. It was only in the very final flashback scene to happier times in Jackie's flat that I felt anything at all for the lovers.

There were one or two other strange things no doubt due to time constraints - for example, where did the relationship between Tim Allerton and Rosalie Otterbourne come from? Did we ever actually so much as see them together before that deck scene just at the end? It made Rosalie's decision to lie for him quite incomprehensible.

On the whole though, this was pretty good but not as good (in my opinion) as the earlier film which is a much grander affair all round and nails that important central trio right on the head.
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5/10
Doesn't catch fire
notmicro1 March 2005
Its not terrible, but something's wrong with this ambitious production - probably more than one thing - but I can't put my finger on it. They seem to be trying for a number of things that never quite work. Its technically well-done, but seems peculiarly lifeless, and the perfectly competent actors come off in a rather cardboard way. I suspect that it was "filmed" using hi-def digital video, and there's something about this new process that's tricky to get right when the subject is a period-piece, or something moody, because you can get hyper-realism that works against the story. This needs a slightly dreamy, gauzy, stylized quality that isn't there. It reminds me of Marlene Dietrich's comment about the transition from black-and-white to color film, that "the mystery is gone".
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Death on the Nile = Fun on the Television
El Cine22 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Give these 2004 filmmakers credit. The 1978 version released to theaters, coming on the heels of the acclaimed 1974 feature film, is perhaps second to its predecessor in familiarity to the public for Hercule Poirot movies. With the film's fancy location shooting, another all-star guest cast, and the first of Peter Ustinov's portly performances as Poirot, some viewers might not have been interested in a remake.

But this is a David Suchet series remake we're talking about -- and besides, the Ustinov version wasn't that good anyway. Actually, it was good for camp more than anything. You had (1) tacky violence (a stabbing from the book replaced with an on-screen throat-cutting); (2) Mia Farrow playing a woman whose jerk lover spurns her for another young woman, a role she'd play later in real life; (3) a cartoonish Egyptian official who is inexplicably mentioned as a suspect at the climax; and (4) the repeated device of Poirot magically appearing in scenes of private conversations, having eavesdropped on them. As I remember it, my favorite was when some suspects are talking secretively in the lounge, and Poirot suddenly pops up from behind the bar and makes a catty remark -- evidently he just happened to be inspecting the cleaning supplies under the counter or something when the characters walked in. But nothing beat (5) the Egyptian band whose stringed instruments somehow correspond to the brass on the audio.

So we are fortunate that this Suchet version was made, and done so with high quality; it is one of A&E's better Poirot offerings. As usual, readers can consider the mystery and the neat floorplan of the boat more leisurely than filmviewers, especially with the running time kept to 97 minutes and a fast treatment of clues. But while I haven't read the text in years, I think this Suchet movie presents one of Agatha Christie's most famous and clever mysteries in an appealing way that is mostly respectful of the story.

It doesn't take as many cheap paths as some episodes, though it does get tacky with a voyeuristic opening scene peering into Simon and Jacqueline's bedroom, and Dr. Bessner's bawdy talk about Egyptian gods. Salome Otterbourne's saltiness is accurate to the book, though.

But there's quality in the impressive photography and location shooting, quite glamorous for a TV movie or series. Good use of artistic flashbacks, too. Series veteran Christopher Gunning composed the music; unfortunately like in other recent episodes it's mostly mellow and there's a mysterious lack of the old signature saxophone theme. In one misstep, the flashback to a stabbing occurs with the shrieking strings from "Psycho" in the background. Elsewhere, the period jazz tunes were a nice touch.

The show maintains some humor, too -- such as Suchet dancing! The humor comes across well thanks to the able acting. Since it mostly consisted of young actors I'm not familiar with, lesser-known veterans, and the star of the 1970s show "Starsky and Hutch", I initially wasn't sure what to expect of the cast. What a great surprise then about how uniformly good everyone was.

The casting and strong characterization of Tim Allerton was a delight. Daniel Lapaine's Tim is a mustachioed, messy-haired, pudgy twit whose mama's boy habits and occasional monacle-and-scarf getup make the contrast of his thievery gig all the more amusing and silly. How strange, then, that screenwriter Kevin Elyot changes his decision in the book to marry Rosalie Otterbourne, in one of Elyot's few major divergences from the original. Elyot has Tim show no interest in her after she kisses him, and he runs away to his mother. Too bad, since their union in the book was a poignant subplot.

Ferguson's role has expanded, and Alastair Mackenzie expertly makes him both charming and offensive. At the end, I found myself hoping he'd mend his ways and find some future happiness. Daisy Donovan hits the right note as the awkward but kind Cornelia Robson, as do David Soul as the gruff, goateed, and golf-obsessed lawyer Andrew Pennington and Frances de la Tour as the loopy Salome (interestingly, she reminded me of Diana Rigg).

Emma Malin is just like how I pictured Jacqueline De Bellefort while reading, except I thought Jackie was an American Southerner in the book. Here, she's played as a Brit. Having a Southern-accented character would have been appealing, and a rare opportunity for the series.

After I saw this show I learned that Mrs. Van Schuyler was played by Judy Parfitt, whom I saw in some Avengers episodes and in an intense performance as the icy Vera Donavan in "Dolores Claiborne". As in those shows, Parfitt does well here.

As Colonel Race, James Fox doesn't have much to do, but he does it well, e.g. his facial expressions of mock sympathy when he tries to act diplomatically with Van Schuyler and her haughty complaints about the ruining of a scarf that some Count gave her. His entrance, in which he dismounts from a camel and whips off his riding robe to reveal a prim double-breasted suit, is classic.

This version has an interesting interpretation of Rosalie emphasizing her hardness, which wasn't so in the book I think and not in Olivia Hussey's shy rose portrayal in 1978. Also, whereas Maggie Smith played a masculine Nurse Bowers in that one, here Rosalie is the butch one.

More flawed was the way Bessner was written. His Teutonic mustache and shaved head were unique, but he was unusually peevish (especially with Race, whom he twice confronts nose-to-nose) and also lecherous. His marriage to Cornelia comes out of nowhere, but so it was in the book too.
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7/10
It plays better 10 years later
johnasinb21 May 2017
I first bought this DVD when it came out. I thought so little of it at the time that I sold my copy. While the plot was fine, the British actress' American accents were not quite convincing. In the interim, I have been reading the Christie cannon in order from the publishing date and David Suchet has completed all of the possible Poirots. After reading a book, it is nice to compare it to the movie. The script writing stayed very close to Christie's work. Three of the characters got subsumed into others or dropped completely making it able to follow the characters presented in the show. What I did not like was the changing of the ending for two characters who ended up engaged in the book. It did not seem necessary.

The accents did not change in the subsequent years, but I deemed them better than some I have recently seen and am thus less of a snob.
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Good every time!
DesperateHouseHusband30 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I Love Death On The Nile! I have read the book loads of times and I still love it. The David Suchet version is very glamorous and exotic and this is what i love about it. All the characters have there own personal stories and likings about them. The setting is beautiful and so are the characters. Emily Blunt is fabulous as Linner Doyle and so is the actress who plays Jaqueline De Bellefort. Every time I watch it, I always forget who the killer is, that is how effective it is! And the twist at the end! WOW! I never see that coming even though i watch it all the time! The book is great as well and the film is very true to the book which is a good thing! I definitely recommend this to anyone who likes Poirot!
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7/10
stop the barfing, it's OK
sludgehound19 September 2004
Try to be a tie breaker here. Fans of the genre and esp Suchet will be pleased enough. Has clothing style, crisp coldish dialogue. . Love that upper crust Brit cutting manner.

Certainly worth a viewing for those who get it. If you aren't into this type of theater structure, well then avoid what's going on. At least the critical reviewers and fans gave honest opinions.

Has to see for myself. A definite 7 just for the look and feel. But know that my tastes are quite wide. From Bad Santa thru Panic Room to Lawrence of Arabia.

As long as I can get a sense the film's players are into the story for sake of audience then I'm there. This one delivers enough.
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The Boat
tedg21 August 2006
This is one of Christie's most popular mysteries because it works with the "impossible murder." Its also an exotic way to manage the remote country house idea, where you know exactly how many suspects there are and can map their movements within the structure.

If you aren't unhappy with the others in the Suchet series, you won't be unhappy with this. Generally, they've settled the stories into a simple BBC model, with the answer revealed at the end instead of displayed as a puzzle.

This one is worse in that regard, because this story is more of a puzzle than the others. And they go much further in telling you who the villains are even before the story itself begins.

But what'll be interesting to students of film is the way the space is used. Despite the flaws of the 1978 version, it understood that the structure of the space is a part of the puzzle. People coming and going, being seen, being heard. This version and that use the very same boat, but the difference in how things are photographed is radically different.

Its partly a matter of cost. The TeeVee budget could pay for location shots, but when they use the boat, they have to work with the physical limits of where they can put the camera. The 78 version made a studio copy of much of the boat. It had a real cinematographer — we're talking "Red Shoes" and African Queen" — and knew something about how space constrains emotional vision.

So quite apart from whatever problems you might have with BBC handle of an entire genre, and Suchet's sensibilities, there's this business about space that just might drive you crazy if you know how well it can be done.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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5/10
"Do not open your heart to evil, mademoiselle. If you do there will be no turning back."
bensonmum224 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Pithy plot summary: It's Agatha Christie, which means that someone is murdered in an elaborate manner and it's up to Poirot to find the killer. Oh, and it takes place on a boat on the Nile.

As hard as I try, every time I watch the 2004 version of Death on the Nile, I can't do it without comparing it to the 1978 version. It's impossible. And the newer film, in my opinion, doesn't measure-up. While there are a number of things I could write about, there are two main areas where the newer Death on the Nile pales in comparison.

Acting – with two exceptions, the actors in this film are not the world-class actors in the 1978 movie. Don't get me wrong, the actors here are fine – there aren't any poor performances. But they're not Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith, David Niven, or Jane Birkin. The two exceptions I mentioned are David Suchet and David Soul. As much as I like the 1978 movie, Peter Ustinov never really feels like Poirot. And, as much as I love George Kennedy, Soul is a better fit in the role.

Tone – the newer film has a much darker, brooding feel to it that the earlier movie. As a result the newer movie's just not as much fun or enjoyable. This really hurts the 2004 production. The 1978 movie actually has quite a bit of comedy in it, but not enough to take away from the serious nature of the subject matter. Even other episode in the Agatha Christie's Poirot series have a lighter touch to them that would have worked much better here.

That's not to say it's a bad movie, there's really a lot here to like. I've already mentioned the two Davids – Suchet and Soul. There's also some incredibly beautiful cinematography, nice costuming, and interesting locations. It's also as faithful to the significant plot points found in Christie's book as the earlier movie. On the whole, the good and bad just about negate each other and I rate it a 5/10.
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9/10
Christie's darkest Poirot mystery
SimonJack9 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"Death on the Nile" may be the darkest of the many Hercule Poirot mysteries by Agatha Christie. Although it was one of her early stories about Poirot (published in 1937), it was made into a film late in the series. The significance of that for film fans is that there are some changes in what one had come to expect in the Poirot mystery movies.

The first big change is the absence of Poirot's usual associates. Captain Hastings, Miss Lemon and Chief Inspector Japp are now absent. And, they won't reappear until near the end of the series. Yet, Poirot is never all alone because there's almost always one or more other characters whom he has known and befriended in the past. One such acquaintance appears in a number of the remaining stories - Ariadne Oliver. Zoe Wanamaker plays the woman who is a mystery writer and usually helps Poirot in some way in half a dozen films. In this film, Poirot's acquaintance is Colonel Race, played by James Fox.

The second noticeable change is in Poirot himself, especially his mustache. Instead of the short, turned up mustache that fits neatly above his mouth, he now sports a straight mustache that tapers to points beyond his mouth. This more closely resembles the description that Christie gives of him early on - with a larger mustache. A third change that Christie and Poirot film buffs will notice with this mystery, is its lack of any humor - even light-hearted moments. One suspects that is due partly to the lack of Poirot's usual company, with whom he is more comfortable and at ease, and partly due to the unusually dark nature of this story.

One doesn't know to expect such a darkness at the start of this film. But it's just part of this story and the characters and crimes. With two killers, three murders and a suicide, it is very grim to the very end. I wrote this review with spoilers to include some of this and to point out some very clear clues that one can spot early on. Some critics have complained that Christie withholds clues or evidence from readers, but in this film version of her story, we have two early clues that should lead one to suspect Jacqueline De Bellefort

. In the opening bedroom scene with her lover, Simon Doyle, she says she will think of something so that they will be able to marry and have a good life. Then, when she is with Poirot in the garden veranda outside the hotel dining room, she drops her purse and a small pistol falls out. She tells Poirot that she knows how to use it - that her father taught her to shoot. And, she said she's a very good shot.

So, when she later supposedly shoots Simon at close range aboard the cruise boat, he appears to be shot in the leg. Tipsy or not, someone who was a good shot and angry enough to shoot someone, should be able to hit them in a more critical spot on their body. What's particularly interesting is that Poirot never seems to suspect her at all - or remember how handy she said she was with a gun. But Poirot also seemed to be taken in by Jacqueline, feeling empathy for her, and counseling her to bear up and get over her anger at the loss of her fiancé to her former best friend.

This seemed too much out of character for Poirot. But it is testimony to the convincing portrayal by Emma Malin in the role, and to Christie for the ingenious plot.

Here are two poignant lines that reflect the dark nature of this film.

Joanna Southwood, "Isn't it awful when one's friends fall on hard times? One simply has to drop them."

Jacqueline De Bellefort, "It's so dreadfully easy killing people, Monsieur Poirot. You begin to feel that it doesn't matter."
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10/10
What an absolute treat!
s_e_kimberley16 May 2019
This is a wonderful episode; more cinematic than most. The scenery, the music, the costumes and sets, and of course the acting, are all wonderful. Feels like a little holiday every time I watch it.
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