Christie’s tale of love cheats, fabulous getaways and murder returns to the screens. When Hercule Poirot (played by Peter Ustinov) is given the job of investigating why a diamond belonging to a millionaire Sir Horace Blatt (Colin Blakely) is faked, he didn’t expect to travel to far for answers. However on meeting with Blatt, he is charged with speaking directly to the culprit. One Arlena Stuart Marshall (Dame Diana Rigg) his former lover and now on an island escape. The problem for Poirot is that Arlena is avoiding the conversation and the others on the island all have something to share instead about her. Daphne Castle (Dame Maggie Smith) is in love with another’s husband, Kenneth Marshall (Denis Quilley) is watching his wife Arlena engage in an affair with Patrick Redfern. Odell and Myra Gardener (James Mason and Sylvia Miles) are were nearly bankrupted by her leaving their play early and finally her biographer Rex Brewster (Roddy McDowell) has just had his work turned down by her, because it exposed her past and maybe even her future fate…
After the mess that was The Mirror Crack’d I was concerned. You see I have seen the ITV version that are all very good, well made films that balance the novels darker tones with a little rye humour. The failure of the previous translation lead me to fear that this would bomb. However I should not have been so judgemental. Evil under the sun is a very different beast. Wonderfully written by Anthony Schaffer with an eye for the cat fights, repressed sexuality and tension the narrative needed to get its punch in. It is also superbly performed with key personnel such as Rigg, Smith and Ustinov on fine form. It also has great side players that add texture and allow for the piece to come alive so to speak. McDowell is excellent and gives a weak man a voice. Mason could have sat in a chair and been mesmerizing. Then Guy Hamilton, he really pieces this altogether with solid work in directing. No overstep just a measured toned and clean eye for narration. In a word this is exceptional.
The extras are wonderful. The high light is the making of.
- Making Of Interview with costume designer Anthony Powell
- Interview with writer Barry Sandler
- Interview with producer Richard Goodwin
- Behind the scenes stills gallery
- Costume designs stills gallery