Agatha Christie is my guilty pleasure, particularly at Christmas. I have to be honest and say that although I consider myself to be a voracious reader, I have never actually read an Agatha Christie book, but I did read a book about the writer’s own mysterious disappearance in 1926, and I positively lap up any TV adaptations, including The ABC murders that was on BBC One over Christmas. But what I really love are the big budget movie adaptations from the 1970s and 1980s, when Hollywood got its hands on the books, threw lots of money and superstars at them, and made glorious, frothy and glamorous versions. All these words most definitely apply to ‘Death on the Nile’ which I enjoyed on New Years Eve.
Death on the Nile is a film from 1978 with an all star cast including Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, Bette Davis, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith, George Kennedy and David Niven, amongst many others. Lois Chiles plays the key murder victim, heiress Linnet, who has a whole cast of people who may just have wanted her dead, including her former best friend Jacqueline, played by Mia Farrow, whose fiance (Simon MacCorkindale) she just happened to seduce, and whom she is now married to.
The film won an Academy Award for best costume and it is clear to see why. The costumes are an absolute dream, beautiful 1930s style bias cut evening dresses heavy with beading, dramatic scarfs and headbands and strings of beautiful pearls that become key in the mystery of who killed Linnet. The day wear is equally elegant and glamorous with silk blouses and wide leg trousers, cotton fitted safari style dresses and turbans and wide brimmed hats. It is a visual feast of fashion, one which you could never be bored of.
If you didn’t catch Death on the Nile, you could probably download it from BBC Iplayer. I’ve got Evil Under The Sun to enjoy next, so there may be a follow up to this post. Watch this space…