Stylish Movies – Evil Under The Sun

Following on from my admiration of the wonderful look and style of Death on the Nile, last week I got chance (thanks to a snow day for the hubby) to sit down and enjoy ‘Evil under the Sun’ another prime piece of Agatha Christie murder and intrigue. The film was made in 1983, and once again starred the brilliant Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian dectective.


As with many film adaptations of Agatha Christie movies, Evil Under the Sun has a star studded cast, with Maggie Smith, James Mason, Sylvia Miles, Jane Birkin and Roddy McDowell all involved in the shenanigans. Much like Death on the Nile, Evil under the Sun has a stunningly beautiful, and totally amoral character at it’s centre, this time the wicked Arlena, played by Diana Rigg. She has a wardrobe to die for, and just about every character has a reason to want her dead.

Arlena’s hats are a thing of beauty for fashion fans, particularly those worn during the scenes set at the beach, and the wardrobe palette of monochrome with added red, with bias cut 1930s evening dresses created from bugle beads in white and red are truly incredible.  Stunning swim dresses and gorgeous accessories make Arlena one of the most iconic of all Christie’s victims.

But the stylish looks are not confined to Arlena. Jane Birkin has a more bohemian wardrobe as Christine Redfearn, lots of flowing scarfs and kaftans to protect her delicate skin from the sun (absolutely integral to the plot). Her transformation at the end of the movie is reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady’s Ascot outfit – absolutely glorious.

Sylvia MIles is the most outragously dressed character in the film, her costumes are just a joy to behold, with huge picture hats, lots of shoulder pads and voluminous sleeves. You simply can’t take your eyes off her when she is on the screen, so many wow moments.

And finally we have Maggie Smith, who plays Mrs Castle and is quite frankly adorable in the movie as she turns amateur sleuth and tries to help Poirot solve the murder. I love the chic, crisp jackets she wears which are often accessorised with large corsages which I’m sure Patricia Field must have channelled for Carrie Bradshaw.

EVIL UNDER THE SUN, from left: Denis Quilley, Maggie Smith, Peter Ustinov, 1982, © Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

Evil Under the Sun is a glorious homage to star style. Definitely worth a watch.


Welcome to the world of fashion-mommy, a world of fashion, lifestyle, theatre and fun. Enjoy the ride.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.