Evil Under the Sun

March 5th, 1982


Evil Under the Sun

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Trying to find how a millionaire wound up with a phony diamond brings Hercule Poirot to an exclusive island resort frequented by the rich and famous. When a murder is committed, everyone has an alibi.

Release Year: 1982

Rating: 6.8/10 (4,256 voted)

Director: Guy Hamilton

Stars: Peter Ustinov, James Mason, Maggie Smith

Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate a case for an insurance company regarding firstly a dead woman's body found on a moor and then a important diamond sent to the company to be insured turns out to be a fake. Poirot discovers that the diamond was bought for Arlena Marshall by Sir Horace Platt and Arlena is on her honeymoon with her husband and step-daughter on a tropical island hotel. He joins them on the island and finds that everybody else starts to hate Arlena for different reasons - refusing to do a stage show, stopping a book, and for having an open affair with Patrick Redfern, another guest, in full view of his shy wife. So it's only a matter of time before Arlena turns up dead, strangled and Poirot must find out who it is...

Peter Ustinov - Hercule Poirot
Colin Blakely - Sir Horace Blatt
Jane Birkin - Christine Redfern
Nicholas Clay - Patrick Redfern
Maggie Smith - Daphne Castle
Roddy McDowall - Rex Brewster
Sylvia Miles - Myra Gardener
James Mason - Odell Gardener
Denis Quilley - Kenneth Marshall
Diana Rigg - Arlena Marshall
Emily Hone - Linda Marshall
John Alderson - Police Sergeant
Paul Antrim - Police Inspector
Cyril Conway - Police Surgeon
Barbara Hicks - Flewitt's Secretary

Taglines: Evil is Everywhere. Even in Paradise.

Release Date: 5 March 1982

Filming Locations: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Opening Weekend: $1,690,774 (USA) (7 March 1982) (609 Screens)

Gross: $6,110,000 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

At one point this story was mooted as the follow-up to Murder on the Orient Express; it eventually arrived after Death on the Nile and The Mirror Crack'd.

Continuity: As the Gardeners sit on the terrace watching Arlena's arrival, Odell calls Myra "Myrna."

Rex Brewster: [a little too solicitously, about Linda's step-mother, Arlena] And how is your lovely mother, this morning?
Linda Marshall: She's not lovely and she's not my mother!

User Review

Agatha's novel comes to brilliant life.


In a time when people consider the likes of Vin Diesel, Jack Black, and various three name actors as underated actors, people should realize what a brilliant talent Sir Peter Ustinov is. Ustinov, a two-time Academy Award winner, has done it all, whether it would be Kubrick films, children's programs, teleplays, feature films: you name it, he's done it. He also plays the definitive Hercule Poirot, the Agatha Christie creation.

Evil Under The Sun is done almost like a play, but a good play. Poirot is vacationing at a posh resort as the fee for helping a millionaire find out who stole his expensive diamond. Poirot meets up with plenty of the usual types that would be at these places in the mid-30's, including an ex-actress named Arlena Marshall (Diana Rigg) who is pretty much hated by everyone. As in all cases with murder mysteries, Mrs. Marshall is murdered, and Poirot uses his abilities to solve the crime.

This movie was great. It drew me in because Ustinov and the all-star cast work brilliantly together to make the film a joy. The acting and the story are superb. Also, despite the fact that it's an 80's movie, you won't see any of the trappings of that decade. Hey, any film with an English-speaking Jane Birkin is a must watch for me. I don't know if it's available on DVD, but I'm sure A&E or some other similar channel will air it. Recommended.


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