CANNON MONTH: Ordeal by Innocence (1984)

Cannon made three Agatha Christie movies — Ten Little Indians and Appointment with Death are the other ones — this movie was said to be no fun at all, as Donald Sutherland refused to be filmed from low angles and was given to barging off the set, while Faye Dunaway insisted on being lit from the front to hide blemishes. Meanwhile, Pino Donaggio was replaced on the soundtrack by Dave Brubeck, which makes this even harder to like.

Paleontologist Dr. Arthur Calgary (Sutherland) is visiting the Argyle family to return the address book of executed murderer Jack Argyle, who murdered the mother of the family just two years ago. Yet the doctor believes that Jack was innocent, which means that murder is once again afoot, as it were.

This was the last movie directed by Desmond Davis, who is probably best known for Clash of the Titans, plus some uncredited directing by Alan Birkinshaw, who also made Killer’s Moon and the Cannon Ten Little Indians.

There’s a good cast — Christopher Plummer, Sarah Miles and Ian McShane are here — but the results are a movie that just seems to slowly, ever so slowly play out. Maybe I’m spoiled by giallo, hmm?

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