CANNON MONTH 2: Evil Under the Sun (1982)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Evil Under the Sun was not produced by Cannon but was sold on videotape by HBO/Cannon Video. 

Guy Hamilton is probably best known for directing four Bond movies — Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun — but he also directed two Agatha Christie adaptions (this one and The Mirror Crack’d) and Remo Williams.

Screenwriter Anthony Shaffer worked on most of the 70s and 80s Christie adaptions like Murder on the Orient ExpressDeath On the Nile and Appointment with Death, as well as Hitchcock’s FrenzyAbsolution and The Wicker Man.

Peter Ustinov would become the defining Hercule Poirot and this was the second time he’d play the role.

A dead woman strangled on the moors, a missing diamond ring and a trip to the summer palace of the King of Tyrania to confront the woman that may have stolen it — Arlena Stuart Marshall (Diana Rigg) — start the mystery.

That’s where Arlena is on holiday with her husband Kenneth (Denis Quilley) and her daughter Linda (Emily Hone). But they aren’t alone. She’s been flirting with Patrick Redfern (Nicholas Clay) to the displeasure of his wife Christine (Jane Birkin). Her husband is sick of her as well and has been confiding in the owner of the palace, Daphne Castle (Maggie Smith). If that’s not bad enough, the villainess has ruined the financial affairs of Odell and Myra Gardener (James Mason and Sylvia Miles) by walking out of the play they produced. And speaking of plays, playwright Rex Brewster (Roddy McDowall) had been hired to also write a tell-all on Arelena’s life, but she refuses to allow him to use the interview she gave him. Then there’s the man whose heart she broke — and potentially stole his diamond — Sir Horace Blatt (Colin Blakely).

Is it any wonder when she ends up strangled on a beach?

“The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and yet you forget that everywhere, there is evil under the sun.” I love movies that have a scene that reveals the title. And I have found that I am pretty into these Christie films. While this one doesn’t boast the big celebrity cast as others, it’s still entertaining and who doesn’t enjoy seeing Poirot gather everyone to work out the solution?

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