Death on the Nile (1978) Movie Review

Director: John Guillermin

Writer: Anthony Schaffer (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith

Plot: As Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board. Can Poirot identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its journey?


Tagline – The only thing that could follow “Murder” is “Death”

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Murder Mystery 101

Story: Death on the Nile starts when heiress Linnet Ridgeway Doyle (Chiles) marries Simon Doyle (MacCorkindale) and go on their honeymoon in Egypt, where many of the important people in her life are, with Jackie (Farrow) the ex-fiancée of Simon’s, famous author Salome Otterbourne (Lansbury) and her daughter Rosalie (Hussey), along with famous detective Hercule Poirot (Ustinov), Mrs Can Schuyler (Davis) and her carer Miss Bowers (Smith), Colonel Race (Niven), Mr Ferguson (Finch) and Andrew Pennington (Kennedy) complete the people in attendance.

As the guests head down the river for the cruise, they find themselves being the only people away from the main land, until Linnet is murdered, with Hercule needing to put the pieces together to solve the mystery of who was behind the murder.

Thoughts on Death on the Nile

Characters – Hercule Poirot is the world famous detective that just so happens to be the river cruise when a murder happens, he must work with the clues to try and solve the crime before everyone leaves the cruise ship. He does think outside the box when it comes to figuring out the suspects. Linnet is the heiress that has just got married after stealing her husband off one of her better friends, she is the one that gets murdered, with everyone on board having a reason for wanting her dead. Mrs Van Schuyler is always after extra money in her life, she has always eyed pearls anyone else owned. Jackie the jilted ex, that is still unhappy with the fact that Linnet stole her fiancée, bringing the gun on board in the first place. Salome Otterbourne is a famous author that is always looking down on people, she bosses her daughter around. We have more suspects, each one could have motivation for killing Linnet, each has their own story for being on the cruise.

PerformancesWe have an amazing cast here, each one shines through the film, with Peter Ustinov bringing the detective to life, while each person brings their society figure to life.

StoryThe story here follows Hercule Poirot as he looks to solve a murder on a river cruise of an heiress, he has plenty of suspects to question, all with motivation for killing the victim. As in most Agatha Christie novels, we get Poirot needing to try and solve a crime with a long list of suspects, one that will keep you guessing along the way. We do have to deal with plenty of rich society people here which are all very self-centred along the way, which will make us believe the people could well have been involved with what happened. It is a little bit long though, as it takes nearly an hour before the murder takes place.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is a murder that happens, with plenty of mystery about who was behind it, one that does keep us guessing.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film on the river cruise, it shows that the suspects could only be the people on the cruise, much like Murder on the Orient Express.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too long.

Final Thoughts This is a nice entertaining murder mystery that will keep us guessing along the way, with an excellent cast involved.

Overall: Entertaining Murder Mystery.

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