This sleekly designed whodunit finds Agatha Christie's fussbudget detective in fine fettle as he solves a murder case by dismantling the time-line of events.
Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) faints after dining at Captain Hastings' new Argentinian restaurant and, to the detective's dismay, his doctor prescribes a stay at the Sandy Cove Spa. In addition to enduring the indignity of a strict diet, Poirot finds himself with little opportunity to relax. The spa's bothersome guests include flamboyant actress Arlena Stuart (Louise Delamere) and her cuckolded hubby, Kenneth Marshall (David Mallinson) and his young son, Lionel (Russell Tovey); Arlena's married beau, Patrick Redfern (Michael Higgs); his wife, Christine Redfern (Tamzin Malleson); smuggler Horace Blatt (David Timson) and busybody Miss Brewster (Carolyn Pickles). While rowing with Miss Brewster, Patrick spots Arlena sunning herself at a cove. Upon closer examination, he informs his boating companion that Arlena is actually dead! The number one suspect is Patrick's jealous wife, but Christine has an airtight alibi. A pair of eyeglasses implicate Lionel, who loathed his stepmother, while the perpetually pining Rosamund Darnley (Marsha Fitzalan) has nursed a longstanding desire for Kenneth. Setting aside opportunity, Poirot delves into motives for the crime: Arlena recently inherited a fortune, which made her susceptible to gigolos and unscrupulous financial advisors. Eventually, a connection to an unsolved homicide the unsolved slaying of Alice Corrigan years earlier in England enables Poirot to determine that the killer manipulated the exact time of Arlena's demise. The Sandy Cove murderer's modus operandi echoes that of Alice Corrigan's killer, and Poirot spends his vacation clearing up the matter. Although this made-for-TV movie lacks the campy tingle of EVIL UNDER THE SUN (1982), the theatrical version of Christie's 1940 novel, it better captures her compact whodunit structure. Amateur sleuths will delight in Poirot's deductive powers as he recovers his health by confronting presumptuous killers.
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- Released: 2001
- Rating: NR
- Review: This sleekly designed whodunit finds Agatha Christie's fussbudget detective in fine fettle as he solves a murder case by dismantling the time-line of events. Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) faints after dining at Captain Hastings' new Argentinian restaurant… (more)