July 26, 2009

Agatha Christie's Poirot - Death on the Nile (2004)

I know there's another version of Death on the Nile made in 1978 (which I hear is better), but this one is fairly recent and I just watched it this weekend after my exhausting Vicar of Dibley marathon. It's yet another episode in the everlasting roll of Poirot mysteries that the BBC seems to have no intention of discontinuing. This time our favorite stout lil' Belgian detective with the upturn mustache finds himself in Egypt, on a boat cruise along the Nile and inevitably, a murder to be solved.


The story starts off in England, where a young woman begs her wealthy best friend to give her fiancé a job. But her best friend and her fiancé end up getting hitched instead, leaving her angry and devastated.

Love: that small Japanese maple in the foreground.

Love: the hat with the side pleats

Oh yes, that IS a BLOND Emily Blunt!

Love: the gold pendant necklace. Reminds me of all the acorn pendants I've been seeing lately.

Then the setting switches over to Egypt. Rich BBF + stolen fiancé are now married and on their honeymoon. Severely upset jilted woman stalks them relentlessly.


Emily Blunt's character's shiny asymmetrical dress reminds me of the same on we saw on the main character in These Foolish Things.


This red velvet dress with the feathered collar would look hideous in person, I think. And I hate the hair. So bleached and flat.

But this black dress + pearls will always be timeless.

Squiggly dress and hat.

Soft, pretty, feminine florals.

The stalker. Too bad large, wide-brimmed straw hats are no longer really in fashion. Because I still wear them...mostly just to keep out the sun.


I want to dress like this woman when I'm old.

Love the necklace.

This plaid dress is actually really pretty but I couldn't get a good grab of it. The material is sort of sheer, maybe like a nylon or soft silk, I can't tell. But it would make a nice sundress even in modern day.

I wish these white linen suits would make a comeback.


haha, love that eyebrow!

perfect tailoring of the pinstripe 3-piece suit that Poirot is wearing.

So it's all up to Poirot to solve another mystery. What great fun.

P.S. I really like this etched mirror.

And this Victorian lampshade.


From the first shot of blond Emily Blunt I was struck by what I like about most BBC productions. How flat and fake the blond hair looks on non-natural blonds in these period pieces. It's actually period-perfect because bleaching and dying was not perfected back then and there was no way that the women'd hair would look natural (or healthy) which is possible nowadays. However, US made movies work too hard on highlights and such so that the actresses look attractive for today's standards.

Interesting perspective! I never thought about that. I agree, US productions do seek to make everyone/everything look as nice as possible. And in return, totally unrealistic.

still can't believe that's not Jon Polito - especially in your last shot - uncanny resemblance!

From the first shot of blond Emily Blunt I was struck by what I like about most BBC productions. How flat and fake the blond hair looks on non-natural blonds in these period pieces. It's actually period-perfect because bleaching and dying was not perfected back then and there was no way that the women'd hair would look natural (or healthy) which is possible nowadays.

Yes, it does look awful. Even worse, I cannot see how a character like the one Emily Blount portrayed - the uber rich and classy Lynette Ridgeway Doyle - bleaching her hair, a'la Jean Harlow.

im sorry, but Hercule Poirot is Belgian...in the original in 1978 they make several jokes about this and it is a reoccuring joke in most books and films...

in this one its you damned froggy eavesdropper

belgian eavesdropper if you please...

but thats just the 1978 version so...

Yes, you're right. I looked it up. Poirot is supposed to be Belgian. AlthoughI swore I've heard him referred to as "that Frenchman" by some of the other characters (not in this episode but in some others). I guess he can be easily mistaken as one in the context of the story, especially b/c he has that moustache and his accent sounds French.

Wow, it looks like you go through as many old/period films as I do, and I love love love Vicar of Dibley. Awesome blog. :)

Oh well, I just finished rereading this book and the character played by Emily Blunt was supposed to be a real blond so, the dye job really should have been better or they should have cast someone else. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and I was wrong.

Or, they should have used a better wig. Because that's the problem here, it's a bad wig (really now, why not spend more and get her to dye her hair?)...you can tell because of how the hats sit on her head...always a dead giveaway!
Oh, curse you wigs!!! You have failed us again!
I costume theater a lot and I'm telling you, nothing messes up a production like a cheap wig!

Poirot is Belgian not French and ITV were broadcast the film, not the BBC

A note on Emily Blunt's gold striped asymmetric dress. The link you put for a similar looking dress in These Foolish Things is actually an original 1930s dress held at Cosprop and Emily Blunt's dress is one of a number of copies of this dress.
I am creating a replica of the dress for my final project at university and so was lucky enough to view the original dress but, sadly, not Emily Blunt's dress - which I'm told is in very bad condition!
Just a note of interest for you!

Your post was quite good than other blogger, so simple yet imformational.

anyway I'm william
mind if I put a link back to you?

(clickable) ------> 3 piece suit

I never saw this version - least I am not remembering it - maybe I did - it's a PBS Mystery Series. I have the original with Peter Ustinov, Betty Davis and all that I copied off my DVR.

Stop saying the BBC it was on ITV and they are trying to complete all the Poirot stories and yes he is Belgian but characters keep calling him French which he diesn't like.

It's not that the 1978 version is better, it simply has more time to concentrate on story and a bigger budget for production design.

With the 1978 version you really get the decadence, the world that these characters inhabit, what they stand to gain or lose by murder. You also get more time to explore the relationships of the characters.

For instance, in the 1978 movie, the honeymooners climb to the top of an actual pyramid to have some alone time, but Jackie, the guy's ex-lover, has been there waiting for them the whole time. This is the lengths to which Jackie will go to harass them. She's truly psychotic.

With the TV version, there's no time or budget to showcase how expansive Jackie's vengeful nature truly is. It all comes back to talk rather than show.

The 1978 movie spoiled me.

In terms of costumes I prefer the 1978 ‘Death on the Nile‘ version.

The comments you make are really amusing..I think most viewers preferred the 1978 version..
I was the Set Decorator on this series and despite the criticisms it was the most wonderful production to be involved in.To open my drapes at the hotel and see the iconic Nile and palm trees with the fellucas drifting by and the general activity was an absolute joy...I think I made a few bloops with a couple of magazines so some eagle eyed viewer commented ...Just thought I would add my pennyworth..

Post a Comment

Twitter Facebook Email GooglePlus Stumbleupon Digg More