Evil Under the Sun (1982)
Main Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Easter Egg-Murder On The Orient Express Trailer
|Year Of Production||1982|
|Running Time||111:45 (Case: 116)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (69:14)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Guy Hamilton|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Hercule Poirot is one of Agatha Christie's two most famous detectives, and he has been portrayed by a variety of actors. I really like David Suchet's interpretation in the TV movies, because I think it is perhaps the most true to the original stories, but Murder On The Orient Express has Albert Finney, who does a marvellous job. The movie under consideration here, Evil Under The Sun has Peter Ustinov, who does an excellent job of capturing many of Poirot's mannerisms, but he is the wrong size, shape, and hair colour. However, despite my personal misgivings about Peter Ustinov as Poirot, he has been popular - this was his second outing as Poirot, after Death On The Nile.
Both Murder On The Orient Express and Evil Under The Sun. have star-studded casts. This movie lists ten actors before the title - that's pretty much everyone who gets more than a line or two, except for the young girl, who gets mentioned immediately after the title.
Evil Under The Sun presents a nasty little problem - a murder where everyone appears to have a cast-iron alibi. And, we get an extra twist thrown in when you least expect it (don't bother trying to - you won't!). Good quality classic Christie.
There's an interesting moment of tribute when Poirot is checking the hotel register. Immediately before our suspects checked in there must have been an impressive guest list: we see signatures for Ivan Novello, Fred Astaire, Cole Porter, Charlie Chaplin, and Maurice Chevalier - I'm sure one of our readers can come up with an explanation for those names being there.
Evil Under The Sun is another DVD that is rather a must for any murder mystery fan.
The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio is 1.85:1, but this is quite close. It looks really nice on a widescreen display, and only shows narrow black bars on a 4:3 screen.
The picture is exquisitely sharp, clear, and vivid. Shadow detail is excellent, and there is no trace of low-level noise.
The bright Spanish sun makes colours stand out nicely. The clothing is high fashion 1930s, so colours are a little more muted than they might be today, but are nicely saturated nonetheless, and the scenery is pleasant to look at, too.
There are numerous tiny film artefacts, noticeable only to the reviewer (we see everything!). There is very little aliasing, and the only dot crawl noticeable was on the closing credits.
The disc is single sided and dual layer (RSDL) with the layer change at 69:14 between scenes. I didn't spot it on the way through, and had to locate it by technical means - excellent work.
Dialogue is readily understood, and there are no audio sync errors. There's one instance of obvious ADR work at 14:39, but it shows mainly because of the inappropriate audio cues (it sounds like they are talking inside, when they are actually in a boat) - you have to be listening with a critical ear to notice.
The score is a selection of Cole Porter tunes ("always steal from the best"), arranged by John Lanchbery. It is quite appropriate, and enhances the storyline. At one point Diana Rigg sings "You're The Top" (very well, too), with Maggie Smith stepping on a couple of her lines - b****iness can be quite entertaining.
The surrounds and subwoofer get a rest - this soundtrack is not surround-encoded.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is superb and of reference level.
The audio quality is fine for a Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack.
The extras are fine.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-737, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 (280cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|