Following in Albert Finney's footprints, Peter Ustinov perpetuates the corpulent screen image of master detective Hercule Poirot, but this balloon-like inflation (nearer to Nero Wolfe) will be a bother only to the most fanatical followers of Agatha Christie, the queen of the "who cares?" whodunit. In this one, the murder is more than an hour in coming, as motives for the crime are moved into place with all the laboriousness and boredom that must have gone into constructing the Great Pyramids. If the buildup weren't tiresome enough, the finishing grains of sand from the Sandman are provided in an exhausting, exasperating series of fantasy scenes which demonstrate that each one of the boatload of campily acted suspects could have done the deed. With David Niven, Mia Farrow, Bette Davis, Maggie Smith, and Angela Lansbury; directed by John Guillermin. (1978) — Duncan Shepherd
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