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Ordeal by Innocence

By Bret Fetzer

Agatha Christie mysteries, like stories about Sherlock Holmes, form their own little universe--and therein lies their appeal. Agatha Christie's Ordeal by Innocence features Donald Sutherland (the great star of MASH and Klute) as Arthur Calgary, a paleontologist who's just come back after two years in the Antarctic to return a man's address book, only to discover that the man was hanged for murder--and that he was this man's only alibi. Disturbed, Calgary starts to investigate, and discovers that no one much cares if the dead man was innocent or not, and that most everyone in his family might well have wanted to kill both him and his victim (his own mother, played in flashbacks by Faye Dunaway). The plot unfolds skillfully, with all the precision of a Swiss clock; the actors (including Christopher Plummer of The Sound of Music and Sarah Miles of Blow-Up) are all excellent; and the movie gives the mystery an added bite by suggesting that the investigation does more harm than the original crime. A particularly well-done Christie adaptation, featuring a jaunty score by jazz great Dave Brubeck, which lends an unusual flavor to the proceedings.

 

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FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)DVD unavailableSoundtrack unavailable at Amazon.com - try eBay (see links below)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Desmond Davis

Stars: Donald Sutherland, Faye Dunaway, Christopher Plummer, Sarah Miles, Ian McShane, Diana Quick, Annette Crosbie

Released: December 5, 1984

Availability: VHS


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