Appointment With Death
Time Out saysWinner's tongue-in-cheek direction overplays the clichés: even Hercule Poirot (Ustinov) seems to have lost respect for his profession. Agatha Christie's story concerns a stepmother (Laurie) who cheats her adopted family out of the proceeds of their father's will; to distract their attention, she arranges a family cruise to Palestine, where the old bag is bumped off and various well-met stiff upper Britishers lengthen the list of suspects. Much is made of period (the '30s), picture-postcard settings, and a host of stars, some of them already veterans of Christie adaptations, others probably doomed to a similar tale in the future. For all the glitter and gloss that Golan and Globus can buy, the film suffers from a mind-numbing inertia, its acting anal retentive, its scene-shifts stagy.