Friday, April 8, 2022

I Watched Three Versions of Death on the Nile so You Don't Have to!


I’m going to do some comparisons between the three different adaptations of Death on the Nile. I will assume you’ve seen at least one or read the book, otherwise this is meaningless and spoiler alter - filled with spoilers.

Characters and key plot:

1978 Version

2004 Version

2022 Version

Hercule Poirot

Peter Ustinov

David Suchet

Kenneth Branagh

Colonel Race

David Niven

James Fox


Linnet Doyle née Ridgeway

Lois Chiles

Emily Blunt, playing American

Gal Gadot, no longer American

Jacqueline de Bellefort

Mia Farrow

Emma Griffiths Malin

Emma Mackey, no longer American

Simon Doyle

Simon MacCorkindale

JJ Feild

Armie Hammer, playing English

Linnet's maid Louise Bourget

Jane Birkin

Félicité Du Jeu

Rose Leslie

trustee Andrew Pennington

George Kennedy

David Soul

Ali Fazal swapped in as  Andrew Katchadourian

Salome Otterbourne, romance novelist

Angela Lansbury

Frances de la Tour

Sophie Okonedo, now an American jazz singer

Rosalie, Salome’s daughter

Olivia Hussey, becomes engaged to Mr. Ferguson

Zoe Telford, propositions Tim, but he is a homosexual and turns her down

Letitia Wright, Salome’s daughter and business manager, in a secret relationship with Bouc

Tim Allerton

Omitted, so the pearls are not counterfeited

Daniel Lapaine

Tom Bateman swapped in as Bouc, he steals the necklace and hides it in Euphemia’s luggage where it is found

Tim’s Mother


Barbara Flynn

Annette Bening swapped in as Euphemia

Marie Van Schuyler, socialite kleptomaniac

Bette Davis, steals and returns the pearls

Judy Parfitt, steals the fake pearls and Cornelia returns them (I think - I’ve forgotten already)

Jennifer Saunders, no longer a socialite or kleptomaniac, now a closeted lesbian with her “nurse.”

Cornelia Robson, cousin of Marie


Daisy Donovan, agrees to marry Dr. Bressner after turning down Mr. Ferguson


Miss Bowers, nurse to Marie

Maggie Smith


Dawn French, closeted lesbian companion of Marie.

Mr. Ferguson, communist, witnesses first shot

Jon Finch

Alastair Mackenzie

Combined with below.

Dr. Bessner, Austrian

Jack Warden

Steve Pemberton

Russell Brand swapped in to replace Dr. Bessner and Mr. Ferguson as Linus Windlesham

Guido Richetti, archeologist




Jim Fanthorp, lawyer/solicitor







Susannah Fielding, Poirot’s former fiancée, not a character from the source material









1st murder victim




2nd murder victim




3rd murder victim



Bouc* New character in this version.

4th murder victim




5th body








Pearl Necklace

Still pearls, stolen by Marie

Still pearls, stolen by Marie, counterfeited by Tim

Changed to diamond necklace

Nail Polish Bottle

Filled with unexplained paint

Filled with unexplained paint

Filled with red paint from new character Euphemia’s paint supplies.


This proves what? Nothing. Just noting the differences to keep track of them. One difference in the 2022 movie which I think was a problem was Linnet saying she rented out the entire riverboat for her guests. All of the characters, including Poirot, are on the cruise by Linnet’s invitation and yet Jacqueline still manages to get a room despite Linnet renting the whole boat. Doesn’t make sense. And why change it? It was fine that Poirot just happened to book himself onto the cruise. And that the other people had some connection with Linnet. She was rich and owned a lot of properties or companies or something. Everyone didn’t need to be on the boat at her request.

I also didn’t think the changing of Salome and Rosalie’s characters in the 2022 version worked. Salome was such a great character in the other 2 versions that the changes just didn’t work in 2022.

2022 wide shots of the Nile looked like CGI and did nothing to entice me to want to visit Egypt. 1978’s shots of the Nile and Egypt were better. Which is good because it was filmed on location.

Anyway, what are my thoughts? 1978 was the best as a movie. 2004 seems most faithful to the book and is the shortest one, so that’s a bonus. 2022 was embarrassing and cringe in so many ways. Just search on YouTube for the opening dances between Simon and Jacqueline and Simon and Linnet and see if it doesn’t make you incredibly uncomfortable.

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