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Sunday June 23rd 2024

Death On The Nile | 1978

Death On The Nile film location: Cataract Hotel
Death On The Nile film location: the boat departs from the Egyptian hotel: Old Cataract Hotel | Photograph: Wikipedia / Warren LeMay

Forget the plot, enjoy the cast, in this second of the stylishly period, star-studded Agatha Christie adaptations which followed the success of Murder on the Orient Express – with Peter Ustinov stepping into the shoes of Albert Finney as Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot.

The country home of ghastly rich bitch, and victim-to-be, Linnet Ridgeway Doyle (Lois Chiles), is Compton Wynyates, eight miles west of Banbury in Warwickshire, and the country estate in the 1977 Jodie Foster comedy Candleshoe – which co-starred David Niven. The Grade I-listed Tudor country house, constructed of red brick, is now a private home, and not open to the public.

Linnet and Simon Doyle (Simon MacCorkindale) take off on honeymoon to Egypt, where jilted Jacqueline de Bellefort (Mia Farrow) follows them to the giant pyramids at Giza. You too can follow in their footsteps and climb the Great Pyramid, though be aware it”s not officially allowed, for the excellent reason that it’s quite dangerous. People are regularly killed bouncing down the stone steps. Poirot is first seen here, by the Sphinx.

The grand Nile hotel, where everyone assembles and from which the Karnak departs, is the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, Abtal El Tahrir Street, Aswan.

The Karnak, by the way, is played by the Memnon, which plays the same role again in the 2004 TV version of Death On The Nile, with David Suchet as Poirot.

Not far from Luxor is the huge temple complex of Karnak, where you can see the avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, and the Temple of Amun where Linnet is nearly killed by a block of falling masonry. The vast temple complex is also seen in Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen.

Death On The Nile film location: Abu Simbel, Egypt
Death On The Nile film location: tJacqueline turns up to spoil the fun: Abu Simbel, Egypt | Photograph: Wikimedia / Onder Kokturk

The possibly unhinged Jacqueline turns up again, to spoil the fun, in front of the four enormous seated statues at the entrance to the Great Temple of Rameses II at Abu Simbel. The temple, one of two on the site, was dismantled in the mid-1960s when its original location was threatened by the construction of the Aswan High Dam, and carefully reassembled well above the encroaching waters.