Death on the Nile was written in 1937. Agatha Christie was married to an archaeologist and spent a lot of time on the excavations in Syria, Iraq, and Egypt.
There are three adaptations of the novel:
- 1978 film starring Peter Ustinov as Poirot
- An episode of the series Poirot from season 9, 2004, as Poirot – David Suchet
- 2022 film starring Kenneth Branagh as Poirot (film made in 2019 but postponed many times)
In my opinion, the 2004 film adaptation with David Suchet and Emily Blunt remains the best adaptation of Death on the Nile.
Differences between film adaptations of 2004, 1978, 2022 from the novel – attention – spoilers
|Novel||Series 2004||Film 1978||Film 2022|
|Hercule Poirot, on holiday in Egypt, is investigating the murder of Lynette Doyle.||David Suchet||Peter Ustinov||Kenneth Branagh|
Difference from the novel – He was hired by Euphemia Book to follow Rosalie Otterbourne
|Lynette Doyle, wealthy heiress, married her friend’s fiancé, Simon Doyle, was shot dead on a steamboat during the honeymoon||Emily Blunt|
20-year-old wealthy socialite. She married a friend’s fiancé.
Differences from the novel: Linnet is shown as such a bitch, who managed to ruin the lives of everyone who was on the ship in the past, so that everyone had a motive for killing her.
Differences from the novel: Everyone on the ship had a motive for killing her.
|Jacqueline de Belfort, engaged to Simon Doyle, stalked him and her wife on their honeymoon, shot Simon.||Emma Griffiths Malin||Mia Farrow||Emma McKee|
|Simon Doyle – married Lynette and then killed her for money so he could marry Jacqueline||Jay Jay Field||Simon McCorkindale||Armie Hammer|
|Miss Van Schuller, a kleptomaniac who stole Lynette’s pearls||Judy Parfitt||Bette Davis||Jennifer Saunders|
Differences from the novel:
Hates the bourgeoisie, donated a fortune to the communists, godmother Linnet and her heiress. Miss Bowers is her lover. She has a motive for murder – revenge for Miss Bowers.
|Cornelia Robson, accompanies her cousin Miss van Schuller on a trip down the Nile, originally from America. At the end, she becomes engaged to Dr. Bessner. She had a motive to kill Linnet, her father was ruined by Linnet’s father.||Daisy Donovan|
Differences from the novel: Stayed with Jacqueline all night, providing her alibi
|In the film, this character is omitted.||In the film, this character is omitted.|
|Miss Bowers, the nurse accompanying Miss van Schuller because of her kleptomania, stayed with Jacqueline all night. She had no motive for killing Linnet and did not know her.||There was no Miss Bowers in the series, Cornelia Robson sat with Jacqueline all night instead.||Maggie Smith|
Differences from the novel: she had a motive for murder, because her father was ruined by Linnet`s father
|Dawn Roma French|
Miss Bowers is a nurse, Miss Van Schuller’s companion. The difference from the novel is that she had a motive for killing Linnet, her family went bankrupt because of the Linnet family. Beloved Miss Van Schuller.
|James Ferguson – an ideological communist, in reality Lord Dawlish, proposes to Cornelia||Alastair Mackenzie|
Differences from the novel: he is a witness of Jacqueline shooting Simon, brings a doctor and claims the gun is missing
Differences from novel: proposes to Rosalie Otterbourne, is not a lord
|There is no such character in the film.|
|Jim Fantorra is a young lawyer sent by Linnet’s London attorney to keep an eye on Andrew Pennington, who is suspected of fraud. Witnesses Jacqueline shooting Simon, brings a doctor and does not find Jacqueline’s gun.||This character does not appear in the series. Instead, Ferguson performs all the actions.||This character does not appear in the film. Instead, Colonel Rice is watching Andrew Pennington.||There is no such character in the film. Instead, Monsieur Bouc and Rosalie witnessed the shooting|
|Colonel Rice, in the novel, pursues a fugitive who was supposed to sail on the steamer Karnak. He does not know what the criminal looks like, suspects several people, helps Poirot in the investigation.||James Fox|
In the series, the colonel travels by the ship with Poirot, helps in the investigation
Difference from novel: Colonel sent to watch Andrew Pennington
|There is no such character in the film.|
|Guido Ricchetti is a passenger on a steamboat, an escaped criminal posing as an archaeologist. Colonel Rice was after him.||This character does not appear in the series.||There is no such character in the film.||There is no such character in the film.|
|Louise Bourget, Lynette’s maid. In the novel, this is just a maid who blackmailed the killer. Louise came to Linnet after the dismissal of the maid Mary, who wanted to get married, but Linnet found out that her chosen one was already married and did not give her a dowry.||Félicité Du Jeu|
In the series, the maid Louise had money problems because of her boyfriend, Lynette refused to give her money
In the film, the maid was engaged to an Egyptian, Linnet refused her dowry, she had a motive for murder.
Differences from the novel – Linnet ruined Louise’s engagement by bribing her fiancé
|Mrs. Allerton, a pleasant woman, Tim’s mother, sails on a steamboat, befriends Poirot, helps Rosalie||Barbara Flynn||There is no such character in the film.||Annette Bening|
Euphemia, mother of Monsieur Bouc.
Differences from the novel – she hired Poirot to follow Rosalie, as she was against her son’s marriage to Rosalie.
|Tim Allerton – he is a cousin Joanna Southwood – a friend of Lynette Doyle. Engaged in theft of jewelry with cousin Joanna. Rosalie Otterbourne falls in love with him. Steals Linnet’s pearls and replaces them with a fake, which is then stolen by Miss Van Schuller.||Daniel Lapaine||There is no such character in the film.||Tom Bateman|
Differences from the novel – his name is Monsieur Bouc, he is a friend of Poirot. He wants to marry Rosalie. He stole Lynette’s necklace and hid it in his mother’s things. He witnessed the murder of Louise Bourget and was killed instead of Salome
|Salome Otterbourne “terrible woman in a turban” – novelist of erotic novels, secret alcoholic, third victim.||Francis de la Tour||Angela Lansbury|
Differences from the novel – Linnet sued her after recognizing herself in one of the novels.
Differences from the novel – she is a jazz singer, not a writer. She has a motive for killing Lynette. She is not killed in the film.
|Rosalie Otterbourne hides her mother’s alcoholism in every possible way, in the novel she is slightly bitchy. Falls in love with Tim Allerton and covers him for Poirot||Zoe Telford||Olivia Hussey|
Differences from the novel: Rosalie has a motive and desire to kill Lynette Doyle, Ferguson falls in love with her and becomes engaged to her. Unlike the novel, she is a weepy, weak girl.
Differences from the novel:
in the film, she is the niece and manager of Salome Otterbourne, a friend of Lynnet. Witnessed Jacqueline shot
|Dr. Bessner – handsome German doctor, treats Simon Doyle, has no motive for killing Linnet, gets engaged to Cornelia Robson||Steve Pemberton||Jack Warden|
Differences from the novel: a Swiss doctor, whose clinic was slandered by Linnet, has a motive for murder, one of the suspects
Differences from the novel – his name is Dr. Windlesham, the doctor was Linnet’s fiancé before she married Doyle. He is actually Lord Windlesham, had the motive and the ability to kill Lynette.
|Andrew Pennington – Linnet’s American guardian, suspected of fraud, appeared suddenly in Cairo and accompanies Linnet, followed by Jim Fantorra. Tries to slip Linnet into signing a power of attorney, was suspected of attempting to assassinate Linnet in the temple||David Soul|
No one is following him in the series.
In the film, he is followed by Colonel Rice.
Linnet`s manager. Differences from the novel – his name is Andrew Kachadourian, he is a young man, Linnet is his cousin.
|Joanna Southwood is Tim Allerton’s cousin and Lynette’s friend. Engaged in the replacement of jewelry and the manufacture of fakes. Gives Tim a fake pearl necklace, which he replaces Lynette’s necklace with.||Elodie Kendall||There is no such character in the film.||There is no such character in the film.|
|There is no such character in the novel.||Suzanne Fielding|
Catherine – Poirot’s fiancée in 1914
|The novel by Agatha Christie||2004||1978||2022|
|Jim Fantorra witnessed Jacqueline shooting Simon||Witnesses to the shot – Cornelia Robson and James Ferguson||Rosalie Otterbourne and James Ferguson, witnesses of the shooting||Witnesses to the shot Rosalie and Monsieur Bouc|
|Jim Fanthora keeps an eye on Andrew Pennington, Colonel Rice keeps an eye on Guido Richetti||No one is following anyone||Colonel Rice keeping an eye on Andrew Pennington||Poirot watches Rosalie Otterbourne|
|Third victim – Salome Otterborn, killed for seeing who killed the maid||Third victim – Salome Otterborn, killed for seeing who killed the maid||Third victim – Salome Otterborn, killed for seeing who killed the maid||The third victim is Monsieur Bouc, killed for seeing who killed the maid|
|Tim Allerton replaced Linnet’s necklace||Tim Allerton replaced Linnet’s necklace||–||Monsieur Bouc stole the necklace from Linnet|
|Most of those present on the ship had no motive to kill Linnet, they had not known each other before.||Most of those present on the ship had no motive to kill Linnet, they had not known each other before.||All those present on the ship had a motive for the murder of Linnet and had known each other before.||All those present on the ship were guests of Linnet herself, her relatives and acquaintances, and everyone had a motive to kill her.|
|Miss Bowers is Miss Van Schuller’s nurse and Cornelia is a cousin. Miss Van Schuller suffers from kleptomania||Miss Bowers is not in the series. Cornelia is a cousin and companion. Miss Van Schuller suffers from kleptomania||Miss Bowers is Miss Van Schuller’s nurse. Miss Van Schuller has a craving for other people’s jewelry. Cornelia is not in the film.||Miss Bowers is Miss Van Schuller’s nurse. Miss Van Schuller is an ideological communist. Miss Bowers and Miss Van Schuller are a couple in love.|
|This didn’t happen||This didn’t happen||This didn’t happen||Poirot had a fiancee in 1914, on her advice he grew a mustache. The bride was killed during the war, he has been suffering ever since. At the end he falls in love with Salome Otterbourne.|
|Rosalie Otterbourne meets on a steamboat and falls in love with Tim Allerton||Rosalie Otterbourne meets on a steamboat and falls in love with Tim Allerton||Rosalie Otterbourne meets on a steamboat and falls in love with Ferguson||Rosalie Otterbourne has been dating Monsieur Bouc for a long time|
|Alibi Jacqueline provided by Miss Bowers||Alibi Jacqueline provided by Cornelia||Alibi Jacqueline provided by Miss Bowers||Alibi Jacqueline provided by Miss Bowers|
Comparison of 2004 and 1978 film adaptations
In my opinion, the 2004 film adaptation is much more successful than the 1978 film. It is as close as possible to the text and the actors are perfectly matched to the roles.
- In the 1978 film, Linnet is a bit old, she doesn’t look 20 at all, but rather 30, the actress was 30-31 years old at the time of filming. Whereas Emily Blunt was 21 at the time of filming.
- I didn’t like Peter Ustinov as Poirot at all. A big, sloppy man with a huge belly.
- Jacqueline and Rosalie in the 1978 film are two nervous whiny girls. Although both have a strong desire to kill Linnet. In the series, Jacqueline and Rosalie look very good, strong bitchy and beautiful.
- Salome Otterborn is very good both there and there.
- The 1978 film features a very funny Miss van Schuller. She’s not as bad as in the series. She constantly teases her companion and it looked funny. Angela Lansbury and Maggie Smith make a great duet.
- Colonel Rice is also good in the movie and in the TV series
- In the 1978 film, Ferguson is very boring. In the series, he is much more interesting.
- Dr. Bessner – in the film, this character was terribly spoiled. The cute doctor from the novel, in love with Cornelia, has turned into a terrible, nasty old man who treats nerves with armadillo urine and has a grudge against Linnet.
In the 1978 film, they departed from the Agatha Christie novel, removed some of the characters and storylines. But they showed the journey along the Nile in all details, the heroes sailed on a real ship of that time, visited exactly those sights described in the novel and even lived in the same hotel that Agatha Christie wrote about. The film has very good costumes, accessories, vehicles – all from that era.
The Cataract Hotel exists to this day, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract
Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Hotel, Tripadvisor Photos and Cataract Hotel – shot from movie
Differences between the 2022 film adaptation and the novel
The 2022 film adaptation is better than the 1978 film adaptation, but no better than the 2004 film adaptation. David Suchet remains the best Poirot. The film seems to be well-shot, but it is not remarkable, nothing stands out. In style, it is more like a 1978 film, some plot moves are borrowed from it – some of the characters are removed, the third victim is changed. It is not clear why it was necessary to kill the young Monsieur Bouc instead of Salome Otterborn. Although at the end of the film they show that Poirot is like a crush on Salome.
Gal Gadot as Lynette is quite good, although she is 13 years older than her character. Armie Hammer is no different from the actors who played Simon Doyle in previous film adaptations. The 2022 Jacqueline is very similar to the 2004 Jacqueline even in appearance. The dances that Jacqueline performed at the beginning of the film are very impressive. Pretty funny idea to make Ms. Van Schuller and Ms. Bowers a couple in the movie.
- At the beginning of the film, Poirot’s memories of the events in Belgium in 1914 are shown, when he saved the entire company thanks to his powers of observation, was wounded and had a fiancee, Catherine, who offered to let him have his mustache. Then Poirot said that the bride died on the train. There is nothing like it in the book.
- In the film, Linnet meets Simon at a nightclub where Poirot watches them. In the novel, Poirot sees only Simon and Jacqueline in the nightclub, while Linnet meets Simon at the estate.
- In the film, Salome Otterborn is not a writer, but a singer, Rosalie Otterborn is not Salome’s daughter, but Salome`
s niece and manager, as well as a Linnet`s friend. Salome in the film has a motive for killing Linnet – many years ago she was kicked out of the pool because of the color of her skin due to little Linnet’s complaint. Salome wears a 22 caliber pistol in her hat. In the novel she didn’t have a pistol, she was a secret alcoholic and she didn’t know Linnet before the ship trip. She also was a witness to the murder of a maid, for which she was killed. In the film, she did not see who killed the maid and no one killed Salome. At the end of the film, Poirot comes to Salome’s performance.
- Monsieur Bouc character is Tim Allerton from the novel. In the novel, he is infinitely devoted to his mother, meets Rosalie on the ship. In the film, Monsieur Bouc knows Rosalie before the trip, they meet, but his mother is against it, so Poirot was hired by Euphemia Bouc to keep an eye on Rosalie. Instead of Salome, Monsieur Bouc witnesses the murder of the maid, in connection with which he is killed. In the book, Tim Allerton confesses to Poirot about stealing Linnet’s pearl necklace and fells in love with Rosalie.
- In the film, Linnet’s attorney Andrew Kachadourian is not her guardian, but her cousin and peer. In the book, his name is Andrew Pennington, he is a man in his 40s or 50s. In the movie, Andrew deliberately drops the stone on Linnet, but in the book it happened by accident.
- Instead of the Austrian Dr. Bessner, Dr. Windlesham appears in the film. In the book, the doctor was not familiar with Linnet, falls in love with Cornelia Robson on the ship and proposes to her, he had no motive for killing Linnet. In the film, the doctor is actually Lord Windlesham, Linnet’s former fiancé, but hides his origins and helps the poor as a doctor. In the film, he has the motive and the ability to kill Lynette.
- Witnesses of Jacqueline’s shot in the film are Rosalie and Bouc. In the novel, Jim Fanthora is the witness of the shooting, he is not in the film.
- In the film, Miss van Schuller is an ideological communist and godmother to Linnet, as well as her main heiress. In the film, Miss Van Schuller and Miss Byers are a couple, so Miss Van Schuller had a motive to kill Linnet. In the book, this is an elderly lady suffering from kleptomania, traveling with a nurse and niece. In the book, Lord Dawlish was the ideological communist, in the film he was replaced by Dr. Windlesham
- In the film, Miss Bowers had a motive for killing Lynette; in the novel, they did not know each other.
- In the film, Euphemia Boгс found the missing necklace; in the book, it was returned by Miss Bowers.
Death on the Nile – Episode 3 of Season 9 of Poirot
Emily Blunt is perfect for the role of Lynette – young, beautiful, graceful, arrogant. She looks great in the show. And what outfits does she have!
The Winter Palace Hotel was cast as the Cataract Hotel. The Winter Palace Hotel is located in Luxor on the banks of the Nile River, built in the early 20th century, now it is called the Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel. The hotel in the film and my photo taken in Luxor
In the series you can see the famous sights of Egypt.
Luxor Temple in the series Poirot – in reality and a shot from the film
Portal of the Temple of Hathor in Dandara
Valley of the Kings
Actors from the adaptations of Death on the Nile, who played in the Harry Potter films
Actress Frances de la Tour, who played Salome Otterbourne in the series Poirot, you could see in the role of Madame Maxime, the teacher of the Beauxbatons school in the fourth and seventh Harry Potter films. . In the second film “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” Kenneth Branagh played Gilderoy Lockhart
Kenneth Branagh as Gilderoy and as Poirot