A generally leaden interpretation of a spry psycho-drama. It’s played like a rep production on a Wednesday afternoon with Olivier slipping too easily into his familiar fortissimo flourishes with Caine somewhat stymied by his limited vocal range. The denouement is a mile coming and what may work effectively as theatre-craft here creaks off the screen with the joins showing. Stick to Shaffer’s Christie adaptations.
The production design here is sensational - Wyke's manor is a character in and of itself and the traps, games, and other automata are truly fun and oftentimes spooky. Michael Caine and Sir Laurence Olivier are incredible together and the acting pas de deux they showcase is unmatched by most every other film duo.
Merveilleux et subtil petit film où le spectateur est sans cesse en porte-à-faux, balayé, envoûté au gré d'un scénario fertile en rebondissements et en chausse-trapes d'une étonnante sophistication, dans lequel on se laisse délicieusement enferrer... www.cinefiches.com
It's an adaptation of an award-winning play, a tense battle of wits with lots of twists and darkly comedic dialogue, and it features two English acting greats bringing their A-game to the material. In short, it's a film that's practically tailor-made for me to love.
This is the original version. Contrary to common reviews the remake is better. Why? (1) Unnecessarily overlong, you can easily cut-off the boring first hour completely; and there are hangovers. (2) Lawrence Olivier is not the appropriate cast, he has got a strong tendency to drag this into comedy. (3) This is not a comedy, it is a psycho duel. And this "duel-character" falls short at times.