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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 1980 Christie classic at last available uncut
This classic 1980 3 1/2 hour LWT adaption of Agatha Christie's 1934 novel was repeated in October 1999 by Granada Plus, with at least 22 minutes missing, and after an angry response by Christie fans, this adaption was finally released in June 2000 in its entirety, and was a huge seller as a result. Granada Plus have been heavily criticised for editing, and trimming its...
Published on 31 July 2004 by Mr. Jack Gray

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1.0 out of 5 stars Why Didn't They Ask Evans
Why is the DVD only in region 1 Why can't we buy it in region 2 it just isn't fare. we are missing out in Britain
Published 21 months ago by daisy


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 1980 Christie classic at last available uncut, 31 July 2004
By 
Mr. Jack Gray "jackmaster" (Glasgow) - See all my reviews
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This classic 1980 3 1/2 hour LWT adaption of Agatha Christie's 1934 novel was repeated in October 1999 by Granada Plus, with at least 22 minutes missing, and after an angry response by Christie fans, this adaption was finally released in June 2000 in its entirety, and was a huge seller as a result. Granada Plus have been heavily criticised for editing, and trimming its output by at least 5 minutes thus missing out vital scenes which were important to viewers.
VCI/Cinema Club does these Agatha Christie adaptions justice, and with this story as we see Lady Frances Derwent, superbly played by Francesca Annis, and Bobby Jones, played by James Warwick, being led into a world of multiple identities, drugs, and deception. This is where the vital scenes which were cut by Plus are essential for instance the introduction of Badger (Robert Longden), plays a very important part in the proceedings, so it didn't make any sense whatsoever to make cuts, and edits to this story. This destroys the enjoyment of viewers. Of the supporting cast : Connie Booth is wonderful as Sylvia Bassington-FFrench, as are Sir John Gielgud, Bernard Miles, Lynda Marchal (LaPlante), Joan Hickson, James Cossins, but the best performances come from Eric Porter as the mysterious, Dr Nicholson, and Leigh Lawson, as smoothie villain Roger Bassington-FFrench, and one notable scene is when Lady Derwent, and Bobby Jones, are gagged by Dr Nicholson (Bassington-FFrench in disguise, with accurate synch voice over by Eric Porter to follow Lawson's mouth movements which is used to great effect here), and are told how they're going to die. Cue Badger Beadon to the rescue. Madeline Smith is also superb as the conniving wife of Dr Nicholson, who is unmasked by Frances Derwent as a drug pusher. Who was Evans?. Well, I'm not going to spoil it for you. Filmed in the summer of'79, it took a superlative effort of two, not one directors, Tony Wharmby, and John Davies, who would helm the later PD James stories. This story took just 12 weeks to complete. This is definitely my favourite of the AC adaptions. Next stop : The Seven Dials Mystery.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best dramatization of Agatha Christie ever., 22 Nov 2000
By A Customer
If you're looking for technical accuracy, brilliant screenplay or slick digital effects, look elsewhere. But if you love good old fashioned whodunnits, you can't go wrong with this. The chief protagonists are entirely believable in their roles, and manage to hold your attention to the end, if only to answer the title question. The best thing about the movie is that even though, once you've got to the end, the plot is thin at best, it keeps throwing up little suprises on subsequent viewings. I first watched it in 1981, and have never missed an opportunity to see it since. One for the fans.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there really an Evans?, 1 Nov 2005
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Bobby Jones (James Warwick) is pitifully attempting to play golf on ground above the cliff to the sea. He would most assuredly hit someone if the ball go jut get that far. He hears a cry but just plays on. That is until the search for the ball takes him to the edge of the cliff where it appears that a hiker fell on the rocks below. Bobby rushes to the aid of the fallen man. The fallen man come conscious just long enough to say "Why Didn't They Ask Evans?" then expires.
From here characters pore in from all sides and you need to keep a score card and there are several doctors and mysteriously guilty looking people. You may guess some of the story but not all as they hold back most of clues until the last moment.
Once again Britton has excelled in bringing a great Agatha Christie story to life. They did not try to overstate or rush through the story. Also true to Christies writing they left in the characters instead of trying to homogenize them into fewer numbers for TV's sake.
We recognize the actors for other such stories:
James Warwick who trained at the Central School in London also played Tommy in Agatha Christie's "Partners in Crime" series.
Francesca Annis was Tuppence in the "Partners in Crime" series. But where I remember her most as Lady Jessica in "Dune" (1984).
Sir John Gielgud, a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic arts in London played Hamlet on the stage.
The big surprise is the late Joan Hickson who made her stage debut in prudential theater in 1927 and played the best Miss Marple in the Agatha Christie series of movies. You may not recognize her but she was also in "Eye of the Needle" (1981).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Didn't They Ask Evans?, 22 Feb 2010
By 
N. RUSSELL (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
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Oddly enough, this thoroughly 'English' version of Agatha Christie's classic tale is available only in the US NTSC version, so you will need to use a universal viewer, or, as in my case, set an Apple computer to NTSC mode, and use that. This is a first-rate version of the story, with excellent settings and a splendid cast, including James Warwick and Francesca Annis as the investigating couple (they would team up later as Tommy and Tuppence in 'Partners in Crime'). There is a star-studded cast (to use a convenient cliche), but they all make themselves belong to the story, rather than become a mere procession of famous faces. This version is very faithful to the original, and is fast-moving and authentic in feel. Very well worth acquiring.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An amusing, stylish...and long...Agatha Christie mystery, 10 Aug 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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A golf game on a windy bluff above the sea, a cry, a man lying on the rocks below who struggles to say with his dying breath, "Why didn't they ask Evans?" And we're off on a three-hour Agatha Christie tale of family deception, murder, lies and ruthless intrigue. We're also thrust into the Twenties and early Thirties' world of wealthy English bright young things, a world of upper-crust accents, immaculate manners and immaculate croquet grounds, country homes with many rooms and even more servants, and gleaming autos almost as long as a cricket pitch.

This TV movie, originally a three-part British television production, would seem to have everything. So why is it unsatisfying? And why, as unsatisfying as I think it is, is it still amusing to watch? The unsatisfying parts first. 1) The story goes on and on. It easily could have been cut by at least half an hour. 2) The mystery is convoluted and hard to follow. 3) The two sleuths, Lady Frances Derwent (Francesca Annis) and Bobby Jones (James Warwick) got a bit on my nerves. Bobby is brave, a puppy dog around Frankie and not too smart. Frankie is very much the bright young thing, superficially brittle with hidden warmth, clever and, to my taste, a bit too self-satisfied. I never forgot that I was watching actors. 4) The direction is heavy handed, as if the director felt he had to nudge us that we're watching a slightly silly period piece. The background music is frequently used to emphasize things that don't need to be emphasized.

What makes it watchable? Style, story and several of the actors. 1) This production looks great. The stately homes, inside and out, provide wonderful settings for distinctly upper class life. The period clothes for both the men and women look authentic and are often elegant. Dressing for dinner never looked better. 2) While the story is convoluted, it carries within it enough false leads to keep one's interest. The solution to the mystery and the answer to the dying man's question is clever. 3) Despite the artificiality of Annis' performance, she's a good enough actress to keep me watching her. It's style over substance, and she carries off the style handily. One of the important roles, who may be a diversion to the plot or may be a key ingredient, is played by Eric Porter, a fine actor. This was one of his last roles. He plays Dr. Nicholson, who runs a discrete clinic for disturbed relatives of wealthy families. The doctor is solicitous and alarming at the same time. Porter does a great job. If you have a chance, watch him as Soames in the early TV production of the Forsyte Saga. He was, in my view, an exceptional actor. In smaller roles Bernard Miles and John Gielgud show up. Joan Hickson makes an appearance looking utterly different from Miss Marple.

On balance, I think this is a show you might like if you're fond of British mysteries involving the upper class and don't expect a classic. You'll need to appreciate Lady Frances...but as Bobby tells her at the close, "You were so frightfully plucky..."

The DVD transfer is soft but not too bad. There is a filmography of several of the actors.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Why Didn't They Ask Evans, 26 Oct 2012
Why is the DVD only in region 1 Why can't we buy it in region 2 it just isn't fare. we are missing out in Britain
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5.0 out of 5 stars drama from days gone by, 3 April 2011
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Brilliant drama, its like watching a play in your own personal theatre. I love the style of this drama and without pounding loud unneccessary background music is far more relaxing to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two great presentations, 12 Feb 2011
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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You will want to get the real skinny on this one

Agatha Christie's "The Case of the Missing Lady" adapted by Jonathan Hale.

The Scene opens with a moaning lady; hovering over her is a brute assistant Muldoon to what looks like a mad doctor and his Brunhilda looking assistant. To make matters worse there is the biggest hypodermic syringe ever conserved by man. It is half full of green glop.

Gabriel Stovington just returned from a two year stint in the arctic and is getting the runaround while trying to find his fiancé. He is in need of a detective agency.

After the Great War Tommy Beresford (James Warwick) and wife/ assistant Tuppence (Francesca Annis) buy the Blunt International Detective agency. And without any background become detectives. By the time you get to this episode they are getting good at it (maybe).

The acting at first make you thing that you are sitting in the front row of a Bernard Shaw play.

Of course it is an obvious secret message. However being clever they figure that the message is some sort of rendezvous. It is to take part at the Three Arts Ball (costume ball) where one of the sleuths gets to dress up as Sherlock Homes and the other as Dr. Watson. One guess as to who gets to be homes.

After the ball is over, like most of the revelers, they go to xxx to have a drink an early breakfast. There they notice a man costumed as the local paper entering a private booth with a woman and coming out alone. We are way ahead of them on the plot

As with most of the "Partners in Crime" series we are fare ahead of them on the whom. The fun is to watch them figure out not only the whom but the other details. This story is a period piece of just after The Great War.

Made for TV and fairly transparent, this film still has all the ambiance of a BBC Agatha Christy production. It is a period piece and employs many major English actors. Detective Inspector Marriott (Arthur Cox) played the newspaper reporter Salcombe Hardy in Dorothy L. Sayers' Have His Carcase (1987).

====================================================
"I promise to pay"

After the Grate World War, Tommy Beresford (James Warwick) and Tuppence (Francesca Annis) are out of work and form a partnership in a detective agency. They eventually marry and continue their detection business. On the surface they look like they are stumbling into the answer of each mystery they solve. But upon further observance they are cunning and resourceful.

In this "The Cracker" A story by Agatha Christie and screen play adaptation by Gerald Savory, Tommy and Tuppence are approached by inspector Marriott (Arthur Cox). He has a problem with funny money and needs someone with class to do a little snooping in the hoity-toity crowd to find the culprit(s). The inspector suspects it is a gang.

The partners in crime will be forced to go night clubbing and dancing. There are many suspects and they need to be narrowed down. They are aided by the third detective young Albert (Reece Dinsdale).

While they seem to be lead around by the nose we may be able to figure the plot but are the duo that naive or the cat's meow.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasing, 2 Jun 2010
By 
Berit Storset "margareta" (Norway) - See all my reviews
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Beautiful, tasteful, amusing filmatisation and with due respect for author and period. Very good actors - James Warwick and Francesca Annis are a pleasure to watch. The version I got hold of, was in Spanish, but fortunately it was possible to choose English speech. In my opinion, this DVD is well worth the money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Why Didn't They Ask Evans, 17 Mar 2010
By 
J. R. Taylor (Rochester, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I bought this video in error; I had searched for the DVD version. I already had a video version that I bought when it first came out and can recommend it to Agatha Christie fans.
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