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on June 16, 2013
I was lucky to come across a great sale on this movie as it has been on my wish list for awhile. It was a funny and a brilliant example of Agatha Christies storytelling and the Brit wit.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 1, 2005
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 just gets 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 pour 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 the landlady in "The Man Who Never Was" (1956)
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2004
I don't write a lot of reviews, but I couldn't let this one go by. Were the previous reviewers watching the same movie as I did? The only way I made it through this movie was because it was like watching a train wreck - I had to watch to see how this ridiculous plot was going to turn out.
Okay, so the acting and sets were okay, but the real problem is the story - this story is clearly the most complicated, implausible and ridiculous mystery I've ever encountered. Absolutly horrible. And believe me, I am not setting the bar too high. Example: lead characters have been kidnapped by Mr. X. Turns out that Mr. X isn't really Mr. X. The lead characters ask him why he went to extensive efforts to disguise himself as Mr. X. His response: "well, I dunno, just suppose I wanted to see if I could pull one over on you..." What sense did that make other than a literary device to mask a poor plot.
Really, this movie is absolutely horrible!
Jim
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2004
If you like the Agatha Christie Partners in Crime Tommy and Tuppence series, you're going to love this story! Actually, it doesn't matter because this is an enjoyable 1920s mystery romp with just enough humor and romance blended into the more serious goings-on to please most everyone. It's amazing how complex and LONG a story this is. I checked the online description and the back of the box, but I couldn't discover if this had been a television mini-series or just a lengthy made-for-TV movie. Even though it's lots of fun, it does seem to go on forever!
The lead characters, played by Francesca Annis and James Warwick, are just as attractive a couple as they are in Tommy and Tuppence, except they don't seem to realize it until they've both had romantic "flings" with other characters in the cast. The sets and costumes look authentic 1920s, and the cars are particularly interesting, especially in the used car lot.

The only reluctance I had for giving this DVD release 5 stars is because of the uneven look of the movie itself. Sometimes this looks like sharply focused videotape, and at other times it looks like fuzzy film. This is probably because of the source material from 1980 rather than the fault of the DVD production, but it still should be noted. This is the same "look" as on the earlier Upstairs, Downstairs programs.
Nit-picking aside, this is a thoroughly worthwhile DVD that should appeal to most mystery and Agatha Christie fans in particular.
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on July 21, 2003
And why indeed didn't they? While this long, made for T.V. movie could have been much shorter if they simply had asked Evans, it would not have been nearly as enjoyable. The script, adapted from an Agatha Christie novel of the same name, mimics the pace and rythem of the original quite well. While the quality of acting was good, the picture quality of the DVD was grainy and the sound faded in and out at times. The attempts at action and/or suspense via fights or late night escapades also did not come off very well partially due to the bad picture quality. These scenes did not in any real way hinder the movie since the real fun is trying to solve the mystery before Bobby and Frankie do. (If you find out who Evans is before they do, my hat is off to you!) The last scene with the villain is a clumsy and implausable plot device (how many times is Frankie going to fall for the same ruse?) to the viewer to get a detailed description of the plot from the villain himself but if you like mysteries in the Agatha Christie style, then you will enjoy this movie.
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on July 21, 2003
And why indeed didn't they? While this long, made for T.V. movie could have been much shorter if they simply had asked Evans, it would not have been nearly as enjoyable. The script, adapted from an Agatha Christie novel of the same name, mimics the pace and rythem of the original quite well. While the quality of acting was good, the picture quality of the DVD was grainy and the sound faded in and out at times. The attempts at action and/or suspense via fights or late night escapades also did not come off very well partially due to the bad picture quality. These scenes did not in any real way hinder the movie since the real fun is trying to solve the mystery before Bobby and Frankie do. (If you find out who Evans is before they do, my hat is off to you!) The last scene with the villain is a clumsy and implausable plot device (how many times is Frankie going to fall for the same ruse?) to the viewer to get a detailed description of the plot from the villain himself but if you like mysteries in the Agatha Christie style, then you will enjoy this movie.
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on July 10, 2003
As an Agatha Christie fan, I love the story. You do not know the murderer till the end. The acting is wonderful, typical british. Costume and sceen is beautifully selected. The only pity is the DVD effect is not obivious, maybe because the movie is comparably old - 1981
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on May 5, 2003
Why Didn't They Ask Evan's? is a terrific Agatha Christie mystery story (based on Christie's novel The Boomerang Clue) made into a terrific mystery movie. The plot, though a bit convoluted, is well developed and the excellent cast carries it out superbly. Although this is not one of Agatha Christie's biggest hits, it definitely is one of her best stories and as fine a Christie-based movie as I've ever seen. Now that it's available on DVD I hope it will achieve the recognition it amply deserves. Highly recommended.
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