Saturday, September 24, 2011

I REMEMBER - Filming of 'Death on the Nile'

Death on the Nile a detective novel by Agatha Christie in 1938 was made into a movie in 1977 and hit the theaters in 1978.

So there I am, a worldly traveler in Luxor, Egypt checking out the temples and statues at Luxor temple.  I was taking pictures like all the other tourists and I happened to observe that two women and two young children near me with one adult woman taking pictures of the children.

I was struck by how accommodating  the children were when asked to hold still and pose for a picture as they did so cheerfully.  As I was standing close by, I complemented the mom on how well-behaved the children were and how eager to have their pictures taken, quite unlike other children. She replied that they were very used to having their pictures taken.

 Her voice sounded so familiar.  Thousands of miles from California in the Egyptian desert, here I am asking this total stranger if we had ever met, as her voice sounded so familiar.  She said she was an actress and that I had probably seen her in movies.

I embarrassingly asked who she was.  She replied:  Mia Farrow (Rosemary's Baby, Peyton Place, etc.) and that she was here in Egypt filming a mystery movie from a novel by Agatha Christie called "Death on the Nile."

Note for of the two children with her that day way Soon Yi Previn (adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Andre Previn) who eventually married Mia Farrow's future husband, Woody Allen)...some what complicated, but true.

Sooooooooooooooo, she said they were filming a scene nearby (she wasn't in that scene) in the adjacent Luxor Temple and that it was OK for me to watch. That I did and had a great thrill seeing so many famous movie stars, so close up (10 feet away).

This was Egypt, it was hot - I was wearing a tank top and was sweating.  The actors were wearing Thirties elegant costumes (men in 3 piece suits with ties, women in full gowns).  Check out the lighting/camera guy to the left...shorts and no shirt - that is how hot was...The actors really earned their money, as they filmed it over and over..even with the thrill of being in such close proximity to these famous people, I soon tired of seeing the same thing over and over.

 I thought they did a marvelous job each time...but the director had them do it again and again.  When the movie came out the following year- I watched for that part...maybe 30 seconds or so and I had watched them do it for hours.

Who was there...
*  Bette Davis
*  Olivia Hussey
*  George Kennedy
*  Mia Farrow
*  Peter Ustinov
*  Jane Birkin
*  Angela Lansbury
*  David Niven
*  Maggie Smith
*  Jack Warden


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