Ordeal by Innocence (film)

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Ordeal by Innocence
Ordeal by Innocence (film).jpg
Directed by Desmond Davis
Written by Agatha Christie (novel)
Alexander Stuart (screenplay)
Starring Donald Sutherland
Music by Dave Brubeck
Cinematography Billy Williams
Edited by Timothy Gee
Release dates
  • 17 May 1985 (1985-05-17)
Running time
90 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Ordeal by Innocence is a 1985 mystery film directed by Desmond Davis. It stars Donald Sutherland and Faye Dunaway. It is based on the Agatha Christie novel Ordeal by Innocence.


Paleontologist Dr. Arthur Calgary visits the Argyle family to give them an address book that belongs to Jack Argyle. But he is told that Jack has been executed for the murder of his adoptive mother two years ago. But the address book can prove that Jack was innocent, so Dr. Calgary starts the investigation all over.



Agatha Christie's daughter Rosalind, who had approval of the script, was initially concerned that Michael Elphick's police inspector, modeled to some extent after a harder-nosed American-style police officer, would prove unpopular among the local constabulary in Devon, where she lived.[citation needed]

The original score was not by Dave Brubeck but by Pino Donaggio, who wrote his typical, lush and beautiful music. When the film didn't test well, they decided to jettison the Donaggio score and replace it with Dave Brubeck music. Brubeck was told he'd have two weeks to write an original score - he said no. They then agreed that they'd use already existing Brubeck tunes and newly record them.[citation needed]

The film received a Royal Premiere in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.[citation needed]

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