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The Man in the Brown Suit is a 1989 American television movie, directed by Alan Grint. The book was adapted by Carla Jean Wagner for Alan Shayne Productions in association with Warner Brothers Television. The film is an adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel of the same name.


The adaptation is set in the 1980s rather than the 1920s in the original novel. There are also some changes in the locations of the action and the backgrounds of the characters. Other than that, the film follows the main events in the story quite closely.

Comparison with the original story[]

(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)

Spoiler warning: A spoiler is announced! The following section contains details about The Man in the Brown Suit novel and adaptation.

There were a few major changes in this version:

  • The story is set in the present day, the 1980s.
  • Characters:
    • Anne Beddingfeld is American, not British as in the novel. She travels onboard Kilmorden Castle from Cairo, not Southampton.
    • Anita is a singer in Kimberley, South Africa. In the novel she used the alias Nadina and posed as a dancer in Paris.
  • The house where Anita is murdered is in Cairo, not in Marlow. She is shot to death, not strangled as in the novel.
  • Leo Carton (L. B. Carton) is accidentally hit by a car outside the airport in Cairo, not by an underground train in London.

Spoilers end here.

Plot summary[]

(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)

Anne Beddingfeld here is an American video store salesperson. At the end of a tour of Europe, she deliberately gets on to the wrong plane (how?) and ends up in Cairo. Just outside the terminal she witnesses a man being knocked down by a car. A man in a brown suit claims to be a doctor and attends to him but leaves quickly. He drops a note which Anne picks up. The next day she reads in the newspaper about a dead girl being found in a villa in Cairo belonging to Eustace Peddler. A man in a brown suit is the key suspect. Anne thinks the two events are linked and follows the clue in the note and books a ticket on a cruise ship, the Kilmorden Castle. Thereafter the action follows quite closely the main events in the original story.


  • Stephanie Zimbalist played Anne Beddingfeld
  • Rue McClanahan played Suzy Blair
  • Tony Randall played Rev. Edward Chichester
  • Edward Woodward played Sir Eustace Pedler
  • Ken Howard played Gordon Race
  • Nickolas Grace played Guy Underhill
  • Simon Dutton played Harry Lucas
  • María Casal played Anita
  • Federico Luciano played Leo Carton
  • Rose McVeigh played Valerie
  • Jorge Bosso played Businessman
  • José Canalejas played First Arab
  • Tibi Costa played Second Arab (as Tiby Costa)
  • Robert Case played Ship's Captain
  • James Duggan played Steward
  • Gabriel Edu played Shop Clerk
  • Bill Holden played John Eardsley
  • Charly Mahdy played First Taxi driver
  • Aldo Sambrell played Second Taxi driver
  • Alito Rodgers played Third Taxi driver
  • Antonio Ross played a Concierge
  • Elias Mayali played a Policeman
  • Jack Taylor played s Police inspector
  • Claudio Vicente played a Pianist