The Legacy (1978) Katharine Ross, Sam Elliott, John Standing, Ian Hogg, Margaret Tyzack Movie Review

The Legacy (1978)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Sam Elliott and Katharine Ross in The Legacy (1978)

And Then There Was...

When American Margaret Walsh (Katharine Ross) is invited to Britain to do the interior design for someone they have never met her boyfriend Pete Danner (Sam Elliott) is suspicious but agrees to go with her. It is whilst riding his motorbike through the countryside they end up accidentally run off the road by Jason Mountolive (John Standing) who insists they stay as guests of his at his stately home whilst their motorbike is repaired. It soon becomes apparent they are not the only guests as rock star Clive Jackson (Roger Daltery) and businessman Karl Liebnecht (Charles Gray) are amongst a select group also staying at the large house. But when one by one the guests begin to die in what first appears like accidents it slowly becomes apparent to Margaret that maybe her being there is no accident at all and that she is an heir to the Mountolive legacy.

Take Agatha Christie's "And Then There Was None" and give it a horror/ devil worshipping make over and what you end up with is "The Legacy". Now in Agatha Christie's "And Then There Was None" a series of guests are invited to a large home and one by one they die as it is revealed they have all gotten away with crimes till it seems one is left and is going to end up blamed for all the other deaths. In "The Legacy" we get the first part of this as we have the large home, a series of guests who one by one die and each has gotten away with a crime. But firstly with this being a horror the nature of their deaths are more graphic and gore based that in Christie's original although as this is a 70s horror the effects are shall we say dated.

Roger Daltrey and Katharine Ross in The Legacy (1978)

But then there is the devil worshiping side to "The Legacy" as we learn that Jason Mountolive is not all he seems and neither are the guests. And this provides the movie with a twist on Christie's original when it comes to the movie's ending which to be honest is as curious as the rest of the movie because "The Legacy" is frequently a little strange. But being strange is what makes it entertaining from the opening song "Another Side of Me" which is sung by Kiki Dee to events which unravel including what happens to the remains of one victim. Although the strangely bubbly soundtrack during dramatic scenes is a bit too curious and strange for my liking

But in many ways the most strange and most entertaining thing is the casting as you could accept Charles Gray in say Agatha Christie's "And Then There Was None" whilst Katharine Ross you could accept in a horror movie. But Roger Daltrey whilst perfectly cast as a rock star seems a bit of a curious entry whilst Sam Elliott sticks out despite doing a good job in his semi heroic role.

What this all boils down to is that "The Legacy" is a curiously creative take on a Christie classic whilst not quite working like it should of still ends up oddly entertaining.