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The Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates a series of murders in London in which the victims are killed according to their initials. The first victim is A.A. the second B.B. and so on. Poirot is assisted in his investigations by Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp. Written by
Mike Hatchett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The sleeping Mrs Fortune's mouth changes position from shot-to-shot, and occasionally doesn't match the snoring soundtrack. See more »
Where have you been? What have you been doing?
Arranging a little extra insurance my friend.
Oh really? Personally I always feel perfectly safe with British railways. Mind you its very different in France, isn't it?
I wouldn't know. I am not French, I am Belgian.
Well it's the same thing, you both eat horsemeat.
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Tony Randall emerges from Borehamwood Studios' Stage 4 to introduce the film and acknowledge his own starring credit, first as himself and then in full Poirot make-up and character. See more »
I have enjoyed David Suchet and Peter Ustinov playing Poirot among other interpretations of the detective, but Randall's turn is equally enjoyable. Randall is not a great actor but a fine comedian. Director Frank Tashlin should know a good comedian when he casts them--he had worked with Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis to name just two.
The film begins with Randall introducing himself as Poirot with a twinkle in his eye. The director is clear from the first scene--comedy first, mystery next.
Robert Morley is fun, but Randall is even better--the bowling alley, the restaurant gags, the telephone calls--all scenes filled with visual, good humor rather than slapstick. Morley depends on the typical British attitudes, e.g., snapping fingers down the pecking order, jumping queues and not knowing one's shoe size all depicting arrogance of society and wealth. Director Tashlin dishes out a comedy with considerable social comment--Brits who cannot differentiate the French from the Belgian French and are in the police force!
The most intriguing bit was to introduce Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple and Stringer Davis as Mr Stringer of the Miss Marple films bump into Randall's Poirot briefly. Surely this was a gem of an idea from Tashlin.
The film cannot be easily trashed--it offers comedy and entertainment, nearly 40 years after it was made. It is definitely not the definitive Poirot but an interesting interpretation of Poirot. It is probably one of the best Randall films ranking alongside "The Seven Faces of Dr Lao."
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