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The Alphabet Murders (1965)

 -  Crime | Mystery | Comedy  -  17 May 1966 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 797 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 7 critic

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 ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Amanda Beatrice Cross
...
Maurice Denham ...
...
Duncan Doncaster
Sheila Allen ...
Lady Diane
James Villiers ...
Franklin
...
Don Fortune
Grazina Frame ...
Betty Barnard
Clive Morton ...
'X'
Cyril Luckham ...
Richard Wattis ...
Wolf
David Lodge ...
Sergeant
Patrick Newell ...
Cracknell
Austin Trevor ...
Judson
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Storyline

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 <hatchetts13@webtv.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's really no mystery why this girl is MURDER... it's as simple as ABC if you look hard enough! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Mystery | Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The ABC Murders  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film in which both Poirot (Tony Randall) and Miss Marple (Margaret Rutherford) appear. See more »

Goofs

Japp's opening of Betty Barnard's bathroom door makes the wall and mirror shake, revealing it as a studio set. See more »

Quotes

Hastings: Where have you been? What have you been doing?
Hercule Poirot: Arranging a little extra insurance my friend.
Hastings: Oh really? Personally I always feel perfectly safe with British railways. Mind you its very different in France, isn't it?
Hercule Poirot: I wouldn't know. I am not French, I am Belgian.
Hastings: Well it's the same thing, you both eat horsemeat.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


Soundtracks

Come Back Baby
(uncredited)
Music by Brian Fahey
Lyric by Norman Newell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Comedy first, mystery next
12 February 2003 | by (Trivandrum, Kerala, India) – See all my reviews

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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