In Acapulco, Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The causes seem to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
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 <email@example.com>
The official screenwriters of this film, David Pursall and Jack Seddon, were greatly annoyed by the extensive rewriting of their script by director Frank Tashlin and actor Robert Morley; Tashlin also encouraged Morley and Tony Randall to ad-lib lines and business. See more »
In the opening credits, when Poirot in London is being followed on his way to his tailor, the cars are parked facing the same way on both sides of the street, indicating a one-way street - but the moving traffic is going in the opposite direction. 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'm quirky about Christie mysteries, so take this comment with caution. Most viewers seem to think this a failed comedy, a poor "Pink Panther," and I liked it.
First, the form of the thing: in key plot elements, it is a rather close adaptation of a Christie book where a murderer "tells a story" in his murders in order to throw the police off. So it begins by being a story about fooling the detective inside another story (the movie) about trying to fool us as detectives.
The clue is about words. As a mystery, it is one of the clever explorations that Agatha had, looking at every way she could legally twist the convention of the form.
The tone of the thing is what is at issue. Peter Sellers had just had a hit with "Pink Panther" as a bumbling French detective and Poirot inherits some of this. Christie intended for him to be comic in a pompous way, and to varying degrees played with the tension between his genteel buffoonery and his sharp mechanical mind. It was not a simple joke, because her goal in part was to both describe and comment on how such an interesting mind would work.
She explored this indirectly by describing his manner, his minor superstitions, his attention to domestic ritual, the vanity of the perfect phrase, whether as a thought or a courtesy. She couldn't do that with Marple, who was as sharp but whose mind and manner was crass and impolite.
So part of the game for me in watching film versions is in how the adapter treats the relationship with the viewer so far as the mystery proper. There are all sorts of narrative mechanics that are involved there than aren't worth mentioning now. The other part is in how the mind of the detective is portrayed, and since we can only see the mind through the story (as I just said) and in the person's manner, that manner is key.
I think I liked this Poirot better than any of the others. They're all comic in one way or another, and this one seems further in tone from what was written. It is, but it may be closer in intent even though its in a context of Jerry Lewis slapstick.
Consider this: in mystery your mind and the detective's are supposed to parallel each other in important ways. In creating a version of the story -- the truth -- despite attempts to force it others wise, you both do this. So in fact, you create the world itself in a way. Some of the basic mechanics are frozen in life as in the genre, but others are completely open for you both to make: matters of how clever fate is, how comic are the wheels of nature, how inevitable is justice, what justice means, how conscience and consequence matter.
If the filmmaker can harmonize the tone of what you as viewer see and create in your own mind of the world, with what your surrogate the detective does, then he has succeeded and you can enter the movie whole.
This movie seems trivial. I think it is all but impossible to see. But it succeeds with its Poirot where no other attempt does.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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