29 user 10 critic

The Alphabet Murders (1965)

Hercule Poirot investigates a series of murders in London in which the victims are killed according to their initials.



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


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Miss Marple reports witnessing a murder through the window of a passing train, the police dismiss her as a dotty spinster when no trace of the crime can be found.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Arthur Kennedy, Muriel Pavlow
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When Miss Marple joins a theatrical company after a blackmailer is murdered, several members of the troupe are also dispatched by this mysterious killer.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Ron Moody, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell
Murder Ahoy (1964)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After Miss Marple is made a trustee of a merchant marine training vessel, a fellow trustee is poisoned, and ship's officers are later murdered after she comes on board.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Lionel Jeffries, Charles 'Bud' Tingwell
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When a wealthy old man appears to have been "frightened to death" by a cat, Miss Marple suspects one of his four relatives, all heirs to his estate, of his murder.

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Margaret Rutherford, Stringer Davis, Robert Morley
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

When a former prison wardress who dominates the lives of her three adult stepchildren and her daughter is found dead at an archaeological dig near the Dead Sea, there are a great many suspects.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Lauren Bacall, Carrie Fisher
Murder in Three Acts (TV Movie 1986)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.

Director: Gary Nelson
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Tony Curtis, Emma Samms
Thirteen at Dinner (TV Movie 1985)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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.

Director: Lou Antonio
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Faye Dunaway, David Suchet
Agatha (1979)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A fictional account of the real life, eleven day, never explained 1926 disappearance of famed murder mystery writer Agatha Christie is presented. On a cold winter day, her damaged car with ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Vanessa Redgrave, Timothy Dalton
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Ten people are invited to a luxury mountaintop mansion, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer?

Director: George Pollock
Stars: Hugh O'Brian, Shirley Eaton, Fabian
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Miss Marple comes to solve the mystery when a local woman is poisoned and a visiting movie star seems to have been the intended victim.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: Angela Lansbury, Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ten people are invited to an isolated island, only to find that an unseen person is killing them one by one. Could one of them be the killer?

Director: René Clair
Stars: Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, Louis Hayward
Bedtime Story (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story of two gigolos who vie to see which is the best at their profession.

Director: Ralph Levy
Stars: Marlon Brando, David Niven, Shirley Jones


Cast overview, first billed only:
Amanda Beatrice Cross
Maurice Denham ...
Duncan Doncaster
Sheila Allen ...
Lady Diane
Don Fortune
Grazina Frame ...
Betty Barnard
Clive Morton ...
Richard Wattis ...
David Lodge ...
Patrick Newell ...
Austin Trevor ...


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


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


Crime | Mystery | Comedy


See all certifications »




Release Date:

17 May 1966 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The ABC Murders  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Although passed by the BBFC in March 1965, The Alphabet Murders was not released in the UK until July 1966 when it went out on the bottom half of a double bill with The Glass Bottom Boat. See more »


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


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 »


Referenced in Remington Steele: Second Base Steele (1984) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Good Comic Film, but not "THE ABC MURDERS"
24 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Tony Randall was a highly competent actor and a great comic actor. Anyone who sees his performance in television's ODD COUPLE knows what a great comic actor he was. But most of his movie roles were in supporting parts, such as in support of Doris Day and Rock Hudson in their three films, or in BOYS NIGHT OUT with James Garner and Kim Novak. He did make several films as the star: WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER?, THE MATING SEASON, THE SEVEN FACES OF DR. LAO (his own favorite performance), and this film.

The good news is his performance as Hercule Poirot is very amusing. Forgetting the perennial problem of keeping an accent (and it should be a Walloon style Belgium accent, not a French one) straight, he does a good job of being consistent as a performer. Poirot is attracted to mysteries as a mouse is supposedly attracted to cheese. So he finds himself attracted to the killing of a diving champ with the initials "A.A.". Soon his attention is directed to the murder of a woman with the initials "B.B." Then a man with the initials "C.C." The chief suspect (Anita Ekberg) has the initials "A.B.C." She has a therapist (of questionable standards) with the initials "D.D.". Poirot sees a pattern, but an odd one that he can't quite understand. And the Scotland Yard Inspector escorting him around London (Robert Morley) is constantly finding his attempts to get Poirot out of the country (and out of Scotland Yard's hair) being thwarted.

Poirot does solve the mystery - and it does approach the novel, but it actually avoids the way Christie wrote the novel. If you are one who appreciated her artistic abilities you can understand why she disliked THE ABC MURDERS as much as Margaret Rutherford's contemporary "Miss Marple" series (Ms Rutherford and her husband Stringer Davis appear as Marple and "Mr. Stringer" in one scene in the film, meeting a disapproving Poirot's gaze). They spoofed the two lead characters in her two series of mystery novels. The performances of Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov, and David Suchet were all far closer to Poirot than Randall's cartoon version - just as Helen Hayes, Joan Hickson, and Angela Lansbury were far closer to Jane Marple than Miss Rutherford.

THE ABC MURDERS was better handled in a David Suchet version on television a number of years ago. It is carefully crafted to be a story of a frame-up, and the suspect is not an attractive blonde like Miss Ekberg, but a man with a notably pompous sounding name with the initials "A.B.C." The actual planner is far more unlikeable as you read the novel, not only in his callous choice of innocent victims, but in his contempt for Poirot. In fact, at the conclusion of the novel Hercule manages to leave a figurative trace of spit on the perpetrator's face when he tells him how he unworthy he is to call himself an Englishman.

This does not make Randall's performance (abetted by Morley's "Hastings") worthless. It is amusing and will keep the viewer's interest. But the lover of Christie's work is advised to wait for the David Suchet television version for the proper approach to the story.

16 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD out March 10 ! largeys
Discuss The Alphabet Murders (1965) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: