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.
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.
While on vacation at a resort hotel in the West Indies, Miss Marple correctly suspects that the apparently natural death of a retired British major is actually the work of a murderer planning yet another killing.
Hercule Poirot is called in by his crime writer friend, Ariadne Oliver and discovers that she is troubled. She has been asked to create a "Murder Hunt" game for a fair at Nass House and she is puzzled with all the help she is getting. Poirot and his assistant, Captain Hastings arrive at the fair to see what is going on. They find a couple on the brink of divorce, a rich Lord and a dizzy Lady, an old lady, trapped in the horrors of the past and a womanizing architect. Things take a turn for the worse when during the "Murder Hunt" the girl playing the "dead" body is murdered for real, an old man's body is pulled from the local lake and the Lady of the manor goes missing when a face from her past shows up. It is clear to Poirot that someone is playing the game for real and he sets out to discover who it is... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
The title of Ariadne Oliver's latest novel, "Hatchets Blood and a Parakeet", is - dependent on how you read it - incorrect in either grammar or punctuation, something which would be picked up at the proof-reading editorial stage by her publishers. See more »
There is a considerable difference between military intelligence and... normal intelligence.
See more »
There has been (so far) only one definitive screen Poirot and that is David Suchet. As much as I admired the art of the late Sir Peter Ustinov, he was always completely miscast in this role. He was nothing like the character that Agatha Christie envisaged, i.e. an over-fastidious dapper little man who had a mincing walk, a bald egg-shaped head and a dark waxed moustache. Peter's rotund shape, with crumpled clothes and a crumpled moustache to match, would make her, and indeed Poirot himself, turn in their graves. However, Ustinov, as he usually does in this role, and probably deliberately, hams it up (likewise the entire cast) with enthusiastic gusto, but again I suspect, not entirely as Miss Christie would have imagined it.
Jonathon Cecil plays Capt Hastings as if he was a complete moron. Although not blessed with the same "little grey cells" as his companion, Hastings was not written as a fool, and in fact had supposedly been in Military Intelligence, which (although suggested in the film), is not a place for idiots.
Overall this movie (as with all Ustinov's portrayals of the character) is to Poirot, as burlesque is to the legitimate theatre, but so what? It's enjoyable to watch, and that's what entertainment is all about.
18 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?