Poirot attends the Victory Ball, a costume party where you are expected to dress as someone famous, as himself. However, when two members of a party of six dressed as characters from classical Italian comedy are subsequently found dead, Poirot finds himself working with Chief Inspector Japp to solve the case. The solution to the deaths of Viscount Cronshaw and Coco Courtney is to be found in determining the correct time of death and identifying an impostor at the ball. Poirot takes to the airwaves and reveals the identity of the killer on a live BBC radio broadcast. Written by
This story can be found in a couple of collections of short stories written by Agatha Christie; "Poirot's Early Cases" and "The Underdog and Other Stories". See more »
At 46min:50 sec, Poirot leaves the radio studio through the left brass door and the camera on a tripod as well as the cameraman's reflection is seen on the closed right brass door. See more »
The Harlequinade, ancestor of the English pantomime. Six characters. Garish, grotesque. First brought to life three centuries ago by the clowns and the actors of the Italian fairgrounds. Today, mere costumed characters at a masked ball. Where now their mystery, their magic, their comedy, their tragedy?
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Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings are invited to the Victory Ball, a costume party where everyone is dressed as someone famous from the past or present (Poirot appears as "himself"!). When a man dressed as Harlequin is found stabbed to death, Poirot's reputation takes a blow ("Masked murderer eludes famous Belgian detective", read the newspapers' headlines the following morning), and he is determined to restore it by reconstructing the events of that night to find out what really happened.
Because most of the characters are introduced rather rapidly, and spend a lot of time half-hidden under masks and elaborate costumes, this episode is pretty hard to follow on the first viewing. In my opinion, you'll need to see it at least twice to get the most out of it. It does reward you, however, with a fairly clever story and an atmospheric verbal recreation of the crime(s) by Poirot on a live radio program. (**1/2)
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