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.
Hercule Poirot (Sir Peter Ustinov) 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.
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 first draft of the screenplay, written several years before the film was made, was a collaboration between actor Zero Mostel and director Seth Holt - although Holt later claimed that "collaboration" really meant Mostel doing a series of dazzling comic improvisations around the basis of Agatha Christie's original plot whilst he, Holt, desperately tried to write it all down as quickly as possible whilst convulsed with laughter. See more »
As Tony Randall is climbing out of the trunk of the car that he was hiding in, the tail lights are clearly on. But when Robert Morley is sitting in the car the tail lights are off. In 1965, automatic headlights were not yet available for cars, especially cheap models like this one. See more »
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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