The Alphabet Murders

The Alphabet Murders is a 1965 British detective film directed by Frank Tashlin and starring Tony Randall as Hercule Poirot. It is based on the 1936 novel The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie.

The Alphabet Murders
Alphabet murders223.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrank Tashlin
Written byDavid Pursall (screenplay)
Jack Seddon (screenplay)
Agatha Christie (novel)
StarringTony Randall
Anita Ekberg
Robert Morley
Music byRon Goodwin
CinematographyDesmond Dickinson
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • August 1965 (1965-08) (UK)
  • 17 May 1966 (1966-05-17) (U.S.)
Running time
90 min
CountryUnited Kingdom


Albert Aachen, a clown with a unique diving act, is found dead, the murder weapon happens to be a poison dart. When a woman named Betty Barnard becomes the next victim, detective Hercule Poirot suspects that Sir Carmichael Clarke could be in grave danger.

As he and Captain Hastings look into the crimes, a beautiful woman with an interesting monogram named Amanda Beatrice Cross becomes the focus of their investigation, at least until she leaps into the Thames.


Production backgroundEdit

The part of Poirot had originally been intended for Zero Mostel but the film was delayed because Agatha Christie objected to the script; amongst the things objected to was the intention to put in a bedroom scene with Hercule Poirot.[1] The film varies significantly from the novel and emphasises comedy, the specialty of director Frank Tashlin. Poirot is given buffoonish characteristics, while still remaining a brilliant detective.

The film features a cameo by Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple and Stringer Davis as her friend Mr Stringer. The pair had previously appeared in a series of four films as the characters produced by MGM between 1961 and 1964.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Osborne, Charles (1990). The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie. Contemporary Books. pp. 116–7. ISBN 9780809241071.
  2. ^ Weiler, A.H. (12 July 1966). "The Screen: 'Alphabet Murders' Opens". New York Times. Retrieved 20 February 2020.

External linksEdit