The Alphabet Murders
|The Alphabet Murders|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Frank Tashlin|
|Written by||David Pursall (screenplay)|
Jack Seddon (screenplay)
Agatha Christie (novel)
|Music by||Ron Goodwin|
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.
- Tony Randall as Hercule Poirot
- Anita Ekberg as Amanda
- Robert Morley as Captain Hastings
- Maurice Denham as Inspector Japp
- Guy Rolfe as Duncan Doncaster
- Sheila Allen as Lady Diane
- James Villiers as Franklin
- Julian Glover as Don Fortune
- Grazina Frame as Betty Barnard
- Clive Morton as 'X'
- Cyril Luckham as Sir Carmichael Clarke
- Richard Wattis as Wolf
- David Lodge as Sergeant
- Patrick Newell as Cracknell
- Austin Trevor as Judson
- Windsor Davies as Dragbot
- Drewe Henley as Bowling Alley Attendant
- Sheila Reid as Mrs. Fortune
- Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple
- Stringer Davis as Mr. Stringer.
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. 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.
- Agatha Christie's Great Detectives Poirot and Marple, another case of Marple and Poirot coexisting in the same story
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