The Alphabet Murders is based on Agatha Christie's whodunnit, The ABC Murders, minus only the plot and most of the details. The film opens with Tony Randall, as himself, addressing the camera and explaining that he will be playing the part of the great Hercule Poirot.
|Subtly, no doubt|
|Bum-ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum-dum-dum...|
|It's not surprising that he would remember her, though. Low-key outfit, lady.|
|"Is that really any more ridiculous than anything else here?"|
How was the acting in The Alphabet Murders? Universally overdone. However, the script did call for broad physical comedy, so I can't fault the actors for playing to the script. Having said that, Tony Randall was dreadful as Hercule Poirot. Imagine an actor from the 60s doing an exaggerated impression of a gay Frenchman and you will have the general idea of Randall's performance.
|Don't give me that look. You're the one mugging the camera for laughs.|
When I look at director Frank Tashlin's body of work, it's not surprising that he made a murder mystery into a farce. This is a guy whose biggest movies involved Jerry Lewis, so of course he spends a lot of time on "jokes" that no one could enjoy.
|Get it? The mirror shows the wrong person talking!|
In all fairness, I should point out that The Alphabet Murders was given the comedic treatment after Margaret Rutherford starred in four semi-comedic movies based on other Agatha Christie works. It appears that this movie went a bit too far, though.
|Tony Randall was never meant to be a sex symbol|