Skip to content

Murder In Three Acts (1986)

Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot for me is a delight. Six times he portrayed the famed Belgian sleuth. Three for theatrical release and three for the small screens movie\mystery of the week.

This was Ustinov’s fifth go around as Agatha Christie’s fictional detective and one of the small scale television productions.

three-acts

Set to write his memoirs our leading character finds himself in Acapulco at the home of retired film star Tony Curtis. In attendance we have a group of select friends and acquaintances from Tony’s past. His doctor Dana Elcar, ex-lover Diana Muldaur and the young and attractive Emma Samms as well are numbered among the party goers. As the cocktail glasses are passed about we’re sure to have a corpse lying on the carpet from an apparent heart attack. Or could murder be in our midst?

When a second gathering of the same group yields another corpse the plot is set in motion for Poirot to seek out the reasons behind the killings and what each individual at the dinner party has to hide.

Jumping into the adventure is Tony who for the first time since the classic 1960 film Spartacus has joined Ustinov on camera once again. He’s helpful in playing along with Ustinov’s shenanigans and little ploys to help find the answers he will be sure to let us in on at the customary unveiling of the killers true identity.

ustinov

Caught up in the world of actors and writers Ustinov points out, “I don’t need Broadway for my drama.”

Like most of the great sleuths that appeared on film, Hercule Poirot will gather all the films characters at the fadeout to open all their secrets that will culminate in the naming of the killer and the reasons why the murders were committed. In flashback detail we will realize that even the slightest movement that our detective had taken has a real purpose behind the buffoon facade that Ustinov so wonderfully puts forth.

Peter Ustinov was of course a real life adventurer who seemed to have a vitality for life itself and living it to it’s fullest. Something we should all take to heart. Seeing him as Poirot is an opportunity to experience his devilish wit mixed with sarcasm and arrogance all at once. He first played the character in 1978’s Death on the Nile after Albert Finney supposedly turned down the chance to follow up on his portrayal from 1974’s Murder On the Orient Express.

tony curtis

By this point in the career of Tony Curtis the small screens movie of the week offered Tony plenty of roles. He points out in the first of his two autobiographies that he was essentially proud of the work done on this film and that many of the features for television were under valued. He’s right on one count as many theatrical films are not worthy of the large screen yet many of the made for tv productions do offer us a smaller scale production and although Tony is a star of some magnitude, the others in the cast of suspects are not other than Mr. Ustinov. Looking over the list of actors on the big screen mysteries of Detective Poirot yields a much more expensive cast of suspects. Bette Davis, James Mason, Sean Connery and Ingrid Bergman to name a few.

All in all a decent mystery and one that offers us the chance to see Ustinov verbally spar with the man I still affectionately refer to as Stony Curtis.

The three TV features are available in a box set collection.

poirot set

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

Movies ala Mark

With a Cast of Thousands

Classic Horrors

From silent screen to Halloween, and everything scary in between.

IDENTIKIT

The current online container for the writer Konrad Wardh

Just Hit Play

The Good, the Bad and sometimes Ugly in film

Strother Martin Film Project

What we've got here is failure to communicate

Sophia Riley Kobacker

it's all about the story, possums...

Wolfmans Cult Film Club

Cult, B-Movies, cheesy fun films to Film Noir to classics new to me.

CINESPIRIA

Shining a light on the deep recesses of film history

cinema cities

a personal odyssey through film

Mark David Welsh

Watching the strangest movies - so you don't have to...

Scenes from the Morgue

The Lost Art of Pulp Ads: Film, Booze, Smokes & More!

Film Speech

All things film and television

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

portraitsbyjenni

My perspective on life & Classic Movie Recommendations

Statis Pro 1978 Replay

Methodically replaying every game of the 1978 baseball season!

4 Star Films

Looking deeper at the best classic movies

everythingnoir

Movies, Television, Books....Everything Noir

Chaplin-Keaton-Lloyd film locations (and more)

by John Bengtson "the great detective of silent film locations" New York Times

Sister Celluloid

Where old movies go to live

Silent-ology

Uncovering the silent era

Canadian Cinephile

"The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them." - Alfred Hitchcock

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Sunset Boulevard

Writings of a Cinephile

The Bogie Film Blog

A Film by Film Affair with Humphrey Bogart

Vienna's Classic Hollywood

Vintage Hollywood films and stars

The Film Authority

You're ten seconds from watching an amazing film...

Once upon a screen...

...a classic film and TV blog

shadowsandsatin

. . where the worlds of film noir and pre-code collide . .

hitchcockmaster

Where Suspense Lives!

Tipping My Fedora

Enjoying mystery, crime and suspense in all media

Silver Screenings

an irreverent blog of old movies

monsterminions

They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

Comet Over Hollywood

Home for classic movie lovers

filmgeek101

classic movie views for the classic and not-so-classic movie fan

Riding the High Country

Reviews and ramblings

Speakeasy

watching movies

%d bloggers like this: