Agatha Christie on the Big and Small Screen
Even though Dame Agatha may not have enjoyed adaptations of her mysteries, audiences have been loving them for decades
- By Daniel Eagan
- Smithsonian.com, May 16, 2011
Dame Agatha’s most famous detective, Hercule Poirot, appeared in 33 novels and numerous shorts stories, but he did not fare well on screen at first. The three earliest Poirot films, starring Austin Trevor as the Belgian sleuth, appear to be lost, but Trevor can be seen as Tony Randall’s valet in this comic version of Christie’s 1936 serial killer novel The ABC Murders. (Christie rejected the producer’s original choice for Poirot, Zero Mostel.) Margaret Rutherford and her real-life husband Stringer Davis have quick cameos as Miss Marple and her assistant. Director Frank Tashlin got his start as an animator and is better known today for comedies such as The Girl Can’t Help It.