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Murder in Three Acts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Murder in Three Acts
Murder in Three Acts.jpg
Based onThree Act Tragedy
1934 novel
by Agatha Christie
Written byScott Swanton
Directed byGary Nelson
StarringPeter Ustinov
Tony Curtis
Emma Samms
Fernando Allende
Diana Muldaur
Jonathan Cecil
Theme music composerAlf Clausen
Country of originUnited Kingdom
United States
Original languageEnglish
ProducerPaul Waigner
Production locationAcapulco
CinematographyDonald R. Rode
EditorNeil Roach
Running time94 minutes
Production companyWarner Bros. Television
Original networkCBS
Picture formatColor
Audio formatMono
Original releaseSeptember 30, 1986 (1986-09-30)
Preceded byDead Man's Folly
Followed byAppointment with Death

Murder in Three Acts is a 1986 British-American made-for-television mystery film produced by Warner Bros. Television, featuring Peter Ustinov as Agatha Christie's Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Directed by Gary Nelson,[1] it co-starred Jonathan Cecil as Hastings, Tony Curtis, and Emma Samms.

The film is based on Christie's book Three Act Tragedy (1934), published in the US under the title Murder in Three Acts.



Poirot joins his assistant Hastings in Acapulco, Mexico, where Hastings is staying. They go to a party at which the other guests include the writer Janet Crisp, the American actor Charles Cartwright, a clergyman called Babbington, Daisy Eastman and her daughter Egg, Dr Strange, and Ricardo Montoya. Babbington dies of poisoning, then Strange is poisoned, too, and Poirot hunts the murderer.

Changes to the original story

The main change is the relocation of the action from London to Acapulco. In the book, Poirot's assistant is Satterthwaite, replacing Hastings, but in the film Hastings is reinstated in his usual role. Christie's English theatrical actor Sir Charles Cartwright turns into Charles Cartwright, an American movie star.

A version made in 2010 in the long Poirot series starring David Suchet restored the title "Three Act Tragedy", as well as reinstating Sir Charles Cartwright (played by Martin Shaw) as an English stage actor.

Prequels & Sequels

In 1974, Murder On The Orient-Express was released, starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot. As Finney was unable to reprise his role in 1978, for the sequel, Death On The Nile, Peter Ustinov was cast. He reprised the role for Evil Under The Sun in 1982 and later committed to several made-for-television-films. Apart from Murder In Three Acts, Thirteen At Dinner and Dead Man's Folly were released. Another screen adaption of one of Christie's novels in 1988, Appointment With Death, marked Ustinov's final portrayal of the Belgian detective.


  1. ^ "Murder in Three Acts". TCM database. Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 23 February 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 9 July 2022, at 20:31
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