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

The film is based on Christie's book Three Act Tragedy (1934).


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, and then Strange is poisoned, too. Poirot hunts the murderer.

Changes to the original storyEdit

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 2010 version made for television starring David Suchet as Poirot restored the title Three Act Tragedy as well as again making Sir Charles Cartwright (played by Martin Shaw) a stage actor from Britain.

Cast of the first versionEdit

  • Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot
  • Jonathan Cecil as Captain Arthur Hastings
  • Tony Curtis as Charles Cartwright
  • Emma Samms as Egg
  • Dana Elcar as Dr Strange
  • Lisa Eichhorn as Cynthia Dayton
  • Nicholas Pryor as Freddie Dayton
  • Fernando Allende as Ricardo Montoya
  • Pedro Armendáriz, Jr. as Colonel Mateo
  • Frances Lee McCain as Miss Milray
  • Marian Mercer as Daisy Eastman
  • Diana Muldaur as Angela Stafford
  • Concetta Tomei as Janet Crisp
  • Philip Guilmant as Rev. Babbington
  • Jacqueline Evans as Mrs Babbington
  • Martin LaSalle as Doctor
  • Alma Levy as Nurse
  • Julio Monterde as Manager

Ustinov as PoirotEdit

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