Taking a break from reviewing the great C.K. posts we’ve received to do a post for the “Classic Moustaches for Movember” blogathon hosted by Bette’s Classic Movie Blog. Brandie noted the event last week, and I’m going to put in my two cents. I’m also capitalizing on an opportunity here, because I’ve wanted to do a section on Hercule Poirot for a while. Now I have a great excuse. So, here is a warm-up for my NaNoWriMo-ing.
I’m bringing forward the detective in general (most known for Murder on the Orient Express), who has been portrayed by several actors. In the 1974 film, he is played by Albert Finney, and joined by an amazing all-star cast. It makes the movie worth watching, even if it had been a disaster (which it wasn’t): Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, and John Gielgud (one of my personal heroes as Hobson from Arthur) just to name a few. It’s an awesome cast. The movie is fun, moves pretty quickly and is told in a proper unravelling manner. There is no other proper way to film a Christie story.
The ultimate Poirot is definitely David Suchet. The BBC group filmed Agatha Christie’s canon to completion in an amazingly long process. They did not have to change actors for characters, which makes the dynamics of the recurring characters even better.
David Suchet spent a lot of time developing his portrayal of the little Belgian and his idiosyncrasies. One of his most famous is, of course, his moustache. He is very proud of it, and it comes into play in several films. In one, he will be forced to shave his moustache if a local detective solves a case to completion before he does (fortunately, Poirot wins). Poirot teaches Hastings the art of the moustache for disguise purposes to bring a dark case into the light.
Even when not central to the plot, we can see Poirot grooming his moustache to perfection in many of the films and episodes. His moustache, perfectly set, is as indicative of him as his modified English, cane, and bowler hat. We know the character by face. We can tell a parody of the character by hat and moustache alone. They say the clothes don’t make the man, but Poirot without a moustache would hardly be the same detective.