Moustaches for Movember: Poirot

Hello, blogosphere….

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.

Here’s the donation link if you wish to contribute to the Movember cause!

Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot

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.

However …

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.

How ELSE do you get the expression? David Suchet as Poirot.

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.

See what I mean? The moustache!

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.

6 thoughts on “Moustaches for Movember: Poirot

  1. Carrie, after I did my own “Classic Moustaches for Movember” post (on 10 classic movie moustaches), I mentioned it to a friend who asked me if I had included Hercule Poirot, because when he thought of film & TV characters with moustaches that was the first who came to mind. I hadn’t and could have kicked myself because it was such an obvious choice. So I’m glad you did a whole post on Poirot’s moustache for this worthy cause. I have to agree that David Suchet is the definitive Poirot. The earlier one-hour episodes seem fresher to me than the more recent feature-length specials (and I do miss Capt. Hastings and Miss Lemon), but Suchet is always a delight, and the moustache is perhaps the most vivid thing in the amazing catalogue of props and mannerisms he uses to define Poirot.

  2. Yay! I love Hastings, too. They added the recurrings to stories that never featured them to give Poirot a way to talk out his thinking. I think they’re better with Hastings and Miss Lemon, though!

  3. Nice concept! Over at my blog, The League of Dead Films, we’ve been giving our Movie of the Day a Mo’ Rating for Movember. Both of our writers are participants in Movember for the last few years. I’ve been meaning to do some features on great Moustaches but have yet to get around to it. Thank you for all you’re doing for the cause-and everybody donate, because it is a worthy one!

  4. Carrie – Much as I love “Murder on the Orient Express” and Albert Finney – and fine as I think Peter Ustinov was in “Death on the Nile,” I completely agree that David Suchet is the ultimate Hercule, the Poirot all others will be measured against.

    On the subject of moustaches, If I’m not mistaken, Suchet’s Poirot moustache evolved during the series and became less extreme. In the early years, the moustache had a little bit of curlicue business on each end like so:

  5. Carrie,
    I had to email this post to my mother! She adores Poirot and you can just ask my dad since he complains about her watching him when not watching Charlie Chan.

    I have this Agatha Christie adventure game Murder on the Orient Express and the Sims like adventurer running around is in a Poirot likeness but he’s a little chunk.

    A fun choice for Movember and you’ve made my mother smile.

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