Typically known for his vivid color palette, Frank Tashlin compensates with some of the most intricate visual gags out there in telling the story of this insufferable Belgian detective. The film opens with Tony Randall, the actor playing this aforementioned detective, addressing the audience. Speaking directly into the camera, he introduces the film. In costume, Tony Randall is unrecognizable as the extremely goofy, yet brilliant detective. The story follows Hercule as he tries to solve a series of murders in which the victims appear to be killed in an alphabetical pattern, hence the name. Hercule is ridiculed by the local police, yet he's always a step ahead in actually solving the murders. As a character, some could find Hercule a bit annoying, but he's also quite lovable in a fantastic balancing act of a performance. The Alphabet Murders frequently shifts between comedic and dramatic tones, doing so in a masterful way where it feels balanced. I could see some people having issues with the tone, but I found it to be a welcoming blend, even elevating its entertainment value. The way in which Hercule sorta bumbles around-his goofy yet lovable ways are reminiscent to a character you may find in Tati's Playtime. Tashlin's camera work is really impressive in providing both intricate and motivated camera movements. He seems to revel in making this comedy caper and I think it stands up to some of the most acclaimed of the genre.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.