Cinema: Case Dismissed

The Alphabet Murders. A funny thing happens to Tony Randall on his way out of a police station: he meets Margaret Rutherford on her way in. And Miss Rutherford's gag guest appearance as Agatha Christie's Miss Marple is the only thing that is funny about this arch and clumsy attempt to launch Randall as another celebrated Christie character, the Belgian snooper-sleuth Hercule Poirot.

A caustic second banana in sophisticated Hollywood comedies, Randall seems to be trying to corner the Sellers market by donning the masks of the ham-with-a-thousand-faces. Wearing a bald pate and false nose, he pops his eyes, shrugs, affects a...