Peter Sellers as Sidney Wang (as the Charlie Chan character), Elsa Lanchester as Jessica Marbles (Miss Marple), Peter Falk as Sam Diamond (Sam Spade), James Coco as Milo Perrier (Hercule Poirot), and David Niven and Maggie Smith as Dick & Dora Charleston (Nick & Nora Charles). Of course, Truman Capote was at his most flamboyant here, too. They were all fantastic (as well as the supporting characters). I recall first viewing this film at the now long gone Lido Theatre in L.A., and it's still very funny then and now. Back then my favorites amongst the cast was Sellars as Wang and Falk as Diamond. Nowadays, I found that I really admire Maggie Smith in her craft of the character Dora. Her classy, British deadpan wit always has me watching her in each scene she's in. Plus, she's the best thing there, visually, too.
My only complaints, though, is with the DVD. Released in 2001 under Sony/Columbia Pictures, it is more than dated and needs a new re-issue:
- not a very good print--newer DVD production techniques and re-mastering are sorely needed here
- missing scenes!!!--when I first got and viewed it, I thought there were things missing. This was confirmed by others with regard to the early VHS release, for shame!
- flip disc--widescreen on one, and full-screen on the other--'nuff said
- the absolute worst artwork for a DVD (especially when compared to the VHS version or the original movie poster)
Come on, Sony! This picture deserves much better!!! For next weekend, we'll probably do its sequel, the lesser The Cheap Detective. But hey, they're still better than Clue...