|“||I hear talk of the Mafia being responsible. (Bouc: Yes, yes, that's true.) I was talking to the gentlemen. Monsieur, not all Italian-Americans are Mafia. Most of us spit on them. Now, I'm in the motor trade. I'm a good salesman, but it's hard to be trusted when you're Italian. Men like Cassetti, they make people hate us. Monsieur, if these gansters are involved, do not mess with them. Understand me? For they are ruthless to anyone, anyone who crossed them, and you're no exception! You understand that? (Bouc: Hey, is that a threat?) It's an advice, monsieur.||„|
|~ Signor Foscarelli stating his advice to Poirot about not to cross the mafia on Cassetti's murder (in the 2010 film)|
Antonio Foscarelli is one of the major protagonists in Agatha Christie's 1934 Hercule Poirot novel, Murder on the Orient Express. He was an Italian-American salesman working for the Ford Motor Car, and was formerly the chauffeur of Armstrong family as well as the best friend of the late Daisy Armstrong. He was amongst the 12 killers of Lanfranco Cassetti in order to bring this criminal to justice and avenge the Armstrong family for their tragedy.
He has been portrayed on screen by various actors, including the late Denis Quilley in 1974, Dylan Smith in 2001, Joseph Mawle in 2010, and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in 2017.
Foscarelli was a naturalised U.S. citizen who had emigrated to America from Europe, leaving behind his mother and younger sister. Foscarelli had been the chauffeur of the Armstrong family during the time of Daisy Armstrong's kidnapping. Of Daisy, Foscarelli said that he had taken an instant liking to the little girl; he let her pretend to drive the family limousine, and she would always call him "Tonio".
After the kidnap and murder of Daisy Armstrong, a gangster named Cassetti was arrested and put on trial for the crime but got off on a technicality because of his wealth and influence. Linda Arden, Daisy's grandmother, then gathered a group of interested parties for the purpose of avenging the crime and bringing the criminal to justice. Foscarelli, who befriended Daisy, joined the group.
At the time of the incident on board the Orient Express, he was an agent for Ford Motor Cars and had been resident in the United States for the previous 10 years "on and off". During the trip he was in Compartment 4-5 occupying the upper berth with Edward Masterman below. As part of his cover, he pretended to travel to Milan where he had an appointment.
Forscarelli only admitted his past connections with the Armstrongs (and his friendship with Daisy) towards the end of the book when Poirot had already surmised it. He told Poirot that he had concealed his past for "business reasons" and because he did not trust the Yugoslav police. He explained that if the Yugoslavian police found out about his connection, they would hang him without a trial because they hate the Italians.
Foscarelli was spared by Poirot alongside other killers due to their righteous and sympathetic motive.
In other appearance
In Agatha Christie's Poirot
In the 2010 film from Agatha Christie's Poirot, Foscarelli's character was merged with the ommitted Cyrus Hardman and became the lover of Pierre Michel's daughter, Franscois Michel, who was the Armstrong maid that committed suicide after being discovered as Cassetti's unwitting pawn.
In the 2017 film
In the 2017 film, he was renamed as Biniamino Emanuel Marquez, and his nationality is changed from Italian to Cuban. Before Poirot announced his decision to spare the killers, Marquez was last seen dealing out poker cards on a table, and watched Mary Debenham and Dr. Arbuthnot walk past.
According to the script, Marquez has 3 children, all named after U.S. Presidents: 2 boys - Thomas Jefferson Marquez and William Henry Marquez - and 1 girl - Millard Filmore Marquez. Each of his children are to work in the automobile industry.