Murder By Death

Directed By: Robert Moore Starring: Eileen Brennan

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Hillarious Hijinx in a Parody of Old-school Whodun

by Bob Dewane on 9/3/2002

This movie is a start to finish classic comedy. Anyone who likes either old detective movies or comedies in general will love this movie. The actors all give hillarious performances, especially remarkable if you are familiar with any of their other works. Neil Simon has his characters each attempt to solve the crime using their egos almost as much as their renound intellects. The twists and turns that this movie takes are what keeps the viewer interested and involved in the film. This film is as packed with memorable one-liners as any comedy could hope to be. If you thought that The Usual Suspects had a surprise ending, wait until you get to the end of this one!

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detective spoofing at its best

on 6/28/2008

perfect casting for delightful script paying playful homage to nearly every 1940's era fictional detective. Can a comedy with both Peter Sellers and David Nivens possibly fail? (a decade earlier Blake Edwards was definitly glad they were in a certain movie he directed!)One of my favorite comedys of the 1970s.

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Product Overview

The world's greatest detectives have been invited to dinner. But when murder is on the menu, who will make it to dessert? You are cordially invited to join an all-star cast featuring Peter Sellers, David Niven, Peter Falk, James Coco, Elsa Lanchester, Maggie Smith, Alex Guinness, Eileen Brendan, Nancy Walker, James Crumble and Estelle Winwood for Neil Simon's hilarious murder-mystery spoof Murder By Death. The isolated mansion of eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain (celebrated author Truman Capote in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) is the setting for the twisted puzzler. Twain informs his guests that one of them will be murdered at the stroke of midnight. The payoff: $1 million to whoever lives through the night. Murder By Death neatly lampoons both the mystery genre and the characterizations of these instantly recognizable gumshoes. Match wits with the super sleuths, but remember, you can't win if you end up dying from laughter!


Studio Sony
SKU 40161795
UPC 043396079342
UPC 14 00043396079342
Format DVD
Release Date 3/24/2009
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Neil Simon's screenplay is a clever spoof on murder mysteries in which eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) invites the world's greatest detectives to his home and challenges them to solve the perfect murder. Among the sleuths that try to solve the case are Milo Perrier (James Coco), Sam Diamond (Peter Falk), Jessica Marbles (Elsa Lanchester), Dick and Dora Charleston (David Niven and Maggie Smith), and Sidney Wang (Peter Sellers), all of whom are easy-to-guess but altogether sharp parodies of beloved literary characters.
Plot Summary
Summary Playwright-screenwriter Neil Simon whipped up this frothy parody of several famous sleuths, who gather in an Agatha Christie-style setting.| A gaggle of brilliant detectives -- including Sam Diamond, Milo Perrier, Miss Marbles, Sidney Wang, and Dick and Dora Charleston -- attends a party hosted by the filthy-rich Lionel Twain in his dark mansion.| Soon it's clear Twain and his help have more on their minds than hospitality and hors d'oeuvres.
Robert Moore
Eileen Brennan
Cast & Crew
David Niven - Actor
Elsa Lanchester - Actor
Estelle Winwood - Actor
Maggie Smith - Actor
Peter Falk - Actor
Peter Sellers - Actor
Truman Capote - Actor
Robert Moore - Director
David M. Walsh - Director of Photography
Dave Grusin - Musical Score
Ray Stark - Producer
Neil Simon - Writer
Technical Info
Catalog ID 07934
UPC 00043396079342
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 94 minutes
Original Language English
Available Subtitles Korean, Portuguese, Samaritan, Spanish, Thai, Chinese
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Golden Globe (1977) Truman Capote, Nominee, Best Acting Debut In A Motion Picture (Male)
DVD, Pan and Scan (TV Format), Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Mono Audio, English, Subtitled, Spanish, Dubbed & Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Falk,Peter
Label Columbia/tri-Star
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
The Motion Picture Guide ...consistently funny, often hysterical scenes...
VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever Entertaining and hammy spoof...
Janet Maslin, Newsweek Inspired zaniness...
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide ...enjoyable all-star comedy.

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