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Scenes We Love: Murder By Death

Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) has invited the five greatest detectives to a "dinner and murder." How can they resist? Included are a blind butler, a deaf-mute maid, screams, spinning rooms, secret passages, false identities, and more plot turns and twists than are decently allowed.

When you see a plot summary like that, how can you resist? It's pure ridiculousness. Nine years before Clue, there was Neil Simon's Murder By Death -- a most excellent spoof on the classic literary detectives: Peter Falk as Sam Diamond (Spade), Elsa Lanchester as Jessica Marbles (Marple), David Niven and Maggie Smith as Dick and Dora Charleston (Charles), James Coco as Milo Perrier (Poirot), and Peter Sellers as Sidney Wang (Chan). Rounding out the cast, there's James Cromwell as a ridiculous French chauffeur, Eileen Brennan (of later Clue fame) as Spade's dame, Alec Guinness as the butler Bensonmum, Nancy Walker as the deaf-mute maid
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