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The Honeymoon Killers (1969)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  4 February 1970 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,499 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 51 critic

An obese, embittered nurse doesn't mind if her toupee-wearing boyfriend romances and fleeces other women, as long as he takes her along on his con jobs.

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Title: The Honeymoon Killers (1969)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley Stoler ...
...
Mary Jane Higby ...
Janet Fay
...
Bunny
Kip McArdle ...
...
Dortha Duckworth ...
Mrs. Beck - Martha's Mother
Barbara Cason ...
Evelyn Long
Ann Harris ...
Doris
Mary Breen ...
Elsa Raven ...
Matron
Mary Engel ...
Lucy
Guy Sorel ...
Mr. Dranoff
Michael Haley ...
Jackson (as Mike Haley)
Diane Asselin ...
Severns
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Storyline

In the early 1950s, Martha Beck, who lives with her slightly senile mother, is the head nurse in a Mobile, Alabama hospital. She is bitter about her life, she not having male companionship in large part because she is overweight, while her bitterness in turn does not endear her to people. She is initially angry with her best friend, Bunny, for signing her up to a lonely hearts club, but eventually decides to give it a try. Through it, she meets Ray Fernandez, a suave Spanish immigrant living in New York, he who contacted Martha as the first through the club. After Ray's trip to Mobile to meet Martha, they fall in love. Upon a subsequent visit Martha makes to Ray in New York - which leads to her being fired in part for her time off work - he decides to be up front with her: that she is not only not his "first" but that he is really a con man who, primarily through the club, seduces then bilks lonely women of their money. Pretending to be his sister to prospective targets, Martha ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love is a bitch...called Martha. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 February 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dear Martha  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director François Truffaut called this his favorite American film. See more »

Goofs

In the scene on the bus with the dead victim of Martha and Ray, there is a long shot of the woman's face with her eyes somewhat googly and her tongue sticking out, as you hear the bus driver exclaiming her death, etc. Towards the end of the shot, if you watch the woman's face, you can see her tongue move. See more »

Quotes

Martha Beck: [after making their first kill] Do you want the light on or off?
Raymond Fernandez: Leave the light on. I want to make love.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moonrise Kingdom (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphonies Nos. 5, 6 & 9
Composed by Gustav Mahler
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Awesome docudrama still packs a punch today
7 October 2000 | by (DVD Drive-In) – See all my reviews

THE HONEYMOON KILLERS is a cult film, to be sure. One of those forgotten gems just begging for higher recognition (like SPIDER BABY and DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT!), the film is a realistic portrayal of the true-life murderers who preyed on Lonelyhearts column readers.

Shirley Stoler and Tony LoBianco play the two lovers, Martha and Raymond, who meet through a Lonelyhearts column. When Martha discovers that Raymond is a gigolo who planned on using her for her money, she ditches her job as a nurse, plants her mother in a rest home, and takes off to live with him, becoming his partner in crime. The two genuinely love each other, much like a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde...except Clyde has a heavy Latino accent and Bonnie weighs upwards of 200 pounds! The couple, using aliases, pose as brother and sister as Raymond marries women and Martha steals their valuables. Eventually, Martha's jealousy over Raymond's many women drives her to murder most foul.

Many have compared THE HONEYMOON KILLERS to HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER and BONNIE AND CLYDE. I can safely say that it beats BONNIE AND CLYDE into the ground and gives HENRY a run for its money. Shirley Stoler is absolutely fantastic and deserved much more fame and many more roles than she received. Tony LoBianco is pretty good, too, but is less memorable. In HONEYMOON KILLERS, Martha is in charge of the situation. She is the one who commits the murders, she is the one who bosses Raymond around, she is the one who controls Raymond's choices, and she is eventually the one who gets sentenced to death with her man.

Filmed in lush black and white on grainy film stock and featuring a classical music/public domain soundtrack, THE HONEYMOON KILLERS really does pack a punch today with its cheap documentary-like feel. It would make a perfect double bill with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD! Though a little slow to begin with, HONEYMOON KILLERS eventually leaves its soap opera beginnings and delves into the deep, dark side of human nature. It is fascinating to view Martha at the start of the film and witness her drastic change to homicidal maniac. Absolutely essential viewing for any film fan!


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