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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 2,526 users  
Reviews: 50 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:

(A True Story) 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

Originally to be directed by Martin Scorsese, but he was replaced after a week of shooting due to creative differences by Donald Volkman who was subsequently replaced by Leonard Kastle. Scorsese was fired because he was filming every scene in master shots and not shooting close-ups or other coverage, making the film impossible to edit. According to Kastle's interview with the Criterion collection, the ultimate moment that caused Scorsese's firing was trying to get close-up on a coffee-cup lit perfectly for the intended tone. 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: What's the matter, can't you sleep? You woke me up.
Myrtle Young: Oh I'm sorry, I guess I'm just restless.
Martha Beck: You want a sleeping pill? I've got some.
Myrtle Young: You have any other kind?
Martha Beck: What do you mean?
Myrtle Young: Never mind. You wouldn't, you're too square!
[sighs]
Martha Beck: You sigh a lot, don't you? In nursing school they taught us that people who sigh a lot are unstable. Is that your problem?
Myrtle Young: No! I was just thinkin' about your brother; and how handsome he looked in that toupee I gave him. He lied to you.
Martha Beck: I don't believe it, he never lies...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Moonrise Kingdom (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

"America The Beautiful' (uncredited)
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Sung by Ann Harris
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Grubby cult item with most of its potential dulled by vapid handling
10 December 2006 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Tony Lo Bianco plays a Latin cad who meets women through a dating service, happily strings them along and marries them under an alias before taking off with their money; after meeting Shirley Stoler's possessive, mercurial Martha, he almost reluctantly allows his deceptions to turn into a series of murders. Low-budget queasiness (worked on at an early point by Martin Scorsese) takes a surprising amount of time to mount its grisly story--and by this point, one is watching and waiting for one of the nasty killings to occur simply because nothing else is happening. Lo Bianco and Stoler argue constantly, yet we can't see why he is so devoted to her (or why he changed his course of action for her in the first place). Stoler, in her nurse's uniform, looks like a camp icon (and in a house-dress with her hair down, she seems a refugee from a John Waters satire); her performance is almost all on one-note and she's tiresome, though Lo Bianco is exceptional and well-cast as a horny, naughty boy in a man's body. Based on a real-life couple in the 1940s dubbed 'The Lonely Hearts Killers', the movie was trumped the year before by the dark comedy "No Way To Treat A Lady" (which was actually more explicit and disturbing than this film). It isn't a terrible picture (some of the conceptions and camera compositions are startling), but with so little happening in the foreground, interest quickly wanes. *1/2 from ****


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