The Honeymoon Killers (1969)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  4 February 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,873 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 58 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shirley Stoler ...
Mary Jane Higby ...
Janet Fay
Kip McArdle ...
Dortha Duckworth ...
Mrs. Beck - Martha's Mother
Barbara Cason ...
Evelyn Long
Ann Harris ...
Mary Breen ...
Elsa Raven ...
Mary Engel ...
Guy Sorel ...
Mr. Dranoff
Michael Haley ...
Jackson (as Mike Haley)
Diane Asselin ...


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


One of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of American Crime. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 February 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dear Martha  »

Box Office


$150,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


When Martha and Myrtle have an argument and Myrtle tells Martha she intends to take "Charles" with her to Little Rock, a microphone is visible right next to Myrtle. It doesn't look like a boom mic, but rather a handheld one because you can definitely see someone moves it a little to catch Shirley Stoler's line. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Gritty, over the top and unintentionally campy
15 May 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had to add a comment after reading so many on here comparing The Honeymoon Killers to John Waters. If Waters had made a serious attempt at true crime, this would be it. Based on a true story, two sociopaths come together through a "lonely hearts" dating service and discover they are mutually compatible serial killers. Tony Lo Bianco plays Raymond Fernandez, a greasy con-man and loser preying on naive women looking for love. Lo Bianco manages to be sexy even as such a pathetic jerk. Shirley Stoler is Martha Beck, his accomplice and apparent true love. Probably best known as the evil Nazi commandant in Seven Beauties, Stoler steals the film and in my humble opinion is really the only reason to check the movie out. Stoler and Water's star Divine are so similar, they could be "sisters". Stoler eats the scenery with gusto in an angry, bitchy way and it's fascinating just to watch her mouth move. The film is surprisingly watchable with some shockers and a parade of character actresses as victims. To contrast this grim black and white film against the Oscar winner for best picture that year (Patton) only adds to it's bizarreness. The director, Leonard Kastle presents the story bleakly with no bells and whistles. Sadly this is the only film he directed, it would have been great to see how his career would have progressed.

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