The Honeymoon Killers (1969)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  4 February 1970 (USA)
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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


(A True Story) 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:

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Technical Specs


| (original)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


New York City based art-noise-rock band The Honeymoon Killers took their name from this film. See more »


A copy of the album "Whipped Cream & Other Delights" by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass is clearly visible in Martha's apartment. The album was released in 1965, while the movie takes place prior to 1951, according to the message at the end. See more »


Martha Beck: Mama, I'm not your little girl!
See more »


Featured in TCM Underground: The Honeymoon Killers (2006) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Simply one of THE great American movies!
31 July 2002 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

'The Honeymoon Killers' is easily one of the most underrated movies of all time. Often unfairly ignored as "just" a b-movie, or half remembered as trivia - the movie Scorsese nearly directed - it is in fact close to perfect, and one of the finest of all American movies dealing with murder. Why writer/director Leonard Kastle didn't make any other movies after this brilliant debut is both a mystery and a tragedy. His work is so impressive and fresh here, who knows what he could have been capable of. He may have turned out to be one of the greats, and even rivaled Scorsese, or Coppola, both having had a similar starts with low budget genre material (see 'Bloody Mama' and 'Dementia 13', their respective collaborations with king of the quickies Roger Corman).

The late Shirley Stoler is a knockout as bored nurse Martha Beck, and Tony Lo Bianco is equally impressive as her Spanish con man boyfriend Raymond Fernandez. Sadly neither actor got the career breaks they deserved. Stoler had small supporting roles in credible movies like 'Klute' and 'The Deer Hunter', and cult favourites like 'Frankenhooker' and 'Miami Blues', but always seemed to overlooked because of her weight. Lo Bianco starred in excellent sleepers like 'The Seven-Ups' and 'God Told Me To', but more often than not ended up as second-Mafioso-on-the-left in crappy movies like 'Boiling Point' and 'The Juror'. Too bad, both are brilliant here and had the potential to go on to better things.

'The Honeymoon Killers' is a minor masterpiece and should be essential viewing for all movie buffs. Don't miss this one!

17 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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