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The Honeymoon Killers (1970)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mary Jane Higby ...
Janet Fay
...
Bunny
Kip McArdle ...
...
Dortha Duckworth ...
Mrs. Beck - Martha's Mother
...
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:

16 October 1970 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Dear Martha  »

Box Office

Budget:

$150,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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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

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 »

Quotes

Myrtle Young: [Ray rebuffs her sexual advances] Oooo, you are meenie-weenie!
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Connections

Version of Lonely Hearts (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

"America The Beautiful' (uncredited)
Music by Samuel A. Ward
Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Sung by Ann Harris
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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!


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