7.1/10
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60 user 72 critic

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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, (uncredited)

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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 ...
...
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:

One of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of American Crime. 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

Doris: 'Honeymoon'? You ought to tell your brother what's supposed to happen on a honeymoon!
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn Of The Republic
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Sung by Ann Harris
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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