IMDb > The Honeymoon Killers (1969)
The Honeymoon Killers
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The Honeymoon Killers (1969) More at IMDbPro »

The Honeymoon Killers -- Martha Beck is sullen, overweight and heartbreakingly alone. Desperate for affection, she joins Aunt Carrie's Friendship Club and strikes up a correspondence with Ray Fernandez, a suave, charismatic smooth talker who could be the man of her dreams--or a wicked con artist bound for trouble.


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Leonard Kastle (written by)
View company contact information for The Honeymoon Killers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 February 1970 (USA) See more »
One of the most bizarre episodes in the annals of American Crime. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(29 articles)
‘The Honeymoon Killers’ Blu-ray Review (Arrow Video)
 (From Blogomatic3000. 20 November 2015, 6:14 AM, PST)

Alleluia | Blu-ray Review
 (From ioncinema. 13 October 2015, 5:30 PM, PDT)

Bluray Review: The Honeymoon Killers
 (From Icons of Fright. 9 October 2015, 12:05 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
One of the best American crime movies ever made See more (53 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Shirley Stoler ... Martha Beck

Tony Lo Bianco ... Ray Fernandez
Mary Jane Higby ... Janet Fay

Doris Roberts ... Bunny
Kip McArdle ... Delphine Downing

Marilyn Chris ... Myrtle Young
Dortha Duckworth ... Mrs. Beck - Martha's Mother
Barbara Cason ... Evelyn Long
Ann Harris ... Doris
Mary Breen ... Rainelle Downing
Elsa Raven ... Matron
Mary Engel ... Lucy
Guy Sorel ... Mr. Dranoff
Michael Haley ... Jackson (as Mike Haley)
Diane Asselin ... Severns
William Adams ... Justice of the Peace (as Col. William Adams)
Eleanor Adams ... Mrs. Hand

Directed by
Leonard Kastle 
Donald Volkman (uncredited)
Writing credits
Leonard Kastle (written by)

Produced by
Paul Asselin .... associate producer
Warren Steibel .... producer
Cinematography by
Oliver Wood (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Richard Brophy 
Stanley Warnow  (as Stan Warnow)
Production Management
Michael Haley .... production manager (as Mike Haley)
Sound Department
Tom Dillinger .... sound mixer
Fred Kamiel .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Berger .... assistant camera
Mike Grover .... lighting assistant
Richard Tenneson .... lighting assistant
Spencer Trova .... camera assistant
Bobby Vercruse .... head gaffer (as Robert Veracruse)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Martha Fogg .... wardrobe
Editorial Department
Tikki Goldberg .... assistant editor
Janet Lauretano .... assistant editor
Other crew
Diane Asselin .... script girl
John Haley .... production assistant
Warren Steibel .... presenter
Paul Sweeney .... assistant to producer
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
108 min | USA:115 min (original version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M (re-rating) (2004) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1971) | Finland:(Banned) (uncut) (1971) | France:-16 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2005) | Norway:16 (1971) | Singapore:PG | UK:18 | USA:R | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

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 »
Crew or equipment visible: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Moonrise Kingdom (2012)See more »
The Battle Hymn Of The RepublicSee more »


How much of the film is true?
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
One of the best American crime movies ever made, 8 October 2014
Author: tomgillespie2002 from United Kingdom

Released in 1969 under the guise of a low-budget exploitation film, The Honeymoon Killers is in fact one of the best American real-life crime movies ever made. It tells the story of Martha (Shirley Stoler), a lonely, overweight nurse who is entered into a 'lonely hearts' club by her friend Bunny (Everybody Loves Raymond's Doris Roberts). She receives a response from Latin lothario Ray Fernandez (Tony Lo Bianco), who is a con-man who preys on lonely women, shaking them down for their money. When he reveals this to Martha, she is undeterred, and insists on joining him on his quests by posing as his sister. Ray promises that he won't sleep with any of them, but Martha's overbearing jealousy soon leads to murder.

Based on the notorious case of the 'lonely hearts killers', first (and only) time director Leonard Kastle adopts a documentary-style approach, opting to use mostly hand-held photography, naturalistic lighting, and minimalistic editing. If sometimes the small budget becomes obvious, this only heightens the sense of realism running throughout the film, assisted by two astonishing performances from it's leads. Stoler is immense, evoking sympathy at first but then revealing her true motives are rooted in jealousy and bitterness as she becomes unpredictable and frightening. Bianco, who is still enjoying a prolific career, performs with a flawless Latino accent, demonstrating the charm and seduction that helped Fernandez dupe so many of his unfortunate victims in real-life

But the film is not without artistic merits as well. Lacking blood and devoid of any kind of shock tactics, the murders are cold and brutal. A hammer blow to the head has as much impact as Leatherface's notorious entrance in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), as the victim struggles and twitches while the killers struggle for finish her off. Another has the camera focus just on the panicking eyes of a sedated victim, as Martha and Ray argue off- camera about to do with her. A gun then appears at the corner of the screen and it's all over. It's shockingly blunt for it's era, but only serves to make The Honeymoon Killers one of the most invigorating and uncomfortable experiences I've had in recent memory.

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Spoiler needed - how did it end? SayNoToRemakes
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Long Play album(s) In The Film. bsfraser2003
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