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Little Murders (1971)

 -  Comedy  -  9 February 1971 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,344 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 15 critic

A girl brings home her latest boyfriend to meet her parents. This is done against the background of random shootings that had just begun in NYC at the time the play was written. How the ... See full summary »

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Title: Little Murders (1971)

Little Murders (1971) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Alfred Chamberlain
Marcia Rodd ...
Patsy Newquist
...
Mr. Newquist
...
Mrs. Newquist
...
Kenny Newquist
...
Mr. Chamberlain
...
Mrs. Chamberlain
Lou Jacobi ...
Judge Stern
...
Rev. Dupas
...
Lt. Practice
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Storyline

A girl brings home her latest boyfriend to meet her parents. This is done against the background of random shootings that had just begun in NYC at the time the play was written. How the family's failings are magnified by the social confusion of the times is the crux of the plot. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 February 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Little Murders  »

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Technical Specs

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(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Arkin's feature film debut as a director. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Practice: We are involved here in a far reaching conspiracy to undermine our most basic beliefs and sacred institutions. Whose behind this conspiracy? Once again ask yourself who has the most to gain. People in high places, their names would astound you! People in low places, concealing their activities beneath a cloak of poverty! People of all walks of life, left wing and right wing. Black and white. Students and scholars. A conspiracy of such ominous proportion that we will never, never know the whole ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Breath of Steele (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Skating in Central Park
Written by John Lewis
Performed by the Modern Jazz Quartet
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User Reviews

 
Twisted
17 June 2008 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"Little Murders" is another of the obscure films I saw at base/post theaters during my military days. It was certainly better than average and many of the images (especially the wedding scene with Donald Sutherland) have stayed with me through the years.

While I found it less funny during a recent viewing than I remembered, the message was still disturbing and contemporary. It is certainly satire and black comedy, but you often lose yourself in the story. It is a very individual film, different people will laugh at different times and at different things. During a theater viewing it seemed to isolate audience members from each other.

Jules Feiffer's screenplay is about Alfred (Elliot Gould), a NYC photographer and self- described "apathist", sort of an unengaged existentialist. He is completely disillusioned and has deadened himself to the cries, smells, sights and pains of violent city living; in a Big Apple even more adversarial than that of "The Out-Of-Towners".

Alfred can't feel much anymore but he takes an interest in Patsy (Marcia Rodd), a controlling interior decorator optimist, who wants to change him. Patsy has been able to stay upbeat and involved despite daily encounters with muggers, snipers, obscene callers, and a family that leaves a lot to be desired.

The film seems to be saying that harsh urban life cuts its people off from gentler human emotion. As an interior decorator Patsy's life is largely defined by her ability to control her possessions and the attitudes of those around her.

Patsy's father, mother and younger brother are living a painful parody of "family life," and Alfred's weirdness eventually allows him to fit right in. The dinner scene where he first meets her family is one of the funniest in film history.

The film illustrates that neither apathy nor constructive engagement are successful mechanisms for coping with the modern world. It seems to be saying that the only rational response to living in an insane environment is to vigorously participant in the insanity.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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