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Murder by Death (1976)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 20,447 users  
Reviews: 153 user | 50 critic

Five famous literary detective characters and their sidekicks are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even stranger mystery.

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Title: Murder by Death (1976)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.

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Cast

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Storyline

Despite not knowing him, the world's most famous detectives can't pass up the offer of a "dinner and murder" invitation from wealthy Lionel Twain. Each has no idea until their arrival at Two Two Twain who else will be in attendance. Those detectives are: amateur sleuths and New York socialites Dick and Dora Charleston, accompanied by their pet terrier, Myron; Belgian detective Monsieur Milo Perrier, accompanied by his chauffeur, Marcel; Shanghainese Inspector Sidney Wang, accompanied by his Japanese adopted son, Willie Wang; frumpish Brit Miss Jessica Marbles, accompanied by her invalid nurse, Miss Withers; and San Francisco gumshoe Sam Diamond, accompanied by his femme fatale sidekick, Tess Skeffington. The dinner part of the invitation runs into problems due to the non-communication between Twain's blind butler, Jamesir Bensonmum, and Twain's new deaf-mute and non-Anglophone cook, Yetta. On the murder side, the guests initially believe Twain will try to kill each of them. However, ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | detective | butler | guest | sidekick | See more »

Taglines:

By the time the world's greatest detectives figure out whodunnit... you could die laughing! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

23 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crimen por muerte  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Immediately after completing the film, Peter Sellers was so convinced it was going to bomb, he convinced the producers to buy back his percentage share in the movie, thus depriving himself of a cut of the profits with the film when it went on to be a hit. See more »

Goofs

From the time that everyone enters the dining room, to when Lionel Twain leaves, only 11 minutes of real time have passed. But dinner started at 9:00, and Twain later states that it's now 11:00. So supposedly 2 hrs have passed in only 11 minutes. See more »

Quotes

Sam Diamond: Shut up, all of ya's. Nobody move!
Dick Charleston: What is it?
Sam Diamond: I have to go to the can again. I don't wanna miss nothin.'
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the opening credits begin, a pair of black-gloved hands comes into frame to unlock and open a footlocker containing the cardboard cutouts of the characters. These characters are displayed with their respective name credit. As the closing credits end, the same pair of black-gloved hands comes into frame to close and lock the footlocker. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Clue (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Sellers Shines In This Wild Spoof
10 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of the most fun movies I've ever watched but I liked it better 20 years ago, frankly, than today. In a recent viewing, it seemed a bit sleazier than I had remembered. Nonetheless, it still has tons of laughs.

This film has one of my all-time favorite characters: Sidney Wang, played by Peter Sellers. The late English actor did a fabulous job of imitating Charlie Chan. He is the highlight among a very talented cast that includes Peter Falk, David Niven, James Coco, Elsa Lanchester, Alec Guinesses, Maggie Smith, Nancy Walker and Truman Capote.

Today, the character oddest for me to view is a young Cromwell who speaks with a French accent! I've never seen him in any role remotely resembling this. The other actors play roles typical of them, such as Niven and Smith's dapper "Thin Man" couple and Falk's, Columbo/Mike Hammer-style American detective.

This a spoof of all the great detectives and the story has a purposely exaggerated amount of twists, particularly at the end....but, despite some of the typical crude 1970s type sexual innuendos, it provides entertainment start-to-finish with absolutely no lulls. It's a classic!


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