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Murder by Death (1976)

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

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

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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

Taglines:

By the time Eileen Brennan, Truman Capote, James Coco, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, David Niven, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, Nancy Walker and Estelle Winwood figure out whodunnit, you'll die laughing. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

23 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Neil Simon's Murder by Death  »

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(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character name "Lionel Twain" is wordplay referring to the Lionel company, which made model trains. See more »

Goofs

When Perrier sees his driver in the bed, he tells him to go and sleep in the car, seemingly forgetting that the house is locked down and no one can get out until morning. See more »

Quotes

Sam Diamond: Why don't you push her wheelchair down the driveway? We got business here!
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Crazy Credits

As the opening credits begin, a pair of black-gloved hands come 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 come into frame to close and lock the footlocker. See more »

Connections

References The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of my all time top 10 films
13 March 2004 | by (Surrey,England) – See all my reviews

An amazing ensemble cast who must have all had their tongues most firmly planted in their cheeks to produce their performances in this highly amusing murder mystery spoof.

By incorporating plots and characters from your favourite classic crime genres and gently poking fun at them all it is both funny and comfortingly familiar.

So if you want great visual gags (blind butler, deaf maid), superb one liners (especially from Maggie Smith & David Niven) and to escape for 90 minutes back into the gentler, less realistic Golden Age of Crime then you need look no further.

If only there were outtakes.


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