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Murder by Death (1976)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Mystery, Thriller  |  23 June 1976 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 22,183 users  
Reviews: 156 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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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 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

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Release Date:

23 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crimen por muerte  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All of the detectives in the film are parodies of the work of three authors: Dashiell Hammett, whose Nick Charles and Sam Spade were the basis for Dick Charleston and Sam Diamond, respectively; Agatha Christie, whose Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple inspired Milo Perrier and Miss Marbles; Earl Derr Biggers Charlie Chan was the basis for Inspector Sidney Wang and his son. 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

Willie Wang: [as they are about to leave Twain Manor] ... I don't get something, Pop: WAS there a murder, or WASN'T there?
Sidney Wang: Yes: Killed good weekend. Drive, please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"starring (in diabolical order)" See more »

Connections

References House on Haunted Hill (1959) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Comedy-Suspense Masterpiece!
18 January 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Eccentric millionaire Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) invites five of the world's greatest detectives, each allowed one guest, to dinner and a murder. Can the detectives, who turn out to be even more eccentric, stop the murder before it happens, and solve it if it does?

I first saw this film as a kid in 1976 with my parents at the theater. Although I could remember I liked it at the time, I hadn't seen it since, and it was at best a vague memory. I certainly didn't remember it being so hilarious and entertaining. Written by Neil Simon and directed by Robert Moore, Murder By Death is a very funny spoof of some of literature/filmdom's most famous detectives, set in a beautifully designed, creepy mansion, and at times, becoming a fine mystery film in its own right.

The jokes fly by very quickly and range from subtle to over-the-top, so attentiveness is required, and multiple viewings are rewarded. The cast is incredible, as you should expect by combining such luminaries as Peter Sellers, Peter Falk, Alec Guinness, James Coco and David Niven.

A comic masterpiece--10 out of 10 from me.


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