MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 182 this week

Murder by Death (1976)

7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 20,620 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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 22 titles
created 30 Sep 2010
 
a list of 44 titles
created 30 Oct 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 30 Jul 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 11 Apr 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Murder by Death" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Murder by Death (1976)

Murder by Death (1976) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Murder by Death.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

San Francisco, 1940, detectives, dames, documents, Nazis, and a treasure.

Director: Robert Moore
Stars: Peter Falk, Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan
Clue (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Six guests are invited to a strange house and must cooperate with the staff to solve a murder mystery.

Director: Jonathan Lynn
Stars: Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn
Deathtrap (1982)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, Dyan Cannon
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Inspector Clouseau is put on the case when the Pink Panther diamond is stolen, with the Phantom's trademark glove the only clue.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Catherine Schell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Fu Manchu's 168th birthday celebration is dampened when a hapless flunky spills Fu's age-regressing elixir vitae. Fu sends his lackeys to round up ingredients for a new batch of elixir, ... See full summary »

Directors: Piers Haggard, Richard Quine, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Peter Sellers, Helen Mirren, David Tomlinson
Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

William Topaz McGonagall, the world's greateset poet. Unfortunately the whole of the rest of the world disagreed. His talent made him a sort of Victorian Chris Evans but without the cash.

Director: Joseph McGrath
Stars: Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Julia Foster
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Anthony Hope's classic tale gets a decidedly 'un-classic' treatment at the hands of Peter Sellers. Following the story somewhat, friends of the new King Rudolph of Ruritania fear for his ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Peter Sellers, Lynne Frederick, Lionel Jeffries
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his "death" has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Burt Kwouk
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A pirate crewman kills his captain after learning where he has hidden his buried treasure. However, as he begins to lose his memory, he relies more and more on the ghost of the man he just ... See full summary »

Directors: Peter Medak, Spike Milligan
Stars: Peter Sellers, Anthony Franciosa, Spike Milligan
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles Dreyfus threatens to destroy the world with a doomsday device if Inspector Clouseau is not killed. Naturally, this is far harder than it sounds.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Lesley-Anne Down
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

In this comedy, set during the Nazi occupation of France, Peter Sellers plays most major male parts, so he stars in nearly every scene, always bumbling in inspector Clouseau-style. As ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Boulting
Stars: Peter Sellers, Lila Kedrova, Curd Jürgens
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

During D-day several people become trapped while hiding in a bunker, when heavy shelling collapses it. They have plenty of food and water so they decide to wait for rescuers. And so they wait year, after year, after year.

Director: Clive Rees
Stars: Peter Sellers, Charles Aznavour, Jeremy Kemp
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Nancy Walker ...
Maid
...
Nurse
...
...
Edit

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:

You are cordially invited to dinner... and a murder! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crimen por muerte  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles was originally considered for the role of Inspector Wang but was unable to accept because he was appearing in a play in Italy. See more »

Goofs

Sam Diamond extends his arm and points at Jessica Marbles at the dinner table when she deduces there are "two dining rooms". In the next shot, he is pointing with his opposite hand. See more »

Quotes

Lionel Twain: You've tricked and fooled your readers for years. You've tortured us all with surprise endings that made no sense. You've introduced characters in the last five pages that were never in the book before. You've withheld clues and information that made it impossible for us to guess who did it. But now, the tables are turned. Millions of angry mystery readers are now getting their revenge. When the world learns I've outsmarted you, they'll be selling your $1.95 books for twelve cents.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"starring (in diabolical order)" See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Clue (1985) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
What A Hoot
19 August 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

An all-star cast, superb dialogue, effective lighting and editing, great production design, and interesting costumes rev up the technical quality of this cinematic spoof of literary whodunits. An eccentric genius named Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) invites the world's five greatest fictional detectives to a dinner party, at which time someone will be murdered. The detective who solves the crime first gets $1 million.

Everything in this film, from the acting to the sound effects to the plot ... is deliciously exaggerated ... hence the humor. For example, mystery readers accept that Hercule Poirot and Charlie Chan are so observant as to spot the most obscure clue, which conveniently points to the solution of the puzzle. In "Murder By Death" writer Neil Simon exaggerates that gambit. A guest detective draws the most outlandish conclusion from the most irrelevant fact, which in turn is shot down by another guest detective who points out the flaws, and then proceeds to do exactly the same thing.

The dialogue is marvelous. In one scene the blind butler serves non-existent soup from an empty bowl, to which Miss Marbles (Elsa Lanchester) protests: "Murder by starvation, maybe that's his game". In another scene, Inspector Perrier (James Coco) reads from a list, and then concludes: "Everything here has been rented for tonight". Miss Marbles responds in a melodramatic voice: "You mean?" "Yes", answers Perrier momentously: "this entire murder has been -- catered".

And then there's the scene wherein Sam Diamond (Peter Falk) ruminates: "I don't get it; first they steal the body and leave the clothes; then they steal the clothes and bring the body back. Who would do a thing like that?" To which Dick Charleston (David Niven) responds in a serious tone: "Possibly some deranged dry cleaner".

The film's casting is wonderful. Truman Capote may not be much of an actor, but he brings to the film a personality that is appropriately eccentric. My only problem is that the amount of screen time for the cast is uneven ... too much for Peter Falk and Peter Sellers, and not enough for Elsa Lanchester, who arrives late.

"Murder By Death" is a wonderful film classic that still holds up thirty years after it was made. The film conveys no heavy-duty political or social "message", no great insight into the human condition. But when you're in the mood for lighthearted, escapist entertainment that provides some laughs, this film is a great choice.


23 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Sad fact roman_g
Lines you're just WAITING to use in real life kelieann
HUMOR?? mindybiz
Sherlock and deleted scenes tmw4587
Someone explain brb3r
Sam Diamond gay? Sten-Menden
Discuss Murder by Death (1976) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?